Milwaukee Brewers: Should They Pursue Free Agent LHP Gio Gonzalez?
The Milwaukee Brewers have been having some issues with their starting rotation in 2019. Perhaps they could turn to an old friend to help them out.
Gio Gonzalez exercised his opt-out clause with the New York Yankees, telling them to add him to the roster or release him. The Yankees chose not to add Gonzalez to their roster and let him go back on the free agent market. Could the Milwaukee Brewers sign back their 2018 August trade acquisition?
Gonzalez, 33, lasted on the free agent market a long time before signing a minor league deal with the Yankees.
How Has Gonzalez Performed This Season?
So far, Gonzalez has made three starts with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate. Through 15 innings, he has allowed 10 runs, which gives him a 6.00 ERA. But, he’s struck out 19 hitters in those innings, which gives him an 11.4 K/9, which would rank among his career highs (albeit only three starts, but still).
Could The Brewers Sign Gio Gonzalez?
The Milwaukee Brewers would be a perfect fit for Gio. He’s familiar with this team after making six starts for them last year, including a start in the NLCS after he was acquired from the Nationals at the end of August.
The starting rotation for the Brewers so far this season could be described as “lackluster” as Freddy Peralta has struggled and is now on the IL, Corbin Burnes has already been demoted to Triple-A, and Brandon Woodruff has a 5.81 ERA.
Chase Anderson is now back in the starting group and Adrian Houser is up to make the first start of his career. There’s plenty of opportunity immediately to be found for Gio Gonzalez should he rejoin the Brewers.
Plus, he’s already made several starts in Triple-A and is stretched out and big league ready, making him a more desirable (and still cheaper) free agent option than Dallas Keuchel and an immediate hole-plugger while the Crew still waits on Jimmy Nelson to go on his stretch of minor league starts.
Add A Lefty
With Brent Suter out all season recovering from Tommy John surgery and Wade Miley signing with the Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers lack any left-handed starting pitching options anywhere in the vicinity of the major leagues. Having southpaws in the rotation is an important part of roster construction. It provides a different look for hitters and it’s not a commodity that’s readily available.
With what the Brewers know now about their young pitchers in the rotation, adding an experienced veteran left-hander to that group can only make this team better. He’s a familiar face and one who has proven to be a quality starting pitcher in the past.
It’s still too early to make complete judgments on the young starting pitchers, but this is an opportunity that won’t be available very long, and with the pressure to repeat as division champions on, this is a move that needs to be made if David Stearns has any shred of doubt in his current group.
Gonzalez won’t block any of the young starters should they get into a groove, and will most likely help the Brewers in the interim.