The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms on a minor league deal with left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez, according to a team announcement. According to a baseball source, Gonzalez will earn a base salary of $1.5MM if he makes the major league roster and can earn an additional $750K in incentives.
Gonzalez, who turns 36 in May, returns to Washington, where he spent the 2012 season. In 47 appearances that year, the southpaw posted a 3.03 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 35.2 innings before signing with the Brewers last offseason. In 75 appearances with Milwaukee last year, Gonzalez was 0-3 with a 4.68 ERA in what is the worst statistical season of his major league career.
The Nationals have been looking for left-handed relief help all winter, being linked to almost every free agent option as well as those available in trade talks. Gonzalez will be paired with Jerry Blevins as the new lefty additions in the Nats' bullpen after a winter in which they pursued options like Eric O'Flaherty, Boone Logan, and Oliver Perez.
In 509 appearances over eleven major league seasons with the Pirates (2003-2006), Braves (2007-2009), Orioles (2010-2011), Rangers (2011), Nationals (2012) and Brewers (2013), Gonzalez is the owner of a lifetime 17-24 record and 3.14 ERA.