There is another development on the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez saga. After finally agreeing to three year $12 million deal, the Phillies do not want him pitching until Spring Training.
Gonzalez is penciled in as one of the five members of the starting rotation next season. He will turn 27 later this month, so be sure to wish him a happy birthday or a more appropriate feliz cumpleaños. Beyond his age, if we can even be certain of that, not much is known. So going all winter without pitching in a competitive game, well, it is an interesting strategy to say the least.
Scott Proefrock, assistant general manager, wants Gonzalez to get assimilated to the Phillies organization this winter and not much else beyond that. Gonzalez defected from Cuba and played in Mexico before signing with the Phillies. The two years prior he was suspended from pitching in organized Cuban baseball leagues.
In Matt Gelb’s piece on Gonzalez, he quotes Proefrock as saying, “The main thing is to get him in a situation where it’s controlled. We’ll see how it plays out. We don’t know exactly what he’s been doing.” We don’t know exactly what he’s been doing. That is an actual thing our assistant general manager said about a player they signed for $12 million. Brilliant. It is a massive stroke of luck that they actually did not sign him for the $40 plus million that was initially reported before a mysterious injury appeared.
The starting rotation is going to be a big part of the upcoming off-season. Who stays? Who goes? Where does the Gonzalez, the giant, pulsing question mark, fit, if at all? One thing is for sure, don’t ask the Phillies because they have no clue.