We are continuing our trade deadline series on the blog, titled "Trade Targets," which looks at some possible deadline acquisitions for the Texas Rangers and why they might or might not make sense for the club.
Today's target: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
OK. I get it. Gonzalez isn't technically a trade target. He's a free agent available right now -- apparently, he's ready to sign with a club this week, according to his agent -- for a team looking for a starting pitcher. Many scouts rave about Gonzalez with one telling me he's mid-90s on his fastball, can touch 96 mph and has a nice assortment of pitches, including a splitter to go along with a cutter/slider and changeup. This isn't a project. He might need one or two minor league starts, according to reports, and he'd be ready to go. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez said in a recent story that scouts believe his addition would be "similar to acquiring a top pitcher" before the deadline.
He's 26 and could help the Rangers' rotation now and in the future. Some reports indicate it could cost as much as $60 million over five years. The Rangers have interest, but whether that extends to being able to outbid a gaggle of teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, remains to be seen.
If you're curious of Gonzalez's back story, here's part of Sanchez's story on him:
Gonzalez fled Cuba earlier this year, landed in El Salvador and worked out for a month in Mexico City before making his way to Tijuana. He began throwing full bullpen sessions in front of scouts twice each week this spring and later starred in a series of showcases with the Tijuana Toros.
He was granted free agency last month and secured an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which allows him to sign with a Major League team, on Monday.
The appeal of it, from my standpoint, is that the club could add a starting pitcher without giving up any prospects. But it is a big-time financial commitment and there's plenty of competition to get him.
Would you take the chance, even if that means $60 million?