There was plenty of speculation and interest in where Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez would end up once the Cuban right-hander officially hit the free agent market in early July. As many as seven teams were linked to him at various points in time, with much of the speculation suggesting that the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be the clear favorites to land his services. On July 26th word first became public, thanks to Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports, that Gonzalez had reached an agreement on a six year, $48 Million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The deal contained a number of bonuses that could boost the total value upwards of $59 Million and included a vesting option for a seventh season, valued at $11 Million.
Philadelphia has yet to officially announce the signing and it would appear that now the deal could be in jeopardy.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki points out that the team has yet to make any public statements about the deal since Passan’s report. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has not even confirmed to the beat writers who cover the team (including Zolecki) whether discussions have or have not been taking place. He simply declines to comment when asked about Gonzalez.
It remains unclear what prompts Zolecki from suggesting that a deal may be in jeopardy. Numerous reports came out after the agreement was first publicized that multiple scouts had expressed concern about Gonzalez’ elbow, as he’s had bone spurs removed from the elbow “sometime within the last two years”. Gonzalez claims to have full recovered from such issues, but questions remain with this latest piece of news.
Should this deal between Gonzalez and the Phillies fail to be completed, it leaves the team with questions heading into next season for their starting rotation. Gonzalez appeared to be a logical fit in the rotation – a rotation that’s primed to lose Roy Halladay to free agency barring something unforeseen – and now the Phillies may need to prioritize adding a starter this coming offseason.