After yesterday’s mixed reports on the Dodgers’ interest in Cuban free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who is expected to sign this week, you had to wonder if that was just bluster, or if the Dodgers really were out.
If Dodgers.com’s Ken Gurnick is right, the Dodgers really are out.
A source tells Gurnick that the Dodgers “are not pursuing” Gonzalez, partly because of pre-existing financial commitments in the rotation. While that may seem crazy for an organization that uses $20s as toilet paper, Gurnick points out that the Dodgers “already have roughly $200 million in future commitments to starting pitchers Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. It will likely take another $200 million or more to keep Clayton Kershaw a Dodger for the long term.”
If the Dodgers are truly out, this could be a game-changer in Gonzalez’s pursuit, as acknowledged by Jesse Sanchez this morning. Sanchez had previously reported that Gonzalez was down to five teams, and, given the tenor of previous reports, it’s a fair guess that the Dodgers were one of those teams. Thus, Gonzalez might now be down to just four teams – with the presumed leader out.
Sanchez says the price has gone up in recent days, which suggests that there’s a bidding war going on.
We don’t know for certain that the Cubs remain involved, although we do know that they were heavily interested at one time. Phil Rogers says that the Cubs will be involved if the Dodgers are out, for whatever that’s worth.
Further, even if the Cubs are still involved, they would be just one of four teams vying for Gonzalez’s presumably very expensive services. Still, the Cubs have as much reason to be interested as anyone. A 26-year-old true free agent starter could fill a whole lot of holes for the Cubs going forward, and just might be worth a serious financial risk, given the upside. That said, the Cubs will only go all out if they really like what they’ve seen.