Gonzalez announced Thursday via his personal Instagram account that he has elected to retire from professional baseball. Gonzalez had been attending camp with the Marlins as a non-roster invitee, hoping to secure a spot on the team's Opening Day roster as a fifth starter. With Trevor Rogers and Nick Neidert having emerged as the clear frontrunners for the final rotation spot, Gonzalez determined he was best off stepping away from the game rather than reporting to the Marlins' alternate training site at the conclusion of camp. The 35-year-old lefty spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors with the Athletics, Nationals, Brewers and White Sox, going 131-101 with a career 3.70 ERA while earning two All-Star nods.
Gonzalez threw a 32-pitch live batting practice session Monday, Christina De Nicola of MLB.com reports. Gonzalez continues to ramp up his throwing progression after signing a minor-league deal with Miami earlier in the month. The southpaw's fastball reportedly sat around 91 mph, which, as De Nicola notes, would be his highest velocity since the 2016 campaign. "I thought it was really good," stated skipper Don Mattingly. "His breaking ball had more action today. The guys that were hitting said it was tougher to pick up today, it was staying closed longer." The club has yet to decide when Gonzalez will throw next, but he'll continue to compete for a spot on the Opening Day roster. If he makes the club, Gonzalez would likely work as a swing man.
Gonzalez signed a minor-league contract with the Marlins on Wednesday, Craig Mish of SportsGrid.com reports. Gonzalez had been a free agent since having his club option declined by the White Sox in October, but he finally latched on with a new squad, and it is essentially the hometown team for the South Florida resident. Gonzalez's deal includes an invitation to big-league camp, so he will have a chance to earn a roster spot in the weeks ahead. He struggled a bit last season but did post a 3.50 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with the Brewers two years ago, so he may have a little bit left in the tank.
The White Sox declined Gonzalez's (undisclosed) $7 million club option for 2021 on Friday. The veteran left-hander posted a 4.83 ERA, 1.86 WHIP and 34:19 K:BB over 31.2 innings this season, so it's no surprise to see Chicago electing to pay the $500,000 buyout. Gonzalez suffered an undisclosed injury during the final game of the regular season and was left off the playoff roster, and it's unclear if he's fully recovered from that issue.
Gonzalez (undisclosed) is not part of the White Sox's roster for the AL Wild Card Series against Oakland. Gonzalez left his final outing of the year Sunday against the Cubs with an undisclosed injury. It's not clear whether his absence from the roster is injury-related or if the team simply didn't foresee him playing a role during the three-game series. He wasn't particularly impressive in four starts and eight relief appearances this season, as his 4.83 ERA came with a 1.86 WHIP.
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