On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies inked Cuban fireball spitter Miguel Alfredo Gonzelez to a the richest contract for an international prospect in MLB history. The Phillies deal totals $60 million over six years and dwarfs the seven-year, $42 million deal the Dodgers gave Yasiel Puig.
Like most Cuban prospects, not much is known about Gonzalez, which is why many clubs steered clear of joining the bidding. Gonzalez will join a pitching staff in transition as some believe Gonzalez will rise to the majors by mid-August and ace Cliff Lee will be dealt to a contender while the Phillies retool their aging roster.
via Yahoo Sports:
With a fastball that sits around 93 mph and recently topped out at 96, a split-fingered fastball and changeup that serve as his off-speed pitches, a cut fastball and a slow curve ball, Gonzalez's varying array impressed scouts and executives who flocked to Tijuana to watch him pitch in workout showcases and games. During a handful of starts in the low-level Liga del Norte, talent evaluators saw the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Gonzalez as a mid-rotation piece who could contribute immediately, a factor that no doubt motivated Philadelphia.
The Phillies are believed to have outbid the Boston Red Sox as negotiations were finalized Friday. More than a dozen teams showed significant interest in Gonzalez, though as his price skyrocketed, the market thinned.
"We liked him a lot," one American League general manager said. "That's just a lot of money for someone we didn't know enough about."
The deal matches the length and is around the same money as Boston gave Daisuke Matsuzaka when he came to the United States from Japan. The total outlay, of course, is not close to Matsuzaka or Darvish, for whom the Red Sox and Rangers paid more than $50 million to their Japanese teams to negotiate. The contract is closer in total value to the $61.5 million the Dodgers paid this offseason for six years of pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is 8-3 with a 3.25 ERA.