If the first month of the Philadelphia Phillies‘ relationship with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez proved anything, it is that he doesn’t mind long negotiations with GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
In late July, the Phillies and Gonzalez, 26, reportedly agreed to a six-year pact worth in excess of $50 million. On Friday, more than a month later, that was revised downward to three years and $12 million.
The rub was the Phillies’ concerns over Gonzalez’s sore elbow, and the organization impressed upon the player that they needed some assurance going forward that it was okay Dragging out the negotiations saved the organization roughly $38 million.
The two sides agreed, and now Gonzalez will have three years to show the Phils that their investment was worthwhile before getting a raise.
Scouts have had differing opinions on how advanced Gonzalez is, but this is a pitcher who won the final game of the World Baseball Classic for Cuba in 2011 and, considering the troubles that several major league stars have had hitting international pitching, he must be pretty far along.
Gonzalez has been added to the 40-man roster and will now report to the team’s spring training complex in Clearwater, Fla. For however long he stays there, Phillies fans will flock to see Gonzalez working out in hopes that he can join pitchers like Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels in giving the Phillies the best starting rotation in baseball.
Now Amaro can get about the business of fixing the bullpen, which could prove to be a more vexing problem.