MLB Rumors: Gio Gonzalez is not a New York Yankee anymore, as he exercised the opt out clause in his minor league deal on Saturday, and the Yankees did not add him to their 25 man roster. As a result, the lefty starting pitcher is a free agent.
Gonzalez, 33, was one of the casualties of a weird offseason free agent market, though he ended up signing a deal with the Yankees in spring training that had the potential to be lucrative — a minor league deal with an opt clause on April 20, and which provided that, if he was added to the major league roster, he would get $3.5 million guaranteed and $300,000 per start. That would potentially result in him earning $10-12 million in 2019.
However, the Yankees, while having some rotation depth issues with Luis Severino out, have apparently decided they’re comfortable with Domingo German as their fifth starter and Jonathan Loaisiga as their primary insurance, or at least comfortable enough that they don’t want to pay what Gonzalez would get under his deal. Thus, he is on the market.
Gonzalez had a 6.00 ERA in 15 innings for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with 19 Ks, 6 walks and 1 home run allowed, and it is anticipated he will have numerous teams seeking his services. Just in looking at the N.L. East, the New York Mets are in need of starting pitching help, as are the Atlanta Braves, and the Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to have interest in him.
Texas, of course, could use Gonzalez in their rotation, and I suspect that the Rangers will be reaching out to CAA, who took over as Gonzalez’s representatives when he fired Scott Boras last week. The question is whether Gonzalez would prefer a team seen more likely to contend this year, and thus likely to end up shipping him somewhere else in July. In addition, one would suspect a team that views itself as a legitimate title contender would be willing to spend more on Gonzalez than a team that is unlikely to contend would.
My guess is that the market will move quickly, and Gonzalez will have a deal with a team shortly. Its unlikely to be Texas, but there’s always a chance.
UPDATE — Evan Grant says don’t expect Gonzalez to come to Texas: