Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was officially signed today by the Philadelphia Phillies. He has a fastball that sits at 91-94 MPH, and can reach 96, on occasion. He also mixes speeds with pitches like the cutter, splitter, and changeup. The 26 year old has impressed scouts and evaluators across major league baseball, say that he only needs "a few minor league starts" before he can join the rotation in the big leagues.
Originally the Phillies beat out the Red Sox in a bidding war. They supposedly signed Gonzalez to a six year, 59 million dollar deal. But, the original deal hit a snag, and they continued to negotiate the contract with Gonzalez. Today, the Phillies signed the pitcher to a much less 3 year, 12 million dollar deal with a vesting option for 2017.
There have been questions regarding Gonzalez's elbow after he had bone chips removed in Cuba, which really drove the price down on his contract. Regardless, the Phillies may have made a great deal with Gonzalez, who is projected to be a mid-rotation starter. The Phillies are not going to have Gonzalez join the rotation this year, as they want to have him in the instructional league first.
The Phillies, not known to go all out on international prospects, took a risk here. Obviously, every team take somewhat of a risk when signing these prospects, but with the production of Jose Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman, the Phillies wanted to get into the mix on these guys.
I think Gonzalez career will be fun to see, and how competative he will pitch will come from his first start in the minors. Phillies fans can just hope that this is a change of strategy and that Ruben Amaro Jr. is trying a new strategy to keep the Phillies above the competition.