Alex Gonzalez was coming off a down year at the plate in 2011 and was looking for work. However, his defensive skill set at shortstop allowed him to be signed by the Milwaukee Brewers on a one-year, $4.25 million deal with a $4 million vesting option for 2013. The vesting option would become guaranteed with 525 plate appearances in 2012.
Unfortunately for Gonzalez, he will not be reaching the 525 plate appearance mark in 2012 to guarantee himself $4 million next season. The veteran shortstop played in just 24 games and only received 89 plate appearances this year before suffering an ACL injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery.
To make sense of the 525 plate appearance target, Gonzalez essentially had to remain healthy and as the team's everyday starter in order to reach the mark. With the Brewers having no other options on their big league club or in their farm system that would challenge the 35-year-old for playing time, the 525 plate appearance mark was certainly an achievable target.
Information from Cot's Baseball Contracts was used in this post.