Alex Gonzalez's somewhat murky contract situation got a little clearer today as he filed for free agency.
Gonzalez had a vesting option in his contract that would have guaranteed him $4 million in 2013 if he was able to make 525 plate appearances in 2012. It was widely assumed that the option would become a club option when he failed to reach that threshold, but Mike Vassallo tweeted that that's not the case.
The #Brewers did not opt out of anything regarding SS Alex Gonzalez. It was never at any point a club option. Let's get on with the day now.— Mike Vassallo (@MikeVassallo13) October 29, 2012
Gonzalez appeared in just 24 games for the Brewers before tearing his ACL, but hit .259/.326/.457 in 89 plate appearances. He'll turn 36 in February and has appeared in 1559 games over 14 major league seasons as a member of six teams. He's currently 51st on the major league all time list with 1536 games played at shortstop.
Gonzalez's departure leaves the Brewers with an interesting situation at shortstop: Both Jean Segura and Jeff Bianchi will be back for 2013 but have about one full season of major league experience combined between the two of them. The Brewers may consider re-signing Gonzalez or bringing in another veteran just to provide some experience in case their younger candidates struggle next year.
In other news, Shaun Marcum and Francisco Rodriguez also filed for free agency today and the Brewers filled their roster spots by activating Chris Narveson and Mat Gamel off the 60-day DL.