White Sox Sign Gio Gonzalez 16 Years After Drafting Himby Joe Heller December 21, 2019 0 comments
After another miserable season for Chicago White Sox fans where the team failed yet again to make the playoffs, the optimism of the off-season arrives as fans know full well where the holes are on this team, as well as which areas can use improvement. With a pool of free agents full of proven talent, starting pitching was the obvious choice to make improvements.
But while free agency got off to a hot start across the league, the White Sox did nothing.
Stephen Strasburg, off the board.
Gerrit Cole, gone.
Madison Bumgarner, also gone. He would have been a perfect fit, and for a bargain compared to Strasburg and Cole.
Gio Gonzalez isn’t the signing everyone was expecting, but the two-time All-Star nonetheless signed a deal that will pay him $4.5 million in 2020. The Sox hold a club option on for the 2021 season.
Last season, Gonzalez went 3-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 19 outings with the Brewers. He struck out 78 and walked 37 in 87 innings.
Gonzalez, 34, will return to the team that drafted him in the first round with the No. 38 pick in 2004. In fact, this will be Gonzalez’s third stint with the team after they traded him twice as a prospect to add talent after their 2005 World Series championship.
The Sox traded Aaron Rowand and Gonzalez to the Phillies for Jim Thome on Dec. 8, 2005. A year later, the Sox acquired Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd from the Phillies for Freddy Garcia. In January of 2008, they traded Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney and Fautino De Los Santos to the Athletics for Nick Swisher.
So, finally, Gonzalez will make his Sox debut 16 years after they drafted him out of high school. He has a 130-99 career record with a 3.68 ERA in 332 appearances (324 starts) in 12 seasons with the Athletics, Nationals, and Brewers.
He brings veteran leadership to an otherwise young rotation that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. Michael Kopech is returning after missing all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. Carlos Rodon will be unavailable at the start of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in late May.
The White Sox have been quiet this off-season, only making a pair of moves prior to the Gonzalez signing.
The first move they made and was a no-brainer, resigning Jose Abreu, who has been the one consistently productive player for this team ever since his rookie season. He signed a three-year, $50 million dollar contract back in November.
The other move was the signing of switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal. They inked the former Brewer to a four-year, $73 million dollar deal.
Perhaps the front office isn’t done yet, but only time will tell.