Four days until Opening Day! And the best of this week? Gio Gonzalez, another of my favorite players, signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. If Gonzalez makes it up to the Yankees, the contract will be worth $3 million, and the Yankees would become the fourth major league team Gonzalez has played for in addition to Oakland (2008-11), Washington (2012-18), and Milwaukee (2018).
Gonzalez, however, also has been with the Chicago White Sox and Philadephia Phillies organizations. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2004 and played in their minor league system in 2004 and 2005 (for the Bristol White Sox, Kannapolis Intimidators, and Winston-Salem Warthogs). In December 2005, he was the “player to be named later” in a deal that sent him and two other players to the Phillies for Jim Thome and cash. Gonzalez subsequently spent 2006 with the Class AA Reading Phillies. In December 2006, the Phillies traded him back to the White Sox along with another player in exchange for Freddy Garcia.
Gonzalez then spent another year in double-A, this time with the Birmingham Barons. Prior to the 2008 season, Gonzalez was traded again when the White Sox sent him and two other players to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Nick Swisher. Gonzalez spent most of the year with the triple-A Sacramento River Cats, though he pitched in 10 games for Oakland. He split 2009 between Sacramento and Oakland before reaching Oakland for good in 2010.
In December 2011, Gonzalez was traded to the Washington Nationals, where he played for almost seven seasons before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 31, 2018. He was granted free agency in October.
Hopefully, the Yankees will keep him around awhile.