The Phillies stunned many around the baseball world two weeks ago when reports surfaced that the team had signed Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a major deal with roughly $50 million. MLB.com reporter Todd Zolecki reports today that talks have stalled between the Phillies and Gonzalez which makes it a real possibility that the deal will never be finalized.
Gonzalez, 26, dazzled scouts with his stuff as he had numerous teams interested in his services. He has a fastball that sits in the 92-93 mph range but can top out at 97 mph. He also features a curveball, change-up, and forkball/splitter. He stands at 6'3", 185 lbs. and is close to MLB-ready. The Phillies were expected to send Gonzalez to the minors before calling him up to the Phillies in mid-to-late August.
The general consensus is that scouts believe that he can be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Some believe he has a higher ceiling than others. One concern is that Gonzalez has not pitched competitively since 2011 as he had elbow surgery last year. He defected from Cuba earlier this year to a number of places before landing in Tijuana, Mexico.
I have no basis for this but I can't help wonder if the snag the team hit in the deal is related to concerns about his health and how much money he will be guaranteed. I liked the deal for the Phillies as it gave them rotational depth but now all the talk appears to be moot.
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