It was reported over the weekend that Gio Gonzalez was going to opt out of his minor league contract with the Yankees, and today New York officially announced that they were releasing Gonzalez back into free agency. According to Andy Martino of SNY, the market for Gonzalez now is expected to be more robust than it was over the winter. Two teams that are interested in acquiring the services of the veteran left-hander so far are the New York Mets and our Milwaukee Brewers:
The market for Gio Gonzalez will be more robust than it was in the winter, with the Milwaukee Brewers now interested in bringing the lefty back, according to major league sources.
The Mets, who were only minimally interested in Gonzalez during the offseason, are more intrigued now. Gonzalez is seen internally as a more likely addition than free agent starter Dallas Keuchel.
The Brewers began the year with three promising young pitchers in their starting rotation that had fewer than 30 MLB starts between them. But the trio of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta have all struggled mightily; Burnes has already been exiled to the minors and Peralta is on the injured list. Woodruff, the most successful of the three, has a 5.81 ERA. Add in the difficulties that Jhoulys Chacin has endured (5.92 ERA) and you get MLB’s sixth-worst starting staff, combining for a 5.62 ERA.
While Gonzalez is no longer the front-line arm that he once was, he should still be able to provide stable, inexpensive innings out of the starting rotation and a respected veteran presence in the clubhouse. He worked to a 4.21 ERA in 30 starts and 171.0 innings last season, including a 2.13 ERA, a 73 DRA-, and an 0.95 WHIP in 25.1 innings after being picked up by Milwaukee in a waiver trade on August 31st. He struggled in his first minor league start with New York after missing most of Spring Training, but allowed only two earned runs with 3 walks and 18 strikeouts in 11.0 innings during his final two Triple-A starts before leaving the Yankees.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs