PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez became an unconditional free agent Friday after the Oriolesreleased him and he cleared waivers.Next order of business: Try to re-sign him."We still hope we can figure out a way to have him pitch in [Triple-A] Norfolk," manager Buck Showalter said. "In some ways, he's in
PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez became an unconditional free agent Friday after the Oriolesreleased him and he cleared waivers.
Next order of business: Try to re-sign him.
"We still hope we can figure out a way to have him pitch in [Triple-A] Norfolk," manager Buck Showalter said. "In some ways, he's in a no-lose situation. He's going to get offers from other clubs, including us, so we'll see what's the best way to hold our depth and put our best team on the field."
Gonzalez was projected to be the fourth or fifth starter this season. After he posted a 9.78 ERA in six spring starts, however, questions arose about whether he could bounce back from a 2015 season in which he went 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA in 26 starts.
The 31-year-old right-hander had an option remaining, but he would have been making $5.1 million in the Minors, so the Orioles chose to give him 45 days and try to renegotiate. That salary is also the reason he wasn't claimed on waivers, but he has attracted interest from other clubs.
Gonzalez is 39-33 with a 3.82 ERA in 95 career big league starts since 2012.
Showalter spoke to Gonzalez shortly after he cleared waivers. Pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti have also been in touch with him.
"I wanted him to hear from us," Showalter said. "He's already been contacted by three or four clubs, so we'll see where he goes."
• Outfielder Hyun Soo Kim grounded into a forceout during a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning of Friday's 8-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. His status remains uncertain.
Kim, who was given a two-year, $7 million contract and projected as the regular left fielder, batted .182 in the Grapefruit League with no extra-base hits. The Orioles wanted to send him to Norfolk to work on his game, but he has said he will exercise his right to decline to be sent down.
• In eight additional roster moves announced after the game, the Orioles reassigned right-handers Pedro Beato and Todd Redmond, outfielder L.J. Hoes and infielders Paul Janish and Steve Tolleson to Minor League camp. They also optioned catcher Francisco Pena to Triple-A Norfolk. Left-hander Zach Phillips and righty Chaz Roe cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Norfolk.
• Minor League right-hander Felix Rutledge has been suspended 50 games after a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Rutledge is currently on the roster of the Class A Frederick Keys.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.