Adding depth and veteran insurance at a valuable position, the Milwaukee Brewers and shortstop Alex Gonzalez have agreed on a one-year deal, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
The contract is reportedly worth $1.5 million with performance bonuses of nearly $1 million. Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter at shortstop last season, Gonzalez played in 24 games for the Brewers before tearing his ACL while stealing second base on May 5 in San Francisco.
Prior to his season-ending injury, Gonzalez was giving the Brewers exactly what they needed at shortstop, hitting .259 with four home runs and 15 RBI, while fielding his position at a high level.
One of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, Gonzalez has pop in his bat. The 35-year-old is just one of nine shortstops in major league history to play more than 1,500 games at the position and hit 150 or more home runs.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin kept in contact with Gonzalez’s agent and have long been interested in bringing Gonzalez back, but the hold-up has been playing time. With Milwaukee committed to young Jean Segura as its shortstop, Gonzalez was exploring his options.
Recently activated in the Venezuelan Winter League, Gonzalez was playing for Frank Kremblas, a former minor league manager in the Brewers organization. With Kremblas as his manager, Melvin was able to get updates on Gonzalez’s health from a trusted source.
Gonzalez will provide veteran depth, a solid pinch hitting option and a defensive replacement at bare minimum. He also offers the Brewers a solid option to turn to if Segura struggles in his first full season in the major leagues.
Before signing Gonzalez, Milwaukee didn’t have much in terms of insurance or a backup at shortstop. Jeff Bianchi, Donnie Murphy and Bobby Crosby were expected to compete for the job.