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Gio Gonzalez Should Be Pitching a New York Team Tomorrow

According to his deal with the New York Yankees, Gio Gonzalez can opt out of his minor league deal today. If and more likely when he exercises his opt out, the Yankees have 48 hours to decide whether or not they want to call him up to the majors or release him.

Now, calling him up may not be as clear cut with him due $300,000 per start. If he were to make even 20 starts, he’d be due $6 million on top of his $3 million base salary. You’d have to imagine even for the Yankees $9+ million is a lot for a sixth or seventh starter.

Of course, the Yankees could circumvent this two ways. First, they can use their exclusive window to renegotiate a deal. On that front, it is interesting to see if Gonzalez switching from Boras to CAA would serve as a benefit or impediment in those discussions.

The other option would be to call him up and put him in the bullpen. If he was in the bullpen, he’s not earning $300,000 per appearance. It should be noted this isn’t necessarily a bad faith decision as Chad Green and Jonathan Holder have gotten off to poor starts.

In the short term, Gonzalez can be a boost in the bullpen, and in the long term, he’s insurance for a Yankees rotation who still does not know when or if Luis Severino will return.

While the Yankees have plenty of incentive to keep him, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports the Yankees are not expected to keep Gonzalez thereby making him a free agent.

If the reports are true, the Mets need to immediately pounce.

With the news Jacob deGrom is headed to the Injured List with a not yet known elbow injury, we’re reminded how thin the Mets starting pitching depth is. We’re also reminded how much the Mets rotation needs another starter with each and every Jason Vargas start.

With respect to Gonzalez, he has been good in his last two Triple-A starts. Over his last 11 innings, he has allowed two earned while walking three and striking out 18. It should be noted that’s good, not great. But by the same token, unlike Dallas Keuchel, he has actually pitched in competitive games and can be ready to pitch literally tomorrow. For that matter, he promises to be much cheaper.

With respect to Gonzalez, it’s difficult to argue he’s much more than a fifth starter. He walks too many, and his strikeouts have continuously declined since 2012. Last year, he walked 4.2 per nine while striking out just 7.8 per nine. That’s a rather unacceptable 1.85 K/BB.

According to Baseball Savant, Gonzalez did have excellent spin rates while being above average in yielding hard hit balls and exit velocities. Still, Gonzalez has been quite hittable, and as noted, he makes matters worse with the free passes.

And yet, he’s a better option than Vargas, who has pitched just 9.1 innings over three starts because the Mets have no faith in him past 80 pitches. That’s if they even have faith in him with his first 80.

At the point, Corey Oswalt, Chris Flexen, and Drew Gagnon have yet to prove themselves at the Major League level. We can ascertain the Mets level of faith in each of them by them not really being put in a position to push Vargas during Spring Training.

So overall, it’s fairly clear the Mets need another starter, and they need that starter now. While Keuchel is the pitcher most everyone wants, Gonzalez is the guy who is cheaper and will be ready to pitch sooner. When you break it down, the Mets can do worse than Gonzalez.

In fact, the team has been doing worse than him, which is why they need to act fast to sign him as soon as he becomes available.

6 thoughts on “Gio Gonzalez Should Be Pitching a New York Team Tomorrow”

  1. OldBackstop says:

    Seriously, you need an intervention on your hatin’ on Vargas. He was masterful last night, fastball up 2 mph over his high on the year, 3 hits over four innings inc a bunt against the shift.

    Gio is unlikely to be any better than Vargas or in-house options. He was like 1-9 with a 7.00 ERA for the middle of 2018, and is getting the crap kicked out of him in the minors, ERA over 6.00. If he was useful the Yankees would use him.

    And…to replace deGrom? If he is the plug-in for deGrom, we may as well just dump the team for prospects. If we lose Jake, we need to trade for an ace, sign Keuchel or Kimbrel, or probably both.

    Oh….shocking that a 30 year old with Tommy John goes on the IL with elbow soreness, huh? Did I mention that possibility when you were screaming to throw 100s mils at him?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Intervention on hating a pitcher who can’t even make it five innings?

      Please be serious.

      1. OldBackstop says:

        Callaway hooking him doesn’t mean he was done. Vargas was at 74 pitches. He regularly was going mid 90s in the pitch count at the end of the season.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’d say the manager pulling a pitcher from a game, especially after he hit for himself, is a very good indication

          1. OldBackstop says:

            Indication of what? Calaway’s mastery and judgement? After Vargas let two runs in last week Oswalt let in six. After Vargas held the Cards to one run over 4, Lugo immediately gave up 2 the next inning.

            Vargas shows he still has it. A little faith by Calloway and he could be 3-0.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Indication Vargas, who walked three, struck out none, and was having rockets knocked down by the wind, was done.

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