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Reports: Red Sox lose out on right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

07.26.13 at 10:53 pm ET
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According to multiple reports (the first coming from Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports), the Phillies landed right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a 26-year-old free-agent right-hander from Cuba, to a six-year, $48 million contract that includes an $11 million vesting option. The Sox, Passan reported, were the runners-up in the bidding for the right-hander.

Gonzalez features a fastball that was often 89-93 mph in recent years of scouting in international competition but that played up at times into the mid-90s. He complements that with a changeup and an inconsistent breaking ball. Some teams viewed him as a potential mid-rotation starter who could help in the big leagues as soon as this year; others (particularly those that were skeptical about his breaking ball) took a more conservative view, believing that his arsenal would play better out of the bullpen.

While some players from Cuba (including PawSox right-hander Jose Contreras) believed that Gonzalez was close to major league ready, one Red Sox source suggested earlier this week that it would be nearly impossible to bank on the right-hander making a big league contribution this year. That view reflects a host of transitions that Gonzalez must make — more advanced competition than he’s ever faced regularly, a cultural transition to the States, the need to build back up to take on innings, etc. — before he is ready to pitch in the majors.

Nonetheless, the Sox made no secret of their interest in the right-hander, given that, unlike other potential acquisitions at the trade deadline, he would cost an acquiring team just money and not prospects, with CEO/president Larry Lucchino saying on the Dennis & Callahan show this week that the Sox were looking at Gonzalez “pretty hard.”

‘€œThe main drawback [of trading for a pitcher] for us would be giving up the prospects. ‘€¦ That’€™s the hard thing. Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier,’€ Lucchino said. ‘€œWe have some really talented young players in our minor league system, and Ben Cherington guards them like his first-born child. He really does want to grow this team internally. That is the most proven path to long-term success, but we all share that point of view.

‘€œThere are certain prospects that qualify to be trade bait, and other prospects that are so strong, so important to your future that you develop them to be cornerstones of your team in future years.’€

Now, however, any pitching that the Sox hope to add going forward this year will likely require the team to dip into that prized prospect pool. Had the team acquired Gonzalez, it could have either avoided or, at the least, offset such a scenario.

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