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Nationals sign reliever Mike Gonzalez to minor league deal

May 8, 2012, 5:45 PM EDT

Mike Gonzalez AP AP

Mike Gonzalez‘s inability to land a bullpen gig this offseason always seemed weird to me.

Certainly his lengthy injury history played a big part, especially since he underwent knee surgery shortly after last season, but he has a 2.94 career ERA and was effective last year with a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio in 53 innings for the Orioles and Rangers.

He wasn’t able to find a big-league job but at least Gonzalez has signed somewhere, agreeing to a minor-league contract with the Nationals.

Washington could use the relief depth with closer Drew Storen and fill-in closer Brad Lidge on the disabled list. For now he’ll head to extended spring training and then presumably join the Triple-A bullpen.

  1. natstowngreg - May 8, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Organizational depth. Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny occupy the lefty bullpen slots. When Chien-Ming Wang returns, Ross Detwiler may join them (being out of options). Organizational depth is a good thing.

  2. sumerduckman - May 8, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Another Scott Boras client.

  3. jwbiii - May 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Reasonable enough LOOGY. Don’t pay him too much, don’t fret too much when he inevitably winds up on the DL.

  4. bigleagues - May 9, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    Who knows, perhaps Mike Gonzalez had no interest in returning to the AL East, but short of that I find it perplexing that the Red Sox would commit to perpetual rehab project Mark Prior and I did not see hear or read a peep about them pursuing Gonzalez.

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