The New York Yankees have designated outfielder Oscar Gonzalez for assignment, the team announced Wednesday. Releasing Gonzalez was an administrative decision to make room for the newly signed Marcus Stroman on the 40-man roster.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated OF Oscar Gonzalez for assignment.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 17, 2024
The Yankees now have ten days to trade Gonzalez, release him, or assign him to the minor leagues. New York claimed him off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians back on December 1. Gonzalez, who turned 26 last week, hit .214 with a weak .551 OPS in just 54 games last year.
This after Gonzalez hit .296 with 11 home runs and a .789 OPS as a rookie in 2022. His main issue is his .269 lifetime batting average is paired with a .299 OPS and 21.5% career strikeout rate (K%). He’s also a poor fielder despite a strong arm in right field.
It seems most likely that the Yankees will try and offload Oscar Gonzalez for a player to be named later and/or international signing money. The team is loaded with outfielders and just signed Dominican prospect Francisco Vilorio. Barring a dominant spring training, Gonzalez was never going to be more than organizational depth in the Bronx.
Thus, given how he played in 91 games for Cleveland in 2022, there should be at least one team interested in Gonzalez. Even with last year’s regression, he did well after being sent to the minors. He hit .287 with 13 home runs and .819 OPS at Triple-A Columbus.
Pair him with a hitting coach who can teach him patience, and Oscar Gonzalez can easily bounce back as a platoon DH.