The New York Yankees rotation took a hit with the loss of Luis Severino for the first month of the season. General Manager Brian Cashman beefed up his arsenal with a veteran arm Monday, signing Gio Gonzalez to a minor league deal.
The #Yankees have reached agreement on minor-league deal with starter Gio Gonzalez that will pay him $3 million if he reaches the big leagues, as @JonHeyman first reported. Gonzalez won't be ready for start of the season, but has an April 20 opt-out, per @Ken_Rosenthal— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 19, 2019
Despite Gonzalez, the 33-year-old savvy lefty, being up and down the past few seasons, this seems like a steal for the Yankees. Gonzalez made $11 million in 2015, followed by three seasons of being a $12 million arm. If Gonzalez makes the team, the Yankees will only owe him $3 million, and if he doesn’t, he can ask to be released by April 20.
Gonzalez struggled to open the season last year with the Nationals, his seventh in the nation’s capital, after a tremendous age-31 campaign in 2017. He went 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.18 WHIP despite leading the league in walks. That caught up to him in 2018 as his WHIP rose to 1.53, walking 4.3 per nine.
A late season trade saw the Gio Gonzalez of old. He looked sharp for the Milwaukee Brewers on their run to the postseason, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA and a 22-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in five starts. He didn’t fare so well in the postseason and by year’s end, he was a free agent.
Gonzalez was a victim of the quiet offseason and sat idle. With the Yankees getting dealt a huge blow with the loss of Severino for at least a month and C.C. Sabathia not getting any younger, Gonzalez seems like a solid veteran addition that provides a safety net should he be able to quickly get into form by Opening Day.