08/30/13 - Philly.com - Cuban righthander Gonzalez signs with Phillies
CHICAGO - The Phillies have found their likely third starter for next
season, and it was not the guy they sent to the mound to face the Chicago
Cubs Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
As Roy Halladay struggled through five messy innings, the Phillies
announced they had finally signed Cuban righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
to a three-year deal worth a guaranteed $12 million. The deal, which will
begin with the 2014 season, includes a vesting option for the fourth
"We're excited and happy that Miguel Alfredo is going to a Phillie," said
Jaime Torres, the agent for the 26-year-old pitcher who defected from Cuba
in February. "Hopefully he'll help the Phillies get to the World Series
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Gonzalez would report soon to
the team's spring-training facility in Clearwater, Fla., and then
participate in the instructional-league program that begins in
The first reports that the Phillies were on the verge of signing Gonzalez
surfaced at the end of July, with some suggesting that he could receive a
six-year contract worth up to $60 million.
Neither Torres nor Amaro was willing to discuss what dragged the
negotiations on for another month, but the most likely answer is that the
team had some concerns about the pitcher's arm. Gonzalez had surgery to
remove bone chips in 2010.
"Any time you sign a free agent, there is always risk, and we had our
doctors take a look at him and we were comfortable enough to go ahead and
move forward with it," Amaro said.
Torres said that as many as six other clubs remained interested in his
client before he finally signed with the Phillies.
Amaro said the Phillies view Gonzalez as a second or third starter.
"He's got great stuff," the general manager said. "It just all depends on
how effective he becomes at the major-league level. He actually has a
variety of pitches - fastball, cutter, slider, curveball, change-up, split
- so . . . we just have to find out what ones work for him."
Gonzalez has not pitched a lot competitively in the last two years. He was
banned from pitching in Cuba after a failed defection in January 2012 and
then successfully defected in February of this year. The Phillies saw him
pitch several times in Mexico.
Although the deal wasn't close to initial reports, it was still the most
lucrative international signing in Phillies history, surpassing a $1.2
million deal signed by South Korean pitcher Seung Lee in 2001.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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