The Cleveland Indians have a well-known need for outfield help. On Saturday, they added a three-time All-Star to the depth chart, agreeing to terms with Carlos Gonzalez on a minor-league deal. Gonzalez will make $2 million if he makes the club.
The 33-year-old Gonzalez had spent the past 10 seasons with the Colorado Rockies. During that time, he won three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards. More recently, Gonzalez has struggled to find his stroke. The past three seasons have seen him post a 99 OPS+ and average 18 homers per campaign.
To be fair to Gonzalez, it’s likely Cleveland will platoon him which should result in better overall numbers since he’s a far superior hitter against right-handed pitching. Consider that he hasn’t posted an .800 OPS against lefties since 2013; meanwhile, he’s posted an OPS of .826 or better against righties in each of the past four seasons.
Earlier in the week, Cleveland informed Matt Joyce he wouldn’t be making the roster. Gonzalez, then, would seem to be in good position to head north for the spring.