Two weeks ago, the Phillies and Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez agreed to terms on a six-year contract worth more than $50 million. Bonuses could push the value to $60 million, potentially making it the largest contract ever given to an international player.
The team never acknowledged the deal because it was not yet final, and now it looks like it may never be. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the two sides have hit a snag, possibly related to the health of Gonzalez's elbow. He had surgery to remove bone spurs within the last two years, though he is said to have made a full recovery.
"He's a real talent," one scout told Scott Miller of CBSSports.com in June. "He had some bone spurs, and he's still building up, but his stuff is top shelf. He threw it over the plate, and he can make it move. He's really good."
Gonzalez, 26, defected in February after he was suspended from playing baseball in Cuba following a failed defection attempt in January 2012. He held several workouts in Mexico before signing and is said to throw in the 94-95 mph range with his fastball while touching 96.
The Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox and other teams all had interest in Gonzalez before his agreement with the Phillies, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. If the health of his elbow is indeed in question, it's likely Gonzalez will have to take a smaller contract offer.