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Phillies sign Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six-year contract worth more than $50 million

Jul 26, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT

miguel alfredo gonzalez getty Getty Images

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Phillies have signed Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, the highly-touted 26-year-old right-hander from Cuba, to a six-year contract worth more than $50 million.

Gonzalez drew interest from almost every major league team after being cleared for employment on July 15 by the United States government. The bidding came down to the Red Sox and Phillies in the end, according to Passan’s sources, and the Philly front office simply made the highest offer.

It’s a seemingly desperate move for a club that probably needs to be rebuilding and not handing out big contracts to unproven mid-20s free agents, but the Phillies generate a ton of cash and will be signing a massive new television contract soon so maybe it’s not all that risky. If Gonzalez pans out, the Phillies will have another starting pitcher to build around. If he’s no good, the move won’t crush the organization.

The scouting report for Gonzalez, via Passan:

  1. vicvega422 - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    This is a calculated risk and its obvious, now, why they are shopping Lee…I like it.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Shop Lee because the future is now on the doorstep. I really hope this marks a departure from Amaro’s business-as-usual.

    • evanwins - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Where have you heard the Phillies are shopping Lee? I read several reports that were very clear they were “listening to offers” on Lee but not “shopping” him. There is a massive difference between the two.

      They are listening to offers. If someone calls with something ridiculous they’ll consider it.

      They are not actively looking for a deal.

      And listening to offers is what they should be doing.

  2. scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Wow, Amaro makes a move for the future.

  3. richiethek - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Relatively low risk, potentially high reward. Phils building for ’14. Expect them to clear the deck before the deadline.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:46 PM

      A 6 year $50M contract for someone that plays at the A/AA equivalent = low risk?

      • biasedhomer - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Considering he has ace type potential and the Phillies are not lacking funds, this would be a low risk high reward deal.

      • biasedhomer - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        My mistake, not ace type potential, but ceiling is close to a #2 pitcher

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:57 PM

        Dan Duquette said tonight on MLB Network, that these Cuban players are, “just about Major League ready.” Yeah, low risk, especially when compared to other recent Phillies signings.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM

        Dan Duquette stated earlier this evening in an interview with MLB Network, essentially, “these Cubans are just about Major League ready.” Yeah, low risk, and for once in a long time, the Phils are thinking beyond today. Really glad to see them use their financial might to begin to re-establish a contending team.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        And here’s Ben Badler who handles the international prospects for Baseball America:

        I’m not saying it’s a bad signing, but saying this is low risk is hilarious.

  4. jimw81 - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    “”We liked him a lot,” one American League general manager said. “That’s just a lot of money for someone we didn’t know enough about.-AL GM”

    That doesnt sound good. thanks alot ruben.

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Translation: We wish we had the finances to be able to sign him and take the risk, but we don’t.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 12:04 AM

        The issue I have is not the thumbs down, it is the lack of engagement to support them. Signs of cowards to me. I may be wrong at times, but will defend my position.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      Which AL GM? Certainly the Dodgers “didn’t know enough about,” Puig, the Orioles, not enough about Urritia. See my comments paraphrasing Dan Duquette above.

  5. richiethek - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Lee was just scratched for tomorrow night’s game. Explanation: “stiff neck”. Bye bye, Cliff.

  6. Dan Camponovo - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    $8mil AAV is pretty much 4th starter money (see: Joe Blanton). If he totally busts, the 6 years will hurt more, but this deal has the potential to be well below market value based on how MAG pans out.

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Thank you. Please explain this to Drew.

  7. richiethek - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    $8M per on a potential multi-year starter a year before they sign a mega multi-year TV contract? Yeah, you heard it, low risk. This is a team w 4 players (3 of whom are pitchers) making $20M+ per year. They won’t even notice the $8M. Oh, and by the way, Lee’s likely gone and Halladay will be gone at season’s end.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      The concerns I have are the holes to fill, not the disappearing salary. I agree, good move, but this team has a lot more holes that one up-and-coming Cuban. Not so sure on that TV deal, as I think that revenue stream has crested.

      As of right now, Halladay, Utley, Ruiz, the Youngs are gone at enAmaro, make it happend of season. I would move Papelbon, M. Young, Ruiz, and anybody but Asche, Franco, Biddle for some reasonably promising, high-level prospects. And I would move Rollins in heart-beat (I know 10-5 rights).

      The future of the Phillies is now! C’mon Ruben, make it happen!

  8. eaglessuperfan - Jul 26, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Watch him throw. Style wise I would say Pedro

  9. paperlions - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    This move isn’t consistent with a rebuild…it is consistent with a team that plans on competing next year. If you plan on competing next year, then you plan on re-signing Utley and keeping Lee….because you aren’t going to get anyone better to replace them.

    • xmatt0926x - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      I think the interest in keeping Utley is sincere and I agree that this means Ruben feels they can retool and not rebuild. The offense is deathnright now with Revere, Brown, and Howard out. They may feel the offense will be “ok” next season with those guys back. I don’t know.

      I do feel if they can find a couple bullpen upgrades they can at least consider trying to compete. Maybe they feel they can’t blow it up with the TV deal coming in a couple of years.

      • phillyphever - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        If they think the offense is gonna be ok with those guys back next year, I want to have what the FO is smoking. Petsonally, sell the whole and start rebuilding. Otherwise it’s the mid-late 90s all over again.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        I expressed a few days ago that Utley is the heart-and-soul of the team. Keeping him at the right price is worth it to me, although I think the team’s best interests are served having him play first base (to save his knees), and Howard’s untradeable contract precludes that. (And please do not get me started on Rollins).

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      I see this as the beginning of build toward 2016 and beyond (6 year contract). If we expect Asche, Franco, and Biddle to be what we hope they are, then this is the first move towards actually laying a future. Again, a first for Amaro. (Still wouldn’t trust him my lunch money.)

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM

        Again, those clicking thumbs down, please, engage me. Why is this comment wrong or wrong-headed?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        The “thumbs” are one person. The only way to make it go away is to ignore it.

        The Red Sox paid $50 million just to negotiate with Dice-K and then another $52 million to sign him. Didn’t work out so well and this was a player who was extensively scouted while excelling at a higher level of baseball than the Cuban league.

      • paperlions - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        This isn’t building toward 2016 and beyond. The length of the deal is just the cost of doing business. The guy was singing for the most money period. It was essentially an auction. The years are just the cost of getting the guy signed, not part of a long-term plan per se.

  10. thebadguyswon - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Surprising. But this is what happens when you gut your farm.

  11. schmedley69 - Jul 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    I like this move a lot. With teams locking up their players early these days, there aren’t a lot options on the free agent market. Looking forward to seeing guys like Franco, Biddle, Dugan and Gonzalez come up over the next few years.

    • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      That is where we fans need to be. Assuming 90 wins to get to game 163 to enter the post-season tournament, the Phils need to go 41-18 (.695 winning percentage). Not gonna happen, so lets begin preparing the future.

      • scotttheskeptic - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:42 AM

        Those disagreeing, please, state your position. Thumbing me down because I ask for counter-statements without addressing my points is cowardice.

      • paperlions - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM

        Scott, I would guess that many of the thumbs are from your repeated bitching about the thumbs. Don’t let those bother you…..and yeah, of course, Philly should be planning for the future. The debate should be if that is 2013 or 2015 or “both” (trying to maintain a competitive team every year). The farm has some nice players on it, but most of those guys don’t profile as being upgrades over the current production the Phillies are getting. The FA market has been crazy thin….if you don’t want to trade your better prospects and you want to compete next year, adding talent through the international FA market is exactly what they should be doing….but they should also be willing to trade anyone that isn’t likely to be around next year (Michael Young?).

  12. ruthlessandtoothless - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Saw some reporter call him the “Yu Darvish of Cuba”… I’ll take that.

  13. brewcitybummer - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Obviously Baseball America is not the end all be all, but their full write up on him makes this contract seem pretty darn aggressive. I get that 8 million a year is not a lot for starting pitcher but BA’s write makes you wonder if he can start in the bigs. Flat fastball, fringy breaking ball, control but not command, I don’t know how that plays the third time through a lineup.

  14. acdc84 - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    I don’t know a thing about this guy but seeing how the Dodgers didn’t outbid everyone else for his contract it sounds like there’s not a ton of potential.

  15. vegasdestroyer - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Howard – bust. Pap – bust. Halladay – bust. Ruiz- busted. Hey, what’s Amaro got to lose?

  16. knowlegeforyou - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    50MM for a potential long reliever isn’t a great move regardless of what TV contract they sign. I would rather spend 50MM on Josh Johnson during the off season and at least have the upside of an ace with the downside of a bottom of the rotation starter.

  17. Walk - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    I believe the phils did good to sign him. Yeah it is a risk but almost all personnel moves are. The tweet from passan surprised me as I did not know he had a cutter and split. I had only heard he had mid 90’s heat a curve and a forkball. I guess the forkball and splitter are being confused for each other or he is throwing them at different speeds. Regardless I am excited to see him play, hopefully he is in the bigs soon and starts against Atlanta. I have enough free time and cash to see two more games this year, I was considering my first trip to tampa bay but I think I will make that next year. I would like to catch a series if he is pitching though it might have to wait.

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