Monday: The Yankees declined to add Gonzalez to their 25-man MLB roster and instead granted him his release, the team announced. He’s now a free agent. Kinda figured this was where this was heading.
Sunday: Gonzalez did indeed exercise his opt-out clause prior to yesterday’s deadline, reports Dan Martin. The Yankees have until tomorrow to release him or add him to the big league roster. I’d bet on the former, but what do I know. We’ll see.
Friday: According to Mark Feinsand, veteran lefty Gio Gonzalez is planning to opt out of his minor league contract with the Yankees this weekend. His opt-out date is Saturday, and once he triggers the opt-out clause, the Yankees will have 48 hours to release him or add him to their 25-man roster.
Gonzalez, 33, signed with the Yankees on March 19th. His contract includes a $3M base salary at the MLB level plus an additional $300,000 per start. Add in the luxury tax and it’s $396,000 per start. Yeesh. Last season Gonzalez threw 171 innings with a 4.21 ERA (4.16 FIP) with the Nationals and Brewers.
Weather permitting, Gonzalez will make one final start with Triple-A Scranton tonight. He has a 6.00 ERA (3.22 FIP) in three starts and 15 innings with the RailRiders, though one terrible start is skewing the numbers. Gonzalez has been solid the last two times out, plus he has tonight’s start as well.
The Yankees will be without Luis Severino until June, maybe July, though Domingo German has looked pretty good as the fill-in starter. That said, there’s no such thing as too much pitching depth. James Paxton, CC Sabathia, and Masahiro Tanaka are no strangers to the injured list, after all.
My guess — and this is just a guess — is the Yankees will let Gonzalez go. German looks good, they’re obviously comfortable with Jonathan Loaisiga as depth, and Gonzalez is pretty pricey. I suppose they could put him in long relief to avoid the starts bonuses, but I dunno. I guess we’ll see.
Feinsand says Gonzalez has fired Scott Boras, indicating he isn’t happy with how the offseason played out. Plenty of teams could use another starter, though that was true in March as well, and Gio said the Yankees were the only team to approach him. He only needs one team to have interest now though.