After spending much of the offseason staying quiet, the Brewers are making their second signing in about a week.
Source: #Brewers agree with Mike Gonzalez.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 28, 2012
Mike Gonzalez and Brewers have agreed to one year deal at $2.250m plus incentives #confirmed
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) December 28, 2012
Eight days after agreeing with Tom Gorzelanny, Doug Melvin has added another 2012 Washington lefty to his 2013 bullpen. Gonzalez is much more of a strict LOOGY than Gorzelanny — while his career splits (.209/.278/.327 vs LHB, .222/.325/.349 vs RHB) are respectable, he’s struggled against righties in recent years (in 2012, they hit him for a .297/.378/.484 line).
The addition of Gonzalez means Ron Roenicke will be free to use Gorzelanny for a full inning if he wishes to do so, or it could allow him to go the Tony La Russa route and start playing L-L matchups earlier in the game.
Gorzelanny’s signing last week put the Brewers at capacity with their 40-man roster, so someone will have to be removed to make room for Gonzalez. Once everything shakes out, it looks like the Brewers might only have one spot up for grabs heading into spring training if you assume a standard five-starter, 12-man staff.
In the bullpen, John Axford, Jim Henderson, Burke Badenhop, Brandon Kintzler, Gorzelanny and Gonzalez would seem to have spots locked up. If the Brewers don’t sign another reliever (which isn’t totally out of the question), that leaves the likes of Fautino and Miguel De Los Santos, Arcenio Leon, Santo Manzanillo, Michael Olmsted, Jesus Sanchez and Josh Stinson to fight for that one spot. Tyler Thornburg and Greinke trade pieces Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena could also be in the mix, but the Brewers seem determined to keep all three as starters. Nick Bucci and Hiram Burgos will also be in camp as 40-man roster guys, while Jairo Asencio, Darren Byrd, Alfredo Figaro and Travis Webb are your non-roster invitees at the moment.
Gonzalez will be 35 in 2013 and is entering his 11th season in the majors. The Brewers will be his 6th team, and 4th in three years. He’s made previous stops in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Texas and Washington.
If Gonzalez is known for one thing (other than being a solid LOOGY), it’s his odd pre-delivery motions. He works with (barely) a toe on the rubber and likes to rock back and forth before starting his delivery. Hips don’t lie:
Don’t worry, he shortens the delivery with runners on base.