Gio Gonzalez signs with Yankees
The Yankees have seen their starting pitching depth tested before the regular season’s even started, with Luis Severino and CC Sabathia both set to miss the start of the year. As a result, they have added a little more depth to the roster, signing former Nationals and Brewers lefty Gio Gonzalez to a minor-league deal. Clearly, after signing so late, Gonzalez is not going to be ready for the Opening Day roster, which is likely why he gets the minor-league deal. He’ll get a base pay of $3 million if/when he does make the majors, which still seems low. Gonzalez can opt-out towards the end of April if he has not yet been called up to the majors. With Severino out until at least May 1, chances are the Yankees will be able to find use for Gonzalez before his opt-out as long as he’s performing reasonably well in the minors. Health is going to be the biggest question in that Yankees rotation all year, so them adding someone like Gonzalez who has been at least average (by ERA+) in eight of the last nine years is a big help for them.
MLB to suggests an increase in minor-league salary
Just yesterday we talked about the Blue Jays boosting the pay to their minor leaguers, the first team to do so. Obviously, MLB has been battling PR issues with their low pay to minor leaguers for years now while also fighting multiple lawsuits. Clearly, they’ve felt it’s worth it as they’ve spent money lobbying Congress and local legislative bodies to maintain these rules. It seems the bad PR is becoming too much, though, and MLB is suggesting an increase in minor-league salary across the league. This comes according to a report from Jeff Passan. Nothing is official yet, but it’s good to finally see things heading in the right direction here. It’s been a long, long time coming.
One of the weirdest themes of the winter was Cleveland shopping their two best starting pitchers — Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer — hoping to find a deal for one of them. The Padres have long been connected as the most logical landing spot, as they have a ton of young position player talent that needs to be supplemented with pitching. Cleveland, meanwhile, has one of the best rotation’s in baseball but a complete dearth of talent in the outfield. Ken Rosenthal reported on Monday that these two sides are still talking, but no deal is close. A deal here would make sense, though I still don’t think it’s going to happen. Either way, it’s totally bizarre that Cleveland didn’t address this outfield issue without trading a legitimate Cy Young candidate. They are World Series contenders, but they aren’t acting like it.