The former Baltimore Orioles pitcher was due to earn $5.1 million in arbitration this season before being granted his release
The Toronto Blue Jays are set with their five starting pitchers to open 2016, not to mention a handful of options beyond those names, but a rumor this afternoon links them to free agent right-hander Miguel Gonzalez.
Now 31 years old, the Mexican pitcher will be a familiar name to Blue Jays fans after spending the past four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
Gonzalez dealt with groin injuries throughout 2015 before elbow and shoulder soreness hit, limiting him to 26 starts in what was his weakest season to date. Over 144.2 innings pitched, Gonzalez posted a 4.91 ERA with a 9-12 record.
Through 19.1 innings this spring training, Gonzalez owned an ugly 9.78 ERA while surrendering five home runs and struggling with his control.
The appeal of Gonzalez clearly rests in three seasons prior. He made 69 starts in 75 appearances from 2012 to 2014 with a 3.45 ERA. With a FIP closer to 4.50 in those seasons to go with walk and strikeout totals that were not elite, though, perhaps Gonzalez had a regression year coming.
He is bound to receive ample interest on Minor League deals, but will surely hold out for a guaranteed contract if at all possible.
If Gonzalez is looking for a quick ticket back into a Major League rotation, though, Toronto doesn’t make a great deal of sense from his side of the table. Beyond the starting five, Toronto has Gavin Floyd, Jesse Chavez, and Drew Hutchison all at the ready to take over.
So while adding further starting pitcher depth is by no means out of the question over the coming days as rosters churn, Gonzalez isn’t looking like the most logical match for the Blue Jays.