cubaBecause Matt Garza rumors and other trade stuff wasn’t enough to keep you on the edge of your seat this month …

We’ve been following his story for quite some time now, and it’s finally about to come to a head. Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a 26-year-old righty in whom multiple teams are interested, has finally been cleared by the US Government to sign with an MLB team, per Jesse Sanchez.

The Cubs are reported to have serious interestthey’ve scouted him heavily – but uncle moneybags (the Dodgers) is involved, and seems to be the favorite. The Cubs have at least as much reason to want Gonzalez as the Dodgers (or Red Sox or Yankees or whoever), assuming they like what they’ve seen. So, this might be another money test case.

I would expect there to be more on Gonzalez over the next few days. Sanchez says he could sign this or next week (though I wouldn’t expect anything official until at least after the All-Star Game).

Remember: as a 26-year-old Cuban, Gonzalez is not subject to international spending limits (a market in which the Cubs have already been going nuts), so he can sign for as much as someone wants to pay him.

  • JoshO


  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Its really hard to get excited about the cubs possibility of signing him, because the Dodgers must BUY ALL THE PLAYERS. I’d be surprised if Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez signed with anyone besides the Dodgers.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’m not getting my hopes up on signing him. If it takes a bidding war between us and the dodgers to sign him then no thanks. I just don’t want the cubs to blow their resources that is 26 years old and won’t even be major league ready by the start of next year.

      Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is going to command at least 5yrs $60mil. I wouldn’t have a problem signing him to that type of deal a long as he Garza like ability and talent. From every thing I read and heard the guy has live arm but nobody is came out and said they think he’s a sure thing talent. There are just a lot f unknowns about this guy. I’d be happy if the cubs signed him but I just hope if we did sign him do a big 5yr $60mil contract, I hope he lives up to that contract

      • X the Cubs fan

        Everyone I heard has said he could pitch in the majors this year

      • Mike

        Please don’t post anymore, reading that hurt!

        • Scotti

          Uncool. Not necessary.

          • Randy


  • Cory

    This whole situation scares the hell out of me, but at 26 years old it puts him right in our window of contention. I have to say that even without a proven track record the recent trend of Cuban phenom hitters makes me think we should throw the bank at him. Pitching Puig I hope so!!!

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    If we lose out on him, there’s always Suk-min Yoon, a 27yo Korean pitcher, also a free agent. It’d be nice to get Perez for Garza from Texas and then one of those two starters… our rotation would be solid:

    Wood (L)
    Yoon or Gonzalez
    Perez (L)

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Do you think Travis Wood is a long term #3 starting pitcher? I still think of him as a long term good #4. Not trying to argue that Wood isn’t a number #3 but I don’t know I’m still not sold. Yeah he made the all-star team but we’ve seen plenty of pitchers have good first-halfs of the season and then have their performance at season end not dictate an all-star player. Not saying that will happen to Travis though. 18 “quality starts” is a great accomplishment but I think “quality starts” are one of the most over rated stats.

      I really like Travis Wood and think he’s a good pitcher, but I always thought of him as more of a #4 starting pitcher on a great rotation that is competing for a World Series.

      • AlwaysNextYear

        No way is he a 4 in a rotation maybe Detroit but that’s about it. I you don’t like quality starts then ok but he is 26 and really is just getting a chance to be a starter for a full year. He made improvements in the offseason and it works. What other reasons can you give for him only being a low 3 or 4th starter

      • Cory

        I think he is a good 3 or a great 4 in a solid rotation. I love that he spends the off season picking Cliff Lee’s brain. The guy has plenty of room to grow.

        • AlwaysNextYear

          Ok better question I guess what makes somebody a #3 in a rotation versus a #2 or a #4. Just curious what the criteria seems to be from some of you.

          • Jono

            That’s a great question….I wish I had an answer

          • Jono

            Just for kicks, maybe we can describe it like this: a starter’s natural position in a rotation is where they would land in an average rotation. So when someone says “he’s a #3”, it could mean that he’d be the third best starter in an average rotation. Im sure there’s a simple way to calculate average stats for each rotation slot. …….make sense?

            • Jono

              I guess if we do it by previous performance (stats), you have to say wood is a #1 this year. I guess the trick is forecasting

              • Timster

                yes but wood is not a comparative #1 compared to a cliff lee. he’s a contextual #1 on a team of #3s and #4s. i like him though.

                • Jono

                  My point is AVERAGE #1s. Im pretty sure wood is better than 50% of other teams best pitchers

                  • Jono

                    Wood’s ERA is 2.79 and WHIP of 1.04. If we’re only going by stats, he’s the best pitcher on an average rotation. Forecasting is a completely different animal. Again, im not as high on wood as most cubs fans. I want to see a full year

                • Jono

                  I can say david price is a #1, and someone could respond with “he’s not better than kershaw”

                  • AlwaysNextYear

                    That’s not really a conversation about being a #1 that’s a conversation about who the best pitcher in baseball. That conversation comes down to only a few guys.

                    • Jono


                    • JulioZuleta

                      There are probably about 10 true #1’s in all of baseball. Lee, Harvey, Strasburg, Wainwright, Cain (thought not this year), Kershaw, Darvish, Greinke I suppose, Verlander, Felix, Price. I’m probably missing a few, but that’s basically it.

                    • AlwaysNextYear

                      That’s a pretty decent list I would take Grienke off and insert Sabathia and Harvey has looked great but I think a full year is needed to determine if he will be a true #1 but it sure looks like he is the complete package.

                    • Jono

                      Weaver? Cueto? Shields? Iwakuma? Sale? Hamels? Zimmerman? Gonzalez? Scherzer (starting all star game)?

            • Jono

              Then there’s the difference between an average rotation and a world series caliber rotation. Ok, im over thinking this. Sorry, everybody

              • AlwaysNextYear

                Agree a team like the Tigers he is a 4/5 depending on Fister.

          • cubchymyst


            This breaks down the categories for each starter.

          • mudge

            Wood is your ideal 3 and 5/8 pitcher on a team with a .545 winning percentage.

      • Jono

        Im also not AS high on wood as most cubs fans, either. This half season is the best stretch of his career and his stuff just doesn’t look as good as his stats (the seeing-eye-test). Of course im not saying he CAN’T continue his first half production, id just like to see a full year of this before I get as high on him as most seem to be. But if his first half production becomes his normal, then he’d be a great #3

        • John (the other one)

          I just don’t think what Wood is doing right now is sustainable. His babip is far too low, and he doesn’t strike out that many batters. I do think he is a perfectly good pitcher, but he needs a swing-and-miss pitch to move to a high 3 or #2

          • Cory

            The guy has really made strides this year in his pitch selection and ability to pitch inside to both lefties and righties. Although there will be some regression nobody expects him to consistently have a ERA under 3 something in the 3.5 range is probably pretty sustainable. You would love to see his K/9 start to trend upward and if it did maybe he could be a future 2. If your looking for a comp how about Mark Buerhle.

        • AlwaysNextYear

          That’s the tricky thing with Wood and labeling a rotation mark on him, He is still just 26 while yes he is pitching his best you can argue that he really is just getting the shot to be a full time starter vs his previous numbers. I think next year will be the year where you can label him a number 2,3 or 4. I can honestly say though I don’t figure him to be a true Ace in the future.

          • Jono

            Thats the best part, the point im really hoping for, is that wood is simply reaching his potential by finally getting enough innings in and with a couple pointers from fresh eyes. That’s a very reasonable argument that could definitely end up being the case

            • AlwaysNextYear

              Yeah we will see in the second half what happens either way he’s a starter for a team that needs him that’s the most important thing.

              • Rebuilding

                Wood’s BABIP is unsustainably low at 227, but it was also very low last year at 244. It is possible that he is just one of those guys who has a low BABIP w/o a really good explanation. His K rate is actually slightly down as is his BB rate. The real difference this year has been staying away from the longball – his HR rate has dropped from 1.44 to 0.66. That’s far and away the lowest of his career. Is it sustainable? Has it been the weather when he’s pitched? We shall see, but as a fly all pitcher it will be the difference between fringe All-Star and #5 starter

                • Jono

                  Thats some nice info

                  • Bret Epic

                    I don’t necessarily think that his stats as they are now are sustainable, but I do think that in just a year, he’s made some game altering changes. If he can continue to develop on what he’s done already, and maybe work on a solid K pitch, he’s definitely a piece I would like to have for the future.

                    • dob2812

                      He’s given up 9 homers in 122 innings. Fly ball guys, of which Wood is very definitely one, can not do that long term. He’s a fifth starter on a good team and that’s at best. His numbers just are not that good.

                      I’m not trolling here. His xFIP is 4.40 and his xFIP- is 115, meaning that metric projects him to be 15% worse than an average pitcher. xFIP isn’t all that but then neither is Travis Wood. He just isn’t that good.

                    • AlwaysNextYear

                      And then you have this guy above who sits behind a computer looking at a series of numbers saying he’s not that good. Dude get out of here stat geek

      • AlwaysNextYear

        Over-Rated Stats. Quality starts = 6 complete innings with a 3.00 ERA or less. What this tells you is how overrated a Win/Loss record is as a stat with Wood being 6-6 on the year.

        • Bret Epic

          I thought it was 3 earned runs or less in 6 innings, not an ERA of 3.00 in a 6 inning start. That would be 2 earned runs or less for 6 innings of pitching.

          • AlwaysNextYear

            Wrote it out wrong. But yes In baseball, a quality start is a statistic for a starting pitcher defined as a game in which the pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs.

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              A quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) is equivalent to a 4.50 ERA in that start. 4.50era isn’t great. Thats why I think “quality starts” are overrated. I think quality starts are more of statement that the pitcher gave his team a chance to win in the game.

              • AlwaysNextYear

                Isn’t that what you want though, The chance to win the game cause if so you kind of contradicted yourself by saying its a overrated stat.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          I’d agree with you on win/loss. Win loss doesn’t matter, never look at it. samardzija’s record of 5-9, justifies nothing. He doesn’t have a great record but is still a great pitcher

          • AlwaysNextYear

            Yeah I mean even if you don’t like Quality Starts as a Stat the fact Wood has 17 when he has started 19 games tells you he has given his team a great chance to win almost every game. But the Offense/Bullpen has let him down.

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Agreed. What Travis Wood has done with his streak of quality starts has been pretty amazing. He’s a good pitcher. He’s never going to be the guy to wow anyone but his model of consistency and his ability to give his team a chance every time he goes out to the mound is invaluable.

              I’m just going to be interested if he can continue this success into the second half of the season. His BABIP at .227 suggest we can expect regression but then if you look at last year he he put up .244, which is fairly comparable. So I’m not sure. Its kind of one of those things that I think time will tell about him. He might just be one of those guys like matt cain who defy his peripherals, and is good pitcher regardless.

              We don’t have a long track record on Travis yet, and plus if you factor in that his maturation as pitcher and just becoming more knowledgable it would suggest that this is no fluke. He really has matured as pitcher and has made that transition from a thrower to a pitcher.

              If Travis’s success continues into the second half then I will be much more sold on him as great #3 pitcher, instead of where I still see him as a mid-lower #3 and great #4. He is a good pitcher and I think he could get even better

        • JM

          The more I read, the more I believe stats themselves are over rated. You have to ask yourself, ” Do I want this guy pitching for me?”, taking all things in consideration. Marmol’s numbers looked good at times, but we all wanted him off the team. Similarly, there are pitchers whose numbers aren’t all that impressive, but you want them on your team because all they do is pitch well and keep you in games.

          • Hansman1982

            And in marmols case, BB/9 was the GIANT red flag when he had a shiney ERA. In the case of Porcello (a guy with a bad ERA but someone we want on our team), he has an excellent BB/9 and FIP.

            Generally, there will be stats that point to a guy being better/worse than his traditional stats say.

  • MJ

    The Dodgers better be careful of that competitive balance tax threshold. Hopefully that scares them a little bit.

    • Jason Powers

      With 5 billion plus for 25 years in TV revenue, cleared $5,000,000,000, that’s 200 million alone. Plus their gate, merchandising, et. al. – they probably have close to a half billion in revenues coming in 2014. A 220 million payroll + what an overage tax is on the payroll minus that maximum threshold, ten million here or there probably does not scare them, yet.

      Plus I think it takes multiple violations to occur before it reaches a serious level of restraint. So, they just started this year – they’ll violate early and often.

  • boomtown

    Im gonna guess the Dodgers don’t get him. They have to sign Kershaw. He’s gonna get a pretty hefty contract. Already have the highest payroll. Also I saw an article on forbes from 6/14/13, that in their opinion it doesn’t sound like the Dodgers are as well of financially as everyone seems to think. 1.6 of the 2billion price tag was borrowed plus other interesting things in the article

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Interesting. When they started spending so recklessly at first (including accepting all of the Red Sox deteriorating players) I thought they were just made of money. Would be good to know that they are hampered by some of the same funding limitations that the Cubs have.

      • Pat

        Just because they are heavily financed does not mean they are in financial trouble or have spending restrictions.

        No businessperson is going to put down any more than they have to on an initial purchase. It’s the safe play. Especially now with interest rates virtually non-existent.

        In a way, I think what they are attempting is a decent gamble. Dominant teams can create significantly more revenue than good teams. Not looking great so far, but it’s nt a terrible idea.

  • Bfm

    I don’t understand why he isn’t subject to international money?

    • cubzfan

      The international signing pool does not apply to players that are 23 or older and have played at least one year in their country’s major league. This applies to players from Cuba, Japan, Korea, wherever. Any reciprocal agreements that recognize another league’s rules on team rights to players still apply, but the MLB team can offer a “major leaguer” whatever they want.

  • Dan

    LA doesn’t care about money as they grow it and have unlimited funds – I’m not for paying an unknown pitcher 15 million a year but I don’t care as it isn’t my money

  • LEO R.

    I haven’t heard much about the Cubs international situation lately. Can they still get other teams international money with these deadline deals? Do you think they will?
    As far as i know they haven’t made all of there international signings official. Have they?

  • Spriggs

    Bryant in the house tonight at AZ Cubs game. Said he was told he would play here a few games later this week.

  • northsiders6

    Should the cubs have waited for a stronger class to go all in and spend way over? Seems like last year contained more potent and MLB ready talent. Any thoughts?

    • Rebuilding

      Are you talking about international free agents? You can’t wait for a stronger class because next year the penalties are much stiffer and in 2015 there will likely be a draft

  • johnny chess

    Cubs need 3 Top pitchers to win a world series, plus a closer and lefty reliever, and a set up man and a DH and a 3rd baseman and a power hitting outfielder and a lead off hitter a base stealer and a productive second baseman and a manager.

  • jacob w

    Why Exactly does an NL team need a DH?

  • Steve

    With the kids we now have in the system, plus Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Wood, Shark, we have a good start, IMO. Count the international kids and we have a lot of good, promising young talent. Add in whatever we get by trading Garza, Gregg, Soriano, Russell, villanueva,Navarro, and maybe Barney, which I really think we are targeting guys that are ready to play in the majors now, and we are in good shape for the coming years. Next year we have those young guys already in the show, plus Dejesus, EJax, Baker, Strop, Arrietta, Scheirholz, and probably Lake, as well as maybe 3-4 kids we add this year, then free agency or off season trades. I believe next season we will not just be competitive, but we will be a pretty good team, with a good shot at the wild card.

    Plus we will probably be adding another good draft class to the group we now have. I’m really loving how the near future and beyond is looking. With some of our very promising kids debuting towards the end of next year. I say we should go all in on this Cuban pitcher, he’s said to be major league ready, and we are in talent adding mode, anyway we can, this guy could be a pretty good one. He’ll add the Asian pitcher as well, load talent up as fast as possible.

  • Jason Powers

    Last comment for the night:

    Interesting FAs in 2014:
    Brian McCann – good OBP, lefty, probably can get 120 games a season. Likely 15 million, but catching is a tough position to fill consistently. Health is always a concern.
    Jacoby Ellsbury – another 30 year old. Would definitely be a different ballplayer than the Cubs are use to having. But pricey.
    Tim Lincecum – 30 year old. Been down two seasons. What will he command? His velocity has been off since breaking into the bigs.

    Phil Hughes – 28. Hurt alot. Velocity though seems right compared to Lincecum’s drops. Other names are out there like Ervin Santana, etc. But I doubt we sniff at more than 1 10-12 million dollar player for 5 years.


    • SenorGato

      I mostly believe Hughes is a good AL East and Yankee Stadium to NL Central guy. He’s got a good arm, and he throws strikes. Lincecum is not completely lost, but does need to evolve some.

      I like Ellsbury here more than Upton last year, and I did like Upton. Injuries suck, but love the combo of skills and tools.

      McCann would be welcome, as would Carlos Beltran if he does not resign with St. Louis.

      They need to make a trade or two this offseason. See what Colorado is doing – maybe they move Gonzalez or even Tulowitzki. Obviously keep looking for some long term rotation options.

  • Carroll Gomez

    Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was declared as free agent in june 2013. Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox etc. numerous clubs are interested to contract this player.

  • Die hard

    STOP!! They are not Defectors… MLB pays bucko bucks under the table to Cuban Govt so the player can be ransomed to play here– this modern day slave trade is winked winked at by our Govt when it clearly violates ban on trading with Cuba.. HYPOCRISY at its worst so Jumbotrons can be built to sell products … ENUF with this Cuban sugar cane coating!!!!!

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh a die hard conspiracy is better than coffee to get the morning started.

    • EvenBetterNewV2.0

      Did your mother smoke crack when she was pregnant with you?

      • Die hard

        Think with ur ears and not your pie hole— do you honestly believe that Cuba would allow their country to lose all this talent? It’s a scam fueled by yours and my dollars when we buy tkts hot dogs beers etc at game or products advertised at game.. These players see 1/10 of money announced as bonus or salary– rest goes to Cuban govt or middlemen.. Why should u be angry ? Cause our govt is supporting the Cuban dictatorship to the detriment of its jailed or persecuted citizens by allowing this to happen

        • Jeff K

          Hold on, I’m thinking with my ears…nope, nothin’…

        • MichiganGoat

          Why are you afraid of using the letter “Y” when you type the words “YOUR” and “YOU”… has the Cuban goverment gotten to you? Have you sold them words? Have you sold them secrets to get pie? These questions must be answered!

          • Die hard

            It’s not only Cuba– it’s every dictatorship filling up the Cubs training facility down there– consider the Cubs strategy to cultivate foreign born players — then think Amistad– it’s nothing new and just as disgusting

            • MichiganGoat

              Yes… MLB is secretly starting there own Boys from Brazil-esque franchises to single handedly convert all of Latin/South America into a training battle ground of MLB uber-prospects… the drug testing policy is just a way to collect DNA for “secret” projects. Next carnival will be just like Logan’s Run Carousel for all prospect busts.

              Why didn’t anyone see it until now! THE HORROR THE HORROR

              • Edwin

                It’s just the way a prospect’s career ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.

            • caryatid62

              What’s disgusting is fabricating a situation about baseball players and comparing it to the real, unbelievable and ghastly horrors that occurred to millions of people during slavery in order to troll a message board. It’s pathetic.

              • MichiganGoat

                or is it genius…. here take this pill… all will be revealed… embrace the die hardian way… JOIN US JOIN US JOIN US JOIN US

        • X the Cubs fan

          in a way it makes sense…

          • Cubbie Blues

            Ahhh, I see that you are senile as well.

          • caryatid62

            No, no it doesn’t. It’s asinine. It doesn’t even rise to the level of “conspiracy theory,” because a conspiracy requires at least two people to believe in it. It’s blatant trolling.

            • EvenBetterNewV2.0

              I had to LOL at this one. Well atleast he is easy to buy Christmas gifts for. Aluminum Foil by the bundle.

            • X the Cubs fan

              Im not really agreeing with him, but if you think about it why would they let their best players just sneak out of the country when they’re supposed to be so heavily boarderd.

              • MichiganGoat

                Okay you need to put down the drink… and then ask yourself… “AM I AGREEING WITH DIE HARD?”

                Then come back and let us know.

              • X the Cubs fan

                but the other thoughts he had are pretty idiotic.

                • X the Cubs fan

                  Im not saying its a conspiracy but maybe they are selling their players.

                  • Edwin

                    There could definetly be an interesting Human Rights story there.

                    • Die hard

                      What do you think these Academies are? Could not exist without Dictatorship cooperation… Same countries we spend trillions on in terms of spying and defense… C’mon !!!

      • Cubbie Blues

        I thought this was an over the top comment.

        That is until I saw who it was directed to.

    • MichiganGoat

      All this talk… now I’m craving a true Cuban Sandwich from the downtown Cuban restaurant…

      • Edwin

        Cousins Subs?

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh die hard might be a troll but he’s our troll… and its just too much fun to play with some days.

  • turn two

    Sorry, i know I’m late to this but i have to say…think with your ears?…classic

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