Source: Dodgers not interested in Cuban Gonzalez
TORONTO -- The Dodgers are not pursuing Cuban free-agent pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, according to a baseball source.
Speculation has persisted that the deep-pocketed Dodgers, after the success of Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, have offered a contract for as much as $50 million for Gonzalez, a right-hander. But the source insists the Dodgers are not part of the process.
The Dodgers already have roughly $200 million in future commitments to starting pitchers Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. It will likely take another $200 million or more to keep Clayton Kershaw a Dodger for the long term. And they have some promising starters in the farm system like first-round picks Zach Lee and Chris Reed and 16-year-old Julio Urias.
Gonzalez fled Cuba earlier this year, landed in El Salvador and worked out for a month in Mexico City before making his way to Tijuana. He began throwing full bullpen sessions in front of scouts twice each week this spring and later starred in a series of showcases with the Tijuana Toros.
He was granted free agency last month and secured an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which allows him to sign with a Major League team.
The hard-throwing right-hander has a fastball in the mid-90s, a changeup, forkball and a curveball. He made a splash on the international scene at the 2010 University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, and also shined at the Baseball World Cup in '09 and '11. He was suspended from Cuba's national team for most of the past two seasons for trying to leave the island.
Cuban players who are at least 23 years old and have played at least three seasons in a Cuban professional league like Gonzalez are not subject to the new international signing guidelines established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.