He's on the move yet again. Gonzalez Germen, once a Yankee just this offseason, has been designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs, the fourth team to send him packing since December. The 27-year-old reliever might be the most slightly wanted man in American baseball. Where will he end up by the time spring training starts in a little over two weeks?
He came up in the New York Mets organization as a starter before moving to the bullpen in 2013 and getting a call up to the majors that year. He was entirely uninteresting and ineffective, which likely led to the Mets designating him for assignment after the 2014 season. One thing made him intriguing to potential suitors:
Gonzalez Germen had the second-best changeup in baseball last year by whiffs and grounders. I would've picked him up on that alone.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) December 19, 2014
The Yankees bit and bought him on December 19, completing their first trade with the Mets since they reacquired Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia in 2004. Germen was added to the 40-man roster, displacing Preston Claiborne from the organization, though he didn't seem like a safe bet to stay himself when I identified him as a DFA candidate by January 6. At the time, I wasn't exactly enamored by what he showed when he moved to the bullpen:
His strikeout numbers have only risen slightly, if at all, while his walk rates have suffered greatly. He wasn't exactly great as a starter either, but if we're talking about Triple-A depth, it might be more useful to try him out as a starter again. If they can sneak him through waivers he'd be a welcomed addition to a depleted Scranton rotation.
The Yankees designated him for assignment a month later to make room for Chris Martin after he was acquired from the Rockies. Germen was picked up off waivers by the Rangers on January 20 and was DFA'd again only days later. He joined the Cubs on January 23, but ended up getting cut again on February 4. Four DFAs in a little more than a month is not how you're supposed to baseball. It's probably the weirdest series of transactions since Adam Rosales played waiver-wire ping pong between the Athletics and Rangers in August 2013. In that scenario, the A's DFA'd Rosales and the Rangers picked him up. They then proceeded to DFA him and Oakland took him back. He was designated by them a second time and the Rangers claimed him again.
Thanks to the guys at Amazin' Avenue, you can keep track of where Gonzalez Germen has been this year. I'd totally watch this road trip movie:
He'll likely catch on with someone, somewhere eventually. Again. Don't be surprised if he ends up getting claimed by another team or two in the interim. Mostly don't be surprised if he ends up playing for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, the Leones de Yucatan Mexican League team, the Lotte Giants of the KBO, or the Hanshin Tigers of Japan by the time everything is said and done. But seriously, he'll likely keep moving from system to system until someone can sneak him through waivers and stick him in Triple-A. Good luck, Mr. Germen, it would seem that you very much need it.