— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 20, 2019
The minimal free agent interest generated prior to his New York Yankees pact lights a fire for Gio Gonzalez.
For major league baseball players, certain things can provide motivation. One game away from the championship, a release, and a benching are all examples of that motivation.
For Gio Gonzalez, the lack of calls from other teams is what is giving him his motivation for the 2019 season.
Gonzalez was signed on Wednesday by the New York Yankees to a minor league pact. The Yankees interest came from a couple of injuries in their rotation to start the season, as well as to provide depth to a rotation that isn’t likely to avoid the IL the rest of the season. Luis Severino and C.C. Sabathia have put the Yankees in a bind to explore options outside the organization.
The former National and Brewer went 10-11 with an above four ERA last season which doesn’t sound promising, but Gonzalez has been a player of consistency throughout his career. Gonzalez is 30 games over .500 and has accumulated a 3.69 ERA over 11 seasons.
“It’s pretty much the only organization that saw something in me,” Gonzalez said. “It’s something to use as fuel. I think these guys have a really good shot this year to do something wonderful. I really want to be a part of something like that,” according to a report by ESPN’s Cole Harvey and the Associated Press.
Gio explained that the Yankees gave him something he couldn’t turn down. This could certainly bode well for the Yankees if they need his services this season. The former Athletic ace has an opt-out and if he isn’t on the big league club by April 20 he can elect free agency.
The Yankees could have signed the more popular and former Cy Young pitcher Dallas Keuchel but elected to take a different route for the help they needed in their rotation. Gio most likely was a deep discount over Dallas and there was far less risk.
It is highly unlikely the Gio will be ready for opening day due to his delayed start in spring training, but if the Yankees need him, they hope he is ready and performs like the Mr. Consistency he has shown for years.
He may become a stable and important part of a World Series Contender. Every team needs pitching throughout the year and the Yanks jumped on it early.