Cuban defector could be gamechanger for MLB title chase

  • David Whitlock
Gonzalez has a four-pitch repertoire  Credit: Baseballdecuba.com

Gonzalez has a four-pitch repertoire
Credit: Baseballdecuba.com

There are a lot of ways to improve your team at the trade deadline.  The most talked about in the media is a trade.  Another is to get a key player back from injury.  Or if those two approach don’t work, throw money at a free agent.  Usually you’re talking released retreads.  Except in the rare case of Cuba.  According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could sign within a week, and after a couple of minor league starts, could be up in the majors around August 1.  According to Sanchez:

Scouts believe Gonzalez needs only a few Minor League starts before he pitches in the big leagues and his addition would be similar to acquiring a top pitcher before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Gonzalez was declared a free agent by MLB a few weeks ago as Cuban players who are at least 23 years old and have played at least 3-seasons professionally are not subject to MLB’s new international signing guidelines in the new CBA.  He could command as much as $60MM over 5 years according to Danny Knobler of CBS.com.

Gonzalez has been out of International competition for a couple of years for fear of defection.  Sanchez reports that Gonzalez’s fastball hits the mid-90s consistently, with a change, fork, and curve.

Smart money would look for teams desperately in need of an arm, like the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, or Los Angeles Dodgers.  Although a team like the Chicago Cubs, with salary to burn, might enter the mix.  Or at least drive up the price.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

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