The Washington Nationals signed left-hander Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training, making the competition for the last two spots in the bullpen even more intriguing.
The #Nats have agreed to terms with LHP Mike Gonzalez on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 4, 2014
Gonzalez, 35, last pitched for the Nationals in their division-championship 2012 season, in which he posted a 3.03 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work.
The 11-year veteran has a career 3.14 ERA in 509 games with the Pirates, Braves, Orioles, Rangers, Nationals and most recently, the Brewers.
Gonzalez will likely be competing with Xavier Cedeno to become the second lefty in the bullpen, joining Jerry Blevins. While Cedeno is likely the favorite to win the spot because of his strong 2013 campaign, Gonzalez has more big league experience and has pitched in the playoffs, something general manager Mike Rizzo considers to be very important going into 2014.
It should be a fun spring training for the Nationals as the team still has open competitions at several positions. With today’s news, one of those competitions became even more complicated, and it will definitely be something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.