Bless their hearts. The Phillies may be mired in a season-worst six-game losing streak after falling 2-1 to the Tigers in Detroit on Friday night, but Ruben Amaro Jr. is still making moves. In this case though, we’re not talking about some chintzy deadline deal that won’t get this club over the top, but instead a move that may help them down the road.
The Phils agreed to a six-year contract worth $48 million with Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez late Friday night. The deal includes an option for a seventh year at $11 million for the 26-year-old right-hander.
We’re not moonlighting as Cpitching scouts for the Cuban League here at The700Level, so here’s the scoop on Gonzalez courtesy of Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, who first reported the deal:
Gonzalez, 26, wowed scouts after defecting to Mexico in February and rode the success of recent Cuban ballplayers as well as a change in international free agency rules to a payday that with bonuses would exceed the $56 million given to Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish. The guarantee alone beats the previous high for a Cuban, $42 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers to Yasiel Puig.
With a fastball that sits around 93 mph and recently topped out at 96, a split-fingered fastball and changeup that serve as his off-speed pitches, a cut fastball and a slow curve ball, Gonzalez's varying array impressed scouts and executives who flocked to Tijuana to watch him pitch in workout showcases and games. During a handful of starts in the low-level Liga del Norte, talent evaluators saw the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Gonzalez as a mid-rotation piece who could contribute immediately, a factor that no doubt motivated Philadelphia.
Passan adds Gonzalez will report to the minor leagues, but could be pitching in the Majors by mid-August. Just in time to help with a playoff run!