Yankees News: Gio Gonzalez Released from Minor League Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2018, file photo, Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez throws during the first inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that left-hander Gonzalez and the New York Yankees have agreed to a minor league contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday, March 18, 2019, because the agreement had not yet been announced. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The New York Yankees have been tested by injuries in the early going this season but will not keep left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez for depth purposes. 

On Monday, the Yankees announced they released the southpaw from his minor league contract instead of adding him to the 25-man roster. That means he is a free agent and can sign elsewhere as he looks to revamp his career.

Randy Miller of NJ.com noted Gonzalez signed a minor-league pact with the Bronx Bombers this offseason after he didn’t receive a major-league contract offer. He utilized an opt-out clause in his contract just two days ago and would have been in line for a $3 million salary and a $300,000 bonus for each start if New York called him up.

General manager Brian Cashman explained the rationale behind the decision to release him during an appearance on WFAN with Mike Francesa (h/t Miller).

"In the dialogue that I’d had directly with him as well as our own assessments was it worth us throwing $3 million into the bullpen and then hope it works out?" he said. "Also, he had so many incentives that geared up toward starting so it wouldn’t be a tradable thing for any of these teams that are going to sign him now as a starter. They’ll make a new deal."

Gonzalez was an All-Star in 2011 on the Oakland Athletics and 2012 on the Washington Nationals but is 33 years old and didn’t generate much interest last time he was on the market.

Still, he is not far removed from impressive performances considering he posted a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 188 strikeouts in 2017 for the Washington Nationals. While he struggled in 27 starts for Washington last year (4.57 ERA), he bounced back after the Milwaukee Brewers acquired him via trade with a 2.13 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in five starts.

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