Apparently the Milwaukee Brewers think so.
As of a few days ago, the Brewers have made an offer to Alex Gonzalez, but what this will achieve, nobody knows. I’m by no means opposed to re-signing Gonzalez, but it makes you wonder if this is the right move to do. With so much emphasis on the pitching problems lately, the one spot nobody has really seemed to have any problem with has been the offense. Well, why would you? This is a Brewers’ team that in 2012 was rather efficient on the offensive and even defensive side of the ball.
However that said, shortstop had been a mess last year up until the Zack Greinke trade that gave us Jean Segura. Now even with the highly toted Segura at short, this is still a position that lacks experience. Perhaps Gonzalez’s influence for one more year can help try to solidify that problem.
Alex Gonzalez’s veteran presence can help show Jean Segura the ropes. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
So what can we expect of Gonzalez if we were to nab him for 2013? Probably a back-up role.
Let’s be realistic here, Gonzalez is not going to be starter. Not now, not seven months from now, not ever. Unless, knock-on-wood, Segura were to suffer some major injury, would Gonzalez start, but even then Jeff Bianchi still has put in time at short. Gonzalez’s role will be no more than back-up and maybe to pinch hit every once in awhile.
We can’t really count Gonzalez’s 24 games in 2012 against him because of his injured ACL. His bat produces nothing spectacular, his defense is average, but what does matter is his experience at the position. He’d provide solid production as a back-up and probably wouldn’t cost all that much to re-sign, especially considering his injury and all.
What we do know about Gonzalez is that he’s hit decent in Miller Park. A career .259/.301/.385 slash line at the ballpark alongside 12 extra base hits (two being home runs), 17 RBIs and 19 runs scored is pretty efficient, considering for all of his career he hadn’t played with the Brewers until 2012. His career OPS+ of 81 is hardly anything to write home about, but it proves he’s somewhat competent in hitting in his home ball parks throughout his career.
He may not be the perfect solution to what the Brewers currently need now, but he’ll help Segura understand his position more clearly at a major-league level. So when it’s all said and done, I believe the Brewers should re-sign Gonzalez, but only for a one-year deal. With the rise of guys like Segura, Bianchi, and someday Josh Prince, Gonzalez will have no place to fit in, but he’ll know that the job he did was very much appreciated.