After watching two-fifths of their starting rotation fall victim to injuries, the Yankees have made their move to stabilize the situation. Fancred’s Jon Heyman has reported that the Yankees and left-hander Gio Gonzalez are closing in on a deal. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal had the details of the agreement first: a minor-league contract that pays Gonzalez $3 million if he makes the majors, plus the option to opt out of the deal on April 20th.
The question of whether the Yankees would address the shaky back-end of their rotation lingered for days after Luis Severino went down with a shoulder ailment, and CC Sabathia progressed slowly from offseason heart and knee operations. This deal gives us something of a definitive answer. The likes of Domingo German and Luis Cessa will presumably still have the chance to contribute at the big-league level, but now, the team has a known veteran option to turn to.
That Gonzalez was had for so little has to come as a bit of a surprise, at least based on expectations heading into the offseason. The 33-year-old doesn’t have age on his side, but he does have performance. Even as he’s entered his 30’s, Gonzalez has averaged 183 innings over the past three years, maintaining a 3.87 ERA and 3.95 FIP during that span.
We’ll have to wait and see exactly what shape Gonzalez is in and how prepared he is to help the Yankees, but at the moment, the move looks like an easy one for the team to make. Gonzalez appears to have something left in the tank, and the Yankees have a hole in their rotation. Even if Severino and Sabathia come back healthy and effective, the opportunity to add depth in the form of Gonzalez must have been too good to pass up.
We’ll have more coverage of the move as details emerge. What do you think of the signing? Let us know in the comments below.