Huge Risk for Phillies in Gonzalez Deal

gonzalezLate last month, Ruben Amaro Jr. sat in the visitors dugout at Dodger Stadium and answered a few questions about the Phillies’ interest in Yasiel Puig.

He said they took a look and had some interesting conversations with his people, but in the end the Dodgers took a “huge risk” and signed him to a $42 million contract.

“It paid off, so far,” Amaro said.

It turns out $42 million is nothing. A source told last night the Phillies have agreed to terms with Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six-year, $48 million deal, which includes an $11 million option in 2019. Yep, that’s more than Puig got from the Dodgers. It is also more than the A’s gave outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who signed a four-year, $36 million deal, and the Cubs gave outfielder Jorge Soler, who signed a nine-year, $30 million contract.

It’s a considerable risk. The Phillies have never paid an international player more than $1.2 million, and that happened in 2001 with South Korean right-hander Seung Lee. He proved to be an enormous bust, and just from being around the team since 2003 I always got the feeling Lee’s failures (as well as the failures of South Korean right-hander Il Kim, who got $800,000 from the Phillies in 2001 and also bombed) made the Phillies reluctant to go big on international players.

This is a sign the Phillies don’t plan to go into a true “rebuilding” phase or “blow up” the roster and start from scratch, even if they sell a couple pieces before Wednesday’s trade deadline. They still plan to spend money to help them win next season and beyond. That might be what Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and other potential free agents need to see as they consider their options for the future.

But there certainly is plenty riding on this. The Phillies have not had a great run recently with personnel decisions. No team is perfect, but this is a results business and talent evaluations big and small haven’t worked out particularly well: the talent acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade, releasing Jason Grilli, letting Nate Shierholtz walk, choosing John Bowker over Brandon Moss, Chad Qualls, Danys Baez, betting Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. could be everyday outfielders, not developing a player in the minors that can help them more than Michael Martinez or an outfielder that would be better than carrying three catchers out of the All-Star break, etc. They certainly have had some successes, but the team is on its way to missing the postseason for the second consecutive year. Now would be a great time for Amaro’s scouts to hit big.

“You hope those things work out,” Amaro said last month. “Hideki Irabu didn’t work out. [Jose] Contreras worked out on certain levels. [Rey] Ordonez. Dice-K [Daisuke Matsuzaka]. It’s a risk.”

Which way will Gonzalez fall? It will be fascinating to find out.


Good thing they didn’t sign Puig, huh? Huge risk, eh?

Hope it works out but with the Phillies scouting who knows. Amaro is just another Ed Wade with a better tan, great to have a great pitching staff, but if you can’t hit well its good money wasted. Just ask Cole Hamels.

Japhet Amador is a good international signing for the Phillies. Can you get the Phillies to take a look at him? Here is his profile:

Gonzalez throws a mid-90s fastball, along with a curveball, splitter and changeup. In a scouting report for Baseball America, Ben Badler notes that Gonzalez’s curveball is his weakest pitch and that his splitter and changeup are just “a tick above average.” Scouts who like Gonzalez rate him as about a No. 3 starter in the big leagues, Badler says, while others think he might be a back-of-the-rotation starter or low-leverage reliever. MLBTRADERUMORS.COM

Ed Wade is the one that brought all the good players here and then helped out more while in Houston. Amaro has done nothing!!

one of your better articles in quite some time. especially the paragraph where you have the names of certain players that he let go like grilli, moss, and shierholtz. he keeps nix in favor of shierholtz, i wonder what his reasoning was for that no brainer. moss has like 20 home runs this year, how many doew bowker have. lol

This is something new, Ruin throwing tons of money at pitching. Oh wait, I forgot about Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt and Blanton. Ruin needs to buy a copy of “How To Build A Winning Team For Dummies”.

Wow, nice game tonite weinus. I had almost forgotten about u guys, but an “exceptional” performance deserves note. You guys are back to the dried up Free agent well, while braves have homegrown Medlen, Teheran, Minor, Wood and Beachy ready to go for the stretch drive. Oh, and you have seen ROY Evan Gattis. Fun to watch.

Oh, and we had 51k for the game last night. Sold out. Go figure.

My guess is Lee is about to be traded. You can’t believe anything they say about injuries. I think they are holding him back so he doesn’t get hurt and stop a pending trade.

don’t want to get off the signing of this cuban pitcher, but has anybody noticed the batting averages of our 3 top bench/sub players. if you have not noticed i will clue you in mcdonald .085, martinez .125, and my hero nix .177. forget about the mendozza line, when you are fortunate enough to have these 3 stooges on the team. it is the top of the 9th and me being the boob that i am, i am sitting here watching the tigers putting a serious whipping on this dream team, it is like 10-0 and we have 2 hits, and one of them by darin ruf who would not be even playing if not for howard going down. IT IS TIME TO UNLOAD THIS MOB OF ZERO’S.

I liken this move to what someone with a gambling addiction does…keep betting higher, despite a long, ugly string of losses. Ruben is still gambling away this team’s future and it is hard to watch. I hope I am wrong. Maybe this guy is worth every penny of that $48 million. But with a track record of contract busts, the odds are not in favor of the Phillies.

jesus, what is that God awful smell in here. Kind of stinks like a 2 month old cheesesteak you left in the back seat, this summer. You guys talking about trading Cliff Lee? that’s a crack up. You would have to eat that ridiculous contract and get may a 2nd tier Minor leaguer. Ouch. Ruin is killing you guys. You gonna be bad for a while.

ruin is killing us, how long did it take you to figure that out. when you have a chance check out our bench. maybe that new cuban pitcher ruin just signed can win 50-60 games for us next year, i already forgot his name, is it ricky ricardo?

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