Yankees left-hander Gio González intends to opt out of his contract, per multiple reports from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the Yankees will have 48 hours to add González to the active roster after he does so, the prevailing expectation is that they’ll hand him his release instead.
González, 33, inked a minor-league deal with the team in mid-March, after which he had just enough time to log a single outing in spring training. He stands to earn a $3 million salary if the Yankees elect to add him to the 25-man roster, with additional bonuses of $300,000 pending each start he makes after that.
So far this season, however, the veteran southpaw has done little to inspire a call-up after pitching to mixed results in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He issued 10 runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts over his first 15 innings in the minors, and missed his last chance to pitch for Scranton (and plead his case to the Yankees) after Friday’s game was rained out. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he then fired his agent, Scott Boras, and hired representation from CAA Baseball instead.
Still, it’s unlikely that this situation will turn out in González’s favor. There’s no doubt that he could boost his numbers to something resembling the 4.00-ERA, 2.0-fWAR results he produced for the Nationals and Brewers last year, but the Yankees are unlikely to take such an expensive gamble on the lefty right now, especially with a rotation that needs little improvement. According to FanGraphs, New York’s combo of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, CC Sabathia, and Domingo Germán currently ranks among the top 10 rotations in the majors with a cumulative 3.77 ERA and 2.0 fWAR — totals that González would be hard-pressed to improve on.