Top 5 Suitors for Cuban Phenom Pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has finally been cleared by the U.S. government, and, now, the bidding begins among MLB teams.
Gonzalez posses a fastball in the 90-94 mph range, according to Bleacher Report MLB Prospects lead writer Mike Rosenbaum. "The right-hander’s secondary arsenal consists of a changeup and forkball, as well as a curveball from which he’ll add and subtract to create a variant shape."
Jesse Sachez of MLB.com thinks a deal could happen as early as this week.
CBS Sports' Danny Knobler believes Gonzalez could get a deal in the $40-60 million range and either four or five years on a contract.
So, which teams will be in on the bidding?
Here's a look at five teams that will be players for Gonzalez's services.
Los Angeles Dodgers
There's no question, the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to add Gonzalez.
With Yasiel Puig already in the majors, it would pair the best young hitter and best young pitcher from the Cuban ranks on one team.
According to Knobler, "The Dodgers are said to badly want Gonzalez," but they know they'll face stiff competition for his services.
The Dodgers have shown they have no problem opening up their pocketbooks to sign a player.
And if it comes down to a bidding war, the Dodgers would most likely be the ones to win it.
The Chicago Cubs have also shown their interest in Gonzalez.
With the likelihood that the Cubs will be trading away their ace Matt Garza in the near future, they're going to need a new ace on the roster.
And with no real aces on the free-agent market in the offseason, the Cubs could push hard to get Gonzalez.
With Garza gone, the Cubs will need excitement back in the rotation, as they've failed to get it from guys like Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson.
Chicago has never been afraid to spend big, and this is one case where they should let it all go and do everything they can to bring Gonzalez to the Cubs.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have gotten pretty good pitching from their starting rotation.
But if they want to be that much better in 2014, a run at Gonzalez should not be out of the question.
Clay Buchholz was good before he went on the disabled list, while John Lackey has been a pleasant surprise with a 2.78 ERA this year.
While Jon Lester has struggled a bit this year, he's still the team's ace. Pairing Gonzalez with those four would give the Red Sox one of the more dominant rotations in baseball in 2014.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels are hurting for starting pitching.
The Angels made one of the worst mistakes last year when they traded away Dan Haren and Ervin Santana to clear room to sign Zack Greinke.
However, Greinke didn't sign with the Angels, instead signing with the Dodgers. That left the Angels with Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton as the biggest offseason acquisitions on the pitching staff.
You can expect the Angels won't allow the same thing to happen again.
They need help in the pitching department desperately. To top it all off, there is no help coming from the minors.
So, they need to get help in a big way via free agency.
Gonzalez could do that and slot in as a No. 2 or 3 very easily with Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.
The Oakland Athletics are slotted in as the dark-horse candidate.
There are two major reasons why Oakland could nab the right-hander.
Last year, when fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes was a free agent, nobody thought the Athletics would sign him.
Like with Cespedes, the A's could sneak in there and sign Gonzalez. Having a fellow Cuban on the roster helps.
Let's also remember Bartolo Colon likely won't be back with the club next year. Whether it's because he's going to retire or be suspended in the Biogenesis scandal, the A's will have a hole to fill next year.
Gonzalez could fill that hole and would be a major upset if he were to sign with Oakland.