New York Yankees offer contract to starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Gio Gonzalez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Monday, the New York Yankees offered a contract to veteran free agent starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Is the injury situation worse than we thought?

At the outset of spring training, the New York Yankees starting rotation looked like it was solid. They were a veteran-laden staff with a sprinkling of young arms to make it interesting. They were to be led by Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and C.C. Sabathia. That is as formidable of a top four as you will find anywhere in the majors.

Things changed. A few weeks ago Severino developed stiffness and inflammation in his rotator cuff. He is just now starting to throw after a two-week rest. C.C. Sabathia’s return from knee surgery and a blocked artery will keep him on the injured list to open the season.

To add insult to injury, starter J.A. Happ has been lit up like the New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square all spring. Suddenly there are holes where they weren’t expected. Not content opening the season with Luis Cessa, Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German in the rotation, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is looking outside the organization for help.

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Left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez has reportedly been offered a contract by the Bronx Bombers. Gonzalez was supposed to be part of a record-breaking free agent class this winter but finds himself unemployed just a few short weeks before opening day. It’s quite a surprise he’s still available.

Over the past several years the now 33-year-old had been a part of the powerful Washington Nationals pitching staff. From 2012 to 2017, Gonzalez went 79-54 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and averaged 33 starts per season. He finished among the top-10 in Cy Young Award voting twice.

As the wheels started to come off the Nats in 2018, Gonzalez struggled. He was 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA until his traded to Milwaukee at the August 31st waiver deadline. With the Brew Crew, he made five starts, with a 3-0 record. Gonzalez became a free agent after the season.

Offering a contract to Gonzalez comes with several questions that need to be answered. Among them:

  • How much time are both Severino and Sabathia going to miss?
  • When they come back, who is the odd-man out of the rotation?
  • Is there a “plan B” if Cashman and Gonzalez’ agent can’t reach an agreement?
  • Why are the New York Yankees so reluctant to go with their young pitching prospects?

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Stick with Empire Writes Back as the answers become clearer.