The Philadelphia Phillies made a big-time signing on Friday, snagging Cuban star pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez for a pricy $50 million over six years. The contract could end up approaching $60 million — nearing a record for an international player.
Over the years, international players have become a hot commodity in the free agent market. Two years ago, Yoenis Cespedes was signed to a huge contract with the Oakland Athletics as well as Yu Darvish to the Texas Rangers. This past season, Yasiel Puig was signed to a big contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and all three of these signings have paid off.
The Phillies are looking to make up their nine games of lost ground in the NL East by bolstering their rotation, however, this move looks as if they are focusing toward the future, as in next season, because Gonzalez will likely be sent to the minors and not be brought up until next season.
With Cole Hamels struggling mightily, Roy Halladay seemingly disappearing and Cliff Lee being the only consistent starter, Gonzalez could be a top-of-the-rotation guy come 2014.
This could end up being one of the best international signings in MLB history, but right now, all we have to base it off of is speculation of his talent. The 26-year-old Cuban star has been said to throw his fastball in the mid-90s and could end up being one of the best pitchers in the Phillies’ rotation next year.
While fans may have wanted a move that could help the team out now, this will be very beneficial toward the future of the organization.