Veteran left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez with the New York Yankees to pursue a big-league job elsewhere. On Wednesday, Gonzalez reportedly agreed to terms with a different team, the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he finished last season:
Gio agreed to brewers deal: 2M base, which is equivalent of more than 2.3M over a full season. 2M in performance bonuses. Points system for bonuses. MLB deal.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 24, 2019
Although Gonzalez didn't pitch as well in Triple-A as expected (he permitted 10 runs and 19 hits in 15 innings), historically he's been a quality mid-rotation arm. His reputation for being inconsistent on a start-by-start (or inning-by-inning) basis has belied the fact he's steady season-to-season. Need evidence? Consider that he's posted an ERA+ of 100 or better in eight of his last nine seasons; he's made at least 30 starts in eight of those nine seasons; he's recorded between two and three times more strikeouts than walks in eight of those nine seasons; and so on. He may frustrate here and there, but in the end he'll get his numbers.
That should make Gonzalez a welcomed addition to this Brewers rotation, which entered the season young and bushy-tailed and has since suffered from loss and poor performance. Freddy Peralta is on the injured list; Corbin Burnes is back in the minors; and Brandon Woodruff is sporting a 5.81 ERA (albeit with strong peripherals). Add in Jhoulys Chacin's struggles, and the Brewers effectively have one starter from their Opening Day rotation carrying their weight, and that's Zach Davies, who is officially listed at 155 pounds.
It's possible Gonzalez struggles as well -- he's 33 with more than 1,800 big-league innings to his left arm, so if he's done it's a well-earned done -- but it's a worthwhile gamble at a cost that's far less than what Dallas Keuchel is demanding. Besides, the Brewers had to do something: They entered Wednesday having dropped six of their last seven. Given how tight the National League playoff picture figures to be all season, proceeding without addressing the rotation in some way would have been an unforced error.