Brewers Sign Another Veteran Reliever

Mike Gonzalez

The overhaul of the Brewers bullpen continues.

Following their signing of Tom Gorzelanny last week, the Milwaukee Brewers were thought to possibly have acquired the only left-handed relief pitcher that they would carry to begin the 2013 season. This was an inaccurate thought.

The Brewers were connected to Gonzalez (6’2″, 215 lbs) this off-season, even as specifically as Doug Melvin mentioning the veteran relief pitcher by name, but have shown interest in the past as well. Before he signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2010 season, the Brewers had chased Gonzalez a bit at the 2009 Winter Meetings.

This could be a significant acquisition for the Brewers on a couple of levels. Not only does it provide manager Ron Roenicke with a LOOGy option out of the bullpen, but it allows him to use Gorzelanny differently as well. You don’t have to necessarily save Gorzelanny for a specific late-inning matchup because a tough left-handed hitter is looming down the batting order. Gonzalez can handle that situation late. Conversely, if there’s a high-leverage situation earlier in the game that needs the touch of a lefty out of the ‘pen, Roenicke wouldn’t have to burn Gorzelanny before he’d prefer to.

Obviously as with any signing, the money and year(s) will factor into how “good” the signing is, but from a production standpoint I like this signing a lot by the Brewers.

Gonzalez will have to be utilized properly though by Roenicke to make the most out of whatever Gonzalez is being paid.

Gonzalez vs. LHH: .179/.257/.269, 67 AB, 12 hits, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 23 strikeouts, 7 walks
Gonzalez vs. RHH: .297/.378/.484, 64 AB, 19 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 16 strikeouts, 9 walks

Those are splits worth adhering to strictly.

A veteran of parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues, Gonzalez enters 2013 at age 34. The Brewers will be his sixth team following the Pirates, Braves, Orioles, Rangers, and Nationals. He owns a career 17-21 record, along with a 2.94 ERA, a 144 ERA+, a 10.3 K/9 ratio, and a 2.51 K/BB ratio.

Of note, the Brewers 40-man roster is full so once the Gonzalez deal becomes official, a corresponding roster move must be made. That isn’t expected to take place until after the first of the year though because the Brewers offices are technically closed for the rest of 2012.

***UPDATE (1:13pm): Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the deal is for just one year. That’s great to hear!***

***UPDATE 2 (1:20pm): ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets the base contract value.***

I know he’s 34, but he also made $6 million in each of the last two seasons. If Bowden is right and it’s $2.25 million base (with incentives), and that’s after “beating out” the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals for Gonzalez’ services…that’s quite a good deal financially.


  1. Pingback: Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers – #51 Michael Gonzalez « The Brewer Nation

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