Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is currently considering his options before signing with a team, something that Jesse Sanchez reiterates he expects to happen this week. The prevailing wisdom on the big money 26-year-old righty is that the Dodgers, what with their diamond shoes and ivory shirts (uncomfortable, dude), will easily be able to outbid every other team, and Gonzalez will be theirs.
But what if the Dodgers aren’t as crazy about Gonzalez as we think they are?
Sources tell Ken Rosenthal that the Dodgers’ interest in Gonzalez is “not as fervent as some are portraying.” Everyone knows about the Dodgers’ deep pockets, so there is certainly an incentive on Gonzalez’s end to create or embellish interest by the Dodgers.
Then again, Peter Gammons hears that the Dodgers are planning to go to five years and almost $50 million for Gonzalez, and, if they do, Gammons’ source believes Gonzalez will sign with the Dodgers.
It’s a small tweet, but it implies that Los Angeles is Gonzalez’s preferred destination, and they just have to come up to near what another team (or two or five) is willing to pay. Might that “other” team be the Cubs?
We know that the Cubs have expressed interest, and we also know that payroll has trended strongly downward in the last two years. The money to sign Gonzalez should be there if the Cubs believe he’s worth the investment. But if Gammons’ source is right, it might not matter how much the Cubs bid (unless they go absolutely crazy, which isn’t necessarily advisable).
The scenario that’s been set up here is that, if the Cubs get Gonzalez, it looks like it will approach the five years and $50 million Gammons’ source notes (a very hefty investment for a very unproven player – we’re not talking about a Yu Darvish that has played upper level competition, openly for all to see, for several years before coming over). And it looks like it will be because the Dodgers decided he wasn’t worth that much.
Of course, Rosenthal’s report came several hours after Gammons’, and the latter had circulated widely by the time Rosenthal reported. That is to say, Rosenthal could have checked in on Gammons’ report, only to find that he was hearing something very different. If that’s the case, then a lot of this induction goes out the window. And let’s not develop tunnel vision: there are teams interested other than just the Cubs and Dodgers. Indeed, if it’s true that Gonzalez could help a team in the second half this year, then the Cubs might find themselves with slightly less inventive to land Gonzalez than other teams involved in the bidding.
These are just some things to consider as we watch his free agency play out this week. That said: if the Cubs get him, I’m going to be pleased, because this front office wouldn’t go all out on a guy they didn’t really like.