Red Sox Interested In Cuban Free Agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
The Red Sox are likely to make a splash at this year’s trade deadline, and that splash is likely to be for pitching. The Red Sox have already acquired left-handed reliever Matt Thornton and were in on Matt Garza before he was traded to the Rangers. They are still reportedly interested in White Sox starter Jake Peavy (7-4, 4.19 ERA) and a plethora of relievers. However, Cuban free agent pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is one name that the Red Sox have been mentioned with and he could be the ideal acquisition for Boston.
May 6, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
First and foremost, acquiring Gonzalez would not force the Red Sox to trade prospects from their deep system. Red Sox president Larry Lucchino has commented that Ben Cherington guards the team’s prospects “like his first-bord child” and thus that “reaching into your pocket for your wallet much easier.” However, there is a possibility that Red Sox management would have to reach pretty deep into their pockets. Gonzalez is expected to command a hefty paycheck, as he is the most prominent international free agent this season.
The Red Sox would have to decide whether spending potentially big money on Gonzalez is a good idea. Projections vary wildly on the 26 year old starter, some projecting him as high as a #3 starter and some as low as a long reliever. Scouts are not extremely high on his stuff generally, but he is viewed as a guy who knows how to pitch effectively, with good command and instincts.
One of Gonzalez’s best qualities is that he could probably help not only in 2013, but in the long run unlike a pitcher like Peavy. As a prominent international free agent, he would likely command a contract of 3-5 years. Upon signing, a team would probably stick him in Triple-A for a few weeks to watch him more carefully. If he performs well, he could probably work at the major league level for the latter weeks of the season. Not enough is known about Gonzalez for me to really have an opinion of him, but not giving up prospects is certainly a good aspect of a potential deal.