Kansas City Royals: Five Realistic Starting Pitcher Free Agent Targets
This would be a case of life coming full circle. On Oct. 15, 2014, Vargas and Miguel Gonzalez engaged in an epic pitchers’ duel in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Vargas took the win in the series-clincher for the Kansas City Royals, while Gonzalez took a hard-luck loss for the Orioles. Now, it’s possible that Gonzalez will be signed to help replace Vargas in the Kansas City rotation.
On Oct. 15, 2014, Vargas and Miguel Gonzalez engaged in an epic pitchers’ duel in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.
Gonzalez didn’t make it to the big leagues until he was 28 years old. After three good seasons and one bad one in Baltimore, the right-hander signed with the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers acquired him during the 2017 season, but he couldn’t replicate his moderate success with the White Sox (7-10, 4.31 ERA before the trade). In five starts with Texas, Gonzalez had a 6.45 ERA.
At this point in his career, the 33-year-old would be lucky to find a deal with a team option for a second season. Gonzalez won’t command much in a free agent class with some decent right-handed pitching depth. He’s probably never going to be the pitcher who had four sub-4.00 ERA seasons in a five-year span before 2017. However, Gonzalez is a good bet to bounce back from his awful showing in Texas and closely resemble his numbers with Chicago.
If the Kansas City Royals can ink Gonzalez for one year and a couple million dollars, that wouldn’t be the worst thing. His upside is clearly limited, but this team is likely not going to compete in 2018 anyway. A signing like Gonzalez could lessen the burden on still unproven arms such as Jake Junis and Sam Gaviglio — maybe as part of a six-man rotation.