White Sox: Gio Gonzalez could be a major bargain
The White Sox made a very smart signing when they decided to bring in Gio Gonzalez to fortify the rotation.
It was announced on Friday that the deal would be for one-year and $5 million with a club option for the 2021 season.
At that price, the left-hander is absolutely worth it to bring him to the south side.
One of the craziest stats I’ve heard was from Jeremy Frank. During the 2010s, Gonzalez had a slightly higher bWAR than Madison Bumgarner (32.3 as compared to 32.2) while also pitching fewer innings.
Bumgarner, 30, got a five-year, $85 million contract this offseason from the Arizona Diamondbacks which on average per year is more than three times as much money as Gonzalez got. The latter didn’t even get a guaranteed second season on his deal.
Obviously, there are other factors that went into Bumgarner getting a contract of that magnitude such as his super impressive postseason resume and his age.
But, that statistic just exemplifies how sneaky good Gonzalez has been over the last decade or so.
For his career, the 34-year-old has a 3.68 ERA, 3.65 FIP, and 1.315 WHIP with 8.6 K/9 as compared to 3.8 BB/9.
Up until last season, Gonzalez almost never missed a start as he had started 30 or more games in eight of the previous nine seasons. Unfortunately, he only made 19 appearances (17 starts) in 2019 due to left arm fatigue.
That injury could have been partially due to not signing until April 27 with the Milwaukee Brewers, meaning he did not have a normal Spring Training. His arm very well might not have been prepared for the toll of the season.
Despite that, he still performed when healthy with a 3.50 ERA this past season.
The southpaw obviously isn’t the most exciting pitcher to watch and his signing certainly wasn’t that flashy.
But, if the team decides to make another starting pitching addition and have Gonzalez serve as the second-best starter added this offseason, they could be rewarded big time.
Gonzalez is just the type of proven arm a team should want its young pitchers to learn.
While Lucas Giolito doesn’t need much tutilage, arms like Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and eventually Carlos Rodon could certainly learn a thing or two from Gonzalez who has had a long career despite not possessing a power fastball.
It also is a cool reunion taking place between Gonzalez, Giolito, and Lopez as all three pitched for the Washington Nationals in 2016. That familiarity could certainly help clubhouse chemistry.
The signing of Gio Gonzalez should not be overlooked as it could prove to be one of the best bargains of the offseason.