Gio signs Minors deal with Yankees

March 20th, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gio Gonzalez reported to Yankees camp on Tuesday for his physical, which general manager Brian Cashman said he passed. The left-hander, who signed a Minor League deal with the Yankees, is expected to throw in the bullpen on Thursday and could appear in a Grapefruit League game as soon as Saturday against the Blue Jays.

"Now he'll go into the Larry Rothschild University program and see where it takes us," Cashman said, referring to the Yankees' veteran pitching coach.

Though Gonzalez has been active during his period as a free agent, throwing about 80 pitches on Monday, the 33-year-old has not regularly faced hitters and is not expected to be ready for Opening Day.

"I defer to Larry Rothschild now," Cashman said. "He'll engage the player, who'll tell him what he's been doing. There has to be an aspect of trust and believability there, and then he'll see a bullpen session. He's done his physical assessment, so all those evaluations will come into play to see if he's plug-and-play."

Gonzalez's contract is worth $3 million if he’s in the Majors, plus $300,000 for each start he makes, and includes an April 20 opt-out clause.

Gonzalez, 33, was among the most accomplished starters remaining on the free-agent market after going 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA with the Nationals and Brewers last season. Washington dealt its long-tenured southpaw to Milwaukee on Aug. 31 along with international bonus pool money for two Minor Leaguers, and Gonzalez went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA across five starts down the stretch for the Crew. He also made two brief starts against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

Gonzalez owns a career 3.69 ERA across 313 Major League appearances (307 starts) and has averaged 187 innings per season over the last nine campaigns with Oakland, Washington and Milwaukee. He has finished as high as third in NL Cy Young voting, with that placement coming with the Nationals in 2012.