As a 26-year-old with over three years of service in the professional Cuban league, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is a real international free agent, and not subject to the strict budgetary laws of your typical, teenage international signing. What this means is that the idea of going to the highest bidder takes on new meaning once those involved in the bidding only have their own financial ceilings to worry about, rather than those imposed upon them by the league. With that in mind, it's not a surprise to see that Gonzalez is rumored to be in line for a deal worth upwards of $60 million, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler.
Yasiel Puig, as Knobler mentions, shocked the baseball world last year when the Dodgers threw $42 million at him. That's worked out splendidly for them to this point, with Puig playing exciting defense for the Dodgers while also posting a 231 OPS+ in his first 22 major-league games, so it's no wonder that they're also heavily involved in the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez sweepstakes. They might be the one who hands him that enormous deal, even:
suggested to team it beat Dodgers to Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez by buying Key West, giving it to the Cuban RHP. Reply:"Might not be enough." LA— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) June 25, 2013
The Red Sox are also interested in Gonzalez. General manager Ben Cherington was the only GM in the game to witness Gonzalez's showcase last week, as every other team in attendance sent an assistant GM or scouting director or what have you instead. He isn't the only one who has seen him, either, as Knobler reports that the Red Sox have sent eight scouts to view Gonzalez.
The worry with international contracts like what Gonzalez will get, as Red Sox fans know, is that the player won't live up to the cost. If Gonzalez turns out to be even a mid-rotation starter, though, $60 million isn't all that much money for a pitcher of that caliber in their mid-20s. There's the chance that things go awry, like they did for Daisuke Matsuzaka, but also the chance that Gonzalez turns into someone very useful and worth the investment.
To put it another way, the Red Sox have so many pitching prospects that they could sign Gonzalez, be disappointed with him, and probably not even a skip a beat while building their next couple of rotations. Unless he's an awful big-league pitcher, he's likely to be worth what he signs for, even if it seems a little absurd out of the gate given what we're used to rookies being paid in the normal salary system.
Plus, if he fails, they could always just send him to the Dodgers.
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