On Monday morning, the Yankees released left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez from his minor league contract. He will not be added to the Yankees’ 25-man roster and is now a free agent.
When the Yankees signed the veteran lefty in March, it was thought that he would be part of the rotation, especially with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia opening the season on the injured list.
The Yankees' starting rotation performed so well to start the season that Gonzalez, an 11-year Major League veteran, never got the call up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On Sunday, Gonzalez exercised his opt-out clause, giving the Yankees a 48-hour window to make a decision on his future with the team, prompting his release on Monday.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said on WFAN on Monday, "He's gonna sign somewhere and be a starter with somebody in the big leagues. So that wasn't the issue. But we had talked to representation through the winter and then stayed in touch with him through the spring and once his market hadn't developed and he never had any offers, we brought him in as a non-roster invite under the guise as starter insurance, so the contract was designed in that way, too. He has no interest in being a reliever, and so now we're staring at this opt-out, where he's pitched well his last two outings, and I don't have a starting spot for him. So it's that or throw him in the bullpen and say hang with him."
There could be a bidding war for Gonzalez, who finished last season as a key part of the playoff run by the Milwaukee Brewers, as teams like the Red Sox and Mets could certainly use help in their rotations. This is ultimately why he asked the Yankees to release him.
Gonzalez, 33, combined to go 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA (171.0IP, 167H, 84R/80ER, 80BB, 148K, 17HR) in 32 starts with the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers in 2018. He was traded to Milwaukee in late August, and in five starts for the Brewers, he went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA (25.1IP, 6ER) and 22K to help lead the Brewers to their first division title and postseason berth since 2011.
In 313 games (307 starts) across parts of 11 Major League seasons with the Oakland Athletics (2008-11), Nationals (2012-18) and Brewers (2018), he is 127-97 with a 3.69 ERA (1,814.0IP, 744ER). He ranks fifth among all pitchers with 283 starts this decade (since 2010).Following his first All-Star nod with Oakland in 2011, Gonzalez finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting with Washington in 2012 after leading the Majors with a career-high 21 wins (21-8, 2.89 ERA in 32 starts). In 2017, he placed sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting, going 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA in 32 starts with the Nationals.
Yankees Sign Brad Miller:
On Monday afternoon, the Yankees signed veteran infielder Brad Miller to a minor league contract.
Miller, 29, played in 13 games for Cleveland this season, hitting .250 (9-for-36) with 4R, 3 doubles, 1HR, 4RBI, 4BB and 1SB. The left-handed hitter made all 13 appearances (12 starts) at second base before being designated for assignment on 4/15 and electing free agency on 4/17.
He is a career .240 hitter (542-for-2,263) with 273R, 106 doubles, 25 triples, 76HR, 272RBI and 241BB in 693 games across seven Major League seasons with Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-18), Milwaukee (2018) and Cleveland (2019).
The Orlando, Fla., native has made a majority of his career starts at shortstop (375G/350GS) but has started at every infield and outfield spot.
He was originally chosen by the Mariners in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Clemson University.