Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Gio Gonzalez opted out of his minor league contract with the Yankees on Saturday because he is interested in continuing to be a starting pitcher, and the Yanks did not have room for him in their rotation.
On Thursday, he chose the Milwaukee Brewers over the Mets for similar reasons: The Brewers offered him a far better opportunity to start.
After talking with the Mets, Gonzalez agreed to terms on a one-year, $2 million deal -- that's $2.3 million over a full season -- with Milwaukee. The contact includes $2 million in additional performance bonuses.
New York was more interested in Gonzalez now than during the offseason, when they passed. Jason Vargas' struggle as their fifth starter has opened their minds to other options, which is why they sent a scout to Buffalo on Friday to watch Gonzalez' final Triple-A start for the Yankees (that game was rained out).
But the baseball operations department also debated whether Gonzalez, who did not impress scouts during his time in the Yanks' system, was a meaningful enough upgrade over Vargas, not to mention Seth Lugo, Hector Santiago and the like. The team wants to remain open and able to add other players as the trade market develops deeper into the season.
The Mets have not ruled out signing Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel, though sources outside the organization downplay both possibilities. Kimbrel and Edwin Diaz would have to share closing duties, which could be tricky.
Though the Mets continue to troll around the league for upgrades, they are also committed to giving Vargas more chances to stick as the fifth starter.