Aug 10, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT
They’re revocable waivers, so it’s far from a given that Mike Gonzalez is on the move. Nonetheless, one wonders if the Orioles would simply let him go if he’s claimed.
Gonzalez was given a two-year, $12 million contract last winter to step in as the Orioles’ closer. However, he went on to struggle in spring training and then blow two of his first three save chances before landing on the DL with a shoulder injury. He missed nearly 3 1/2 months.
Since returning in late July, Gonzalez has allowed two runs and six hits over nine innings. He’s struck out five and walked three. His fastball velocity, which was down in March and April, is back in its usual 91-94 mph range.
So, it certainly seems now that Gonzalez is back to being a valuable reliever. Still, if the Orioles could get out from the approx. $1.7 million he’s owed over the rest of this year and the $6 million he’s make next year, they might be willing to let him go for nothing.
The Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that could potentially be willing to take on that kind of obligation for a setup man. Though if the Red Sox went that route, it’d seem to rule out any chance they’d have of escaping a luxury-tax payment at season’s end.
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