I have always been a proponent of a championship team having two left-handers in the bullpen. The Yankees have largely gotten by with Boone Logan the last three years. Former Met, Pedro Feliciano, was supposed to solve that problem last year, but it’s unlikely he will ever throw a pitch as a Yankee due to shoulder problems. Brian Cashman brought in some “scrapheap options” such as Hideki Okajima, Mike O’Connor and Rule V pick, Cesar Cabral.
Former closer Mike Gonzalez is still a free agent. Should the Yankees look into offering him a minor league deal and invite to big league camp?
Joe Pawlikowski asks at River Avenue Blues if its “inevitable the Yankees sign Gonzalez?” Brian Cashman has pursued him in the past, but couldn’t work out a deal while he was in Pittsburgh, and the “no-trade” edict of Peter Angelos made it impossible to pry him from the Orioles. Gonzalez wound up going to Texas last year and struggled during his two-month stint.
I don’t think he will get a big league invite, so it’s likely the Yankees will only have to offer a minor league deal to get him in the fold.
For his career, LH have an OPS of .616; in 2011, he produced a .574 OPS against lefties. According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, Gonzalez “still throws in the low to mid-90s like he did in his prime, when he was one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. The slider remains sharp.”
Gonzalez does suffer from platoon splits; a former closer, RH batters had an OPS of .900 and clubbed 5 home runs against him last season. He is, at this point in his career, a LOOGY.
I think bringing Gonzalez in makes a ton of sense. You could never have enough left handed pitching, and at his best, he’s better than Okajima.
At the very least it will be fun watching Gonzalez make Joe Girardi sweat while he rocks back and forth on the mound before his delivery.