Plenty of teams are interested in 26-year-old Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, but only one of them sent their general manager to check out his showcase in Mexico on Thursday, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. As you might have guessed, considering you're at a Red Sox site, said team and GM were the Red Sox and Ben Cherington.
Gonzalez will be a free agent, unlike other international signing targets, as he's over 23 years old and has the necessary time put into professional Cuban leagues to exempt him, in the same way Dodgers' rookie Yasiel Puig did. The important point to glean from this is that his eventual contract won't be part of the international draft budget, and the highest bidder could mean a very different thing than it would for those still constricted by that format. The Red Sox can absolutely play the money game if they have to, so if they like Gonzalez enough, expect them to put in a serious bid for his services.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Gonzalez has a mid-90s fastball, a change-up, a curve, and a forkball at his disposal. While he hasn't pitched in Cuba for two years thanks to a suspension for an attempt at defecting, he hasn't been sitting around -- he's spent time in Mexico throwing, including but not limited to Thursday's session, in order to stay sharp and impress the big-league clubs who come to watch him.
For your viewing pleasure, we've included video of Gonzalez pitching on the world stage, before he was suspended.
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