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Mike Gonzalez will not be returning to Red Sox organization

05.08.12 at 5:36 pm ET

According to multiple reports, lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez has agreed to a minor league deal with the Nationals.

According to a major league source, the Red Sox did have some discussions with Gonzalez’ agent, Scott Boras, about the possibility of the pitcher agreeing to terms with the Sox, but the lack of a guaranteed spot on the major league roster (thanks to the presence of Rich Hill, Andrew Miller and Frankin Morales) made Gonzalez view the situation in Washington as a better fit.

The 33-year-old is coming off offseason knee injury, having pitched in a combined 56 games between the Orioles and Rangers in 2011, finishing with an ERA of 4.01. He limited left-handed hitters to a .214 batting average last season. Gonzalez has a career 56 saves, having served as the closer for the Braves for parts of the 2006, ’08 and ’09 seasons.

In case you forgot, the Red Sox once acquired Gonzalez in 2003 in a deal that sent him and Scott Sauerbeck to Boston for Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez. But after the Pirates raised concerns over Lyon’s elbow, the deal was tweaked, with Gonzalez going back to Pittsburgh with Freddy Sanchez for Lyon, Martinez and Jeff Suppan.

He pitched in two games for Triple-A Pawtucket in ’03, earning a save.

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