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Former Phils RHP Gonzalez dies in accident

Cuban reliever, 34, appeared in 6 games with Philadelphia in 2014
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who defected from Cuba to sign with the Phillies organization and pitched briefly for Philadelphia at the Major League level in 2014, died Thursday in an automobile accident in his home country, the club confirmed. He was 34.

Signed to a three-year contract by Philadelphia in 2013, the hard-throwing righty starred for the Cuban national team before defecting to El Salvador in 2013. He then moved to Mexico, where he signed with the Phillies.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who defected from Cuba to sign with the Phillies organization and pitched briefly for Philadelphia at the Major League level in 2014, died Thursday in an automobile accident in his home country, the club confirmed. He was 34.

Signed to a three-year contract by Philadelphia in 2013, the hard-throwing righty starred for the Cuban national team before defecting to El Salvador in 2013. He then moved to Mexico, where he signed with the Phillies.

Gonzalez was projected to be a star in the Majors, but concerns over his health and age eventually dimmed big league interest in him and shrunk the size of his contract. Rumored to have been offered more than $60 million, the Phillies wound up signing Gonzalez to a three-year, $12 million deal.

Gonzalez reached the big leagues in 2014, his first season, going 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA over six appearances as a September callup. But he never played in the Majors again. The Phillies released Gonzalez prior to Opening Day in 2016, with a year left on his contract.

"The Phillies are saddened to learn about the passing of former pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez," the team said in a statement via Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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