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Posts tagged ‘Mike Gonzalez’

Gonzalez Signs Two-Year Deal with Baltimore

According to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, Mike Gonzalez is signing a two-year deal worth $12 million, with an additional $4 million in incentives. Gonzalez immediately becomes Baltimore’s best bet to open the season as closer. The Type-A free agent will not cost Baltimore its’ first-rounder, so Atlanta ends up with no first rounders out of their departed relievers in Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. This hurts the fantasy value of Jim Johnson, although he might be used in some strategic matchups and vulture saves. (Rotoworld)

Gonzalez Nearing Agreement with Orioles

The Orioles are nearing a two-year agreement with LHP Mike Gonzalez, reports the Baltimore Sun. This news comes as a bit of a surprise, but Gonzalez was seeking a closing job and should get plenty of save opportunities in Baltimore. The left-hander had a 2.42 ERA this past season for Atlanta, which will receive a compensatory pick plus the Orioles’ second-rounder (their first round pick is protected). The salary numbers aren’t known yet. (Rotoworld)

Gonzalez Declines Braves Arbitration Offer

Mike Gonzalez has declined an offer of arbitration from the Braves. The Braves weren’t so fortunate with Rafael Soriano, who accepted arbitration and could earn up to $8 million through the process. Gonzalez is interested in landing a mutli-year contract with another club and is likely to do so. The 31-year-old had a 2.42 ERA this past season. (Rotoworld)

Type A Gonzalez Likely to Decline Arbitration

According to Jon Heyman of, free agents Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano will decline arbitration from the Braves. No surprise here. As one general manager told Heyman, they are “the two most sought-after relievers on (the) market.” Both are Type A free agents, so the Braves should get a nice lot of draft pick after surrendering compensation for Billy Wagner. (Rotoworld)

Braves Offer Gonzalez Arbitration

The Braves offered arbitration to LHP Mike Gonzalez and RHP Rafael Soriano, but not 1B Adam LaRoche and OF Garret Anderson. Gonzalez and Soriano are both Type A free agents, while LaRoche and Anderson are Type B’s. Gonzalez was a no-brainer, as he is expected to field multi-year offers this winter. Likewise, Soriano is one of the top three closers available. The Braves are dealing from a strength and probably wouldn’t mind if either accepts. At worst, they’ll get a nice lot of compensatory picks when he signs elsewhere. It’s a bit surprising the Braves didn’t offer LaRoche arbitration though, as he batted .278/.357/.487 in 2009, including .325/.401/.557 in 57 games after returning to Atlanta. (Rotoworld)

Jaffe Breaks Down Relief Pitching Market

Baseball Prospectus’ Jay Jaffe did a run-down on the relief pitching market, and here are the relevant comments on 2009 RoadRunners:

Rafael Betancourt: Splitting his 2009 season between Cleveland and Colorado, Betancourt put in a performance that was almost exactly halfway between his incredible 2007 (1.47 ERA, 8.9 K/BB ratio, and 6.9 WXRL, the AL’s second-highest total) and his lousy 2008 (5.07 ERA, 2.6 K/BB, and 0.6 WXRL). He was particularly strong in the heat of the NL Wild Card race, surviving his time at altitude without allowing a single home run at Coors Field. Betancourt misses plenty of bats, keeps the walks to a bare minimum, and generates a ton of popups (11.7 percent over the last three years, about 50 percent above the MLB average) to offset his extremely low ground-ball rate. The Rockies declined a $5.4 million option on him, but his marketability could be hamstrung if they offer arbitration, as he’s a Type A free agent.

Mike Gonzalez: Gonzalez teamed with Soriano to form an effective lefty/righty late-inning combo in Atlanta this past season, and while the latter assumed most of the closer duties midway through the year, Gonzalez did crack the league’s top 20 in WXRL while ranking third in appearances and fifth in strikeouts among relievers. Though he’s left-handed, platoon splits aren’t really an issue for Gonzalez; his career splits are separated by just 32 points of OPS. In 2009, he held lefties to a .194/.255/.327 line, while limiting righties to .218/.340/.359, with that latter OBP inflated via eight intentional walks. To an even greater degree than his tandem-mate, health is an issue for Gonzalez; this was the first time since 2004 that he avoided the disabled list. He’s drawing interest as a set-up man from the beasts of the AL East; viewed as a closer, he’s likely limited to the teams whose first-round picks are protected.

BP Reviews RoadRunner Bullpen Free Agents

Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan reviewed the relief pitcher free agent market, and had the following to say about these 2009 Roadrunners:

Rafael Betancourt: It was mildly surprising that the Rockies passed on his option, because he was a key part of their late-season run and has been that good or better most of his career. Betancourt throws his fastball 75 percent of the time, which is down from where he peaked a few years ago. It’s a decent trick that warrants a guaranteed deal, even one with a vesting option. Betancourt will be one of the few values in a weak market.

Mike Gonzalez: Just twice all year was he asked to pitch in two separate innings, and he handled both assignments, pitching well in those outings and the ones that followed. So, while his history screams “handle with care,” it’s at least possible that he’s finally healthy. Just based on skills, he’s the best reliever available, and likely to get closer money in a Kerry Wood (two years, $20 million) package. The Tigers, Marlins, and Astros could need bullpen help badly enough to spend, though it’s not clear if any of them will. The Braves could do worse than to talk him into staying.

Kiko Calero: Calero now has a 3.24 ERA and nearly a 3:1 K/BB with more than a strikeout an inning in 302 2/3 career frames. He also throws his slider 97.4 percent of the time, and because of that is a pretty big health risk. The skills are worth a two-year deal light on guaranteed money and heavy on appearance incentives; he’ll either be good or unavailable. Calero is one of the good bargains in this market.

Gonzalez Looking Like a High-Demand Free Agent

According to the New York Post, the Red Sox have requested medical records on free agent relievers Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano. Gonzalez, 31, went 5-4 with a 2.42 ERA this season and converted 10 of 17 save chances. Soriano, 29, was 1-6 with a 2.97 ERA in 77 games and racked up 102 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings. He converted 27 of 31 save chances. Both would serve as excellent setup men in the Boston bullpen. (Rotoworld)

Also, Mark Bowman of cites to major league sources who say that Mike Gonzalez has chosen Scott Boras to serve as his agent. Gonzalez was previously represented by Dan Lozano of the Beverly Hills Sports Council. The new affiliation shouldn’t affect the pitcher’s chances of returning to Atlanta, as general manager Frank Wren has a good working relationship with Boras, according to Bowman. Since Gonzalez is a Type A free agent, the Braves will almost certainly offer him arbitration. Gonzalez posted a 2.42 ERA in a career-high 80 appearances as Atlanta’s set-up man in 2009. (Rotoworld)

Nationals “In” on Gonzalez as Hot Stove Season Starts

Bill Ladson of reports that the Nationals have interest in Mike Gonzalez and Mark DeRosa. Gonzalez posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 80 appearances as Atlanta’s set-up man in 2009 and would certainly improve a bullpen that was the worst in the majors for the great majority of the season. He’d be a wiser end-game option than Mike MacDougal. As for the versatile DeRosa, Washington will have plenty of competition, as several teams have already inquired about the 34-year-old. Though he played mostly third base in 2009, Ladson notes that the Nationals have interest in him as a second baseman or left fielder. (Rotoworld)

Roster Moves – September 29th – Final Week 26


  • CM Mat Gamel
  • MI Rusty Ryal
  • DH Oscar Salazar


  • CM Steve Pearce
  • MI Ian Desmond
  • DH Josh Thole


  • This being the final week, only X-Men made any pickups, acquiring OF Tony Gwynn, Jr. to replace Orlando Hudson on the active roster. He also acquired Diamondbacks P Billy Buckner, as a reserve, which won’t really help him in this final week.
  • Final tally of players on the 2009 Atomic RoadRunners: 92  Yikes!
  • Number of players still on the roster from Draft Day 2009: 7 (Chris Iannetta, John Baker, Mat Gamel, Chase Headley, Josh Johnson, Madison Bumgarner, Mike Gonzalez)