KC Royals Should Target Miguel Gonzalez

The KC Royals have made mountains out of mole hills when it comes to pitchers. They could find another diamond in the rough in Miguel Gonzalez.

The Baltimore Orioles granted Miguel Gonzalez his unconditional release yesterday afternoon. This is mainly due to the fact that he was set to make $5.1 million in 2016 and they’ll be able to recoup over four million dollars of that money.

He had been one of the better starters in the league from 2012-2014 if not even a little underrated. Twice in those three seasons he posted an ERA of 3.25 or better and he did it with a bandbox for a home ballpark.

In 2015, he was limited with a lingering groin injury that saw him record an ERA of 4.91 across just 144.2 innings of work. He carried over those poor numbers to this year’s Spring Training with a 9.78 ERA across just over 19 innings of work. Don’t let a poor Spring Training scare you away from a quality pitcher though. Here are a few good pitchers with high ERAs this spring.

The point is, writing off a healthy Miguel Gonzalez because of a few poor outings this Spring seems pretty premature. Baltimore’s loss could stand to be Kansas City’s gain.

In the article linked above, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes:

He pitched well in his final start on Tuesday, allowing one run over five innings against the Atlanta Braves. He allowed seven singles and one hit batter, but he seemed to recapture his command, which had been a big part of his success. He effectively used his secondary pitches — his breaking ball and split-finger changeup — to keep the ball on the ground and induce a pair of double-play balls.

But Showalter didn’t give Gonzalez a rousing endorsement after the start, calling his results merely “good” and saying that his command was still “not as good as I’ve seen him.”

“He had better feel for all his secondary pitches,” Showalter said. “That’s what allowed him to get some results, and some really good defense behind him.”

If Gonzalez just needs some good defense behind him to get good results then the Kansas City Royals may be able to welcome him in with open arms. If nothing else, he’s an insurance piece in the event that Chris Young and Kris Medlen don’t work out.

According to the same article, he’s well liked in the clubhouse. The Royals are a team that is built on positive team chemistry and adding more clubhouse guys to the mix is never a bad idea.

In spite of his terrible numbers in 2015, he still owns a career ERA of 3.82 and 6.5 Ks/9. He’s also got a WHIP of 1.284 which puts him just between Francisco Liriano and Mark Buehrle over the last four seasons combined.

All in all, he’s a pitcher that can pitch to contact and let a strong defensive unit reduce his ERA a great deal. He’s out pitched his FIP numbers in every season so far, and the Royals have a tendency to help that even more.

If he’s not claimed within 48 hours of his release, then he’ll become a free agent and a new contract can be negotiated. He’s already going to get paid around one million dollars by the Orioles not to play for them if he becomes a free agent.

He was already only signed through 2016 on his current contract, so perhaps he’d be willing to take a lesser one year deal to try and earn a big contract next off-season.

What do you think KC Royals’ fans? Would you want to see the Royals take a run at a player like Miguel Gonzalez? Is he worth a flyer if the price is right? Which pitcher would get kicked to the curb to make room for him? Let me know your thoughts in the comments’ section below.