Michael Gonzalez was well aware of all of the trade rumors surrounding him late in July. Having been traded four times in his career, Gonzalez is used to the business side of baseball.
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went with Gonzalez still in Milwaukee, but he still is well aware he could be on the move in the coming weeks. As a player likely to clear waivers, the veteran left-hander is a candidate to be moved in August.
“I’ve been traded twice (in my big league career) and the second time it happened it was at the end of August,” Gonzalez said. “There’s always a possibility. I don’t really think about it that much.
“Whatever happens, happens. I’m not new to the game, I understand how it goes. Anytime you sign a one-year deal it’s always a possibility if you are throwing the ball well.”
In a bizarre series of trades, Gonzalez got acclimated to the business of baseball before he even made his big league debut. In late July of 2003, Gonzlaez was traded from Pittsburgh with Scott Sauerbeck to Boston for Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez.
The Pirates became concerned with Lyon’s elbow and nine days later made another deal to ship him back to Boston. Gonzalez and Freddy Sanchez went to Pittsburgh with Lyon, Martinez and Jeff Suppan going to Boston.
Gonzalez pitched in two games with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket before having to turn right around and head back to Pittsburgh’s Triple-A team in Nashville.
Following three good seasons with the Pirates, Gonzalez was traded with Brent Lillibridge to Atlanta for Adam LaRoche and a minor leaguer in the winter of 2007.
Gonzalez signed as a free agent with Baltimore in 2010, and he drew interest at the 2011 trade deadline. Although he wasn’t pitching his best at the time, the left-hander cleared waivers and was sent to Texas on Aug. 31.
“Once you’ve been traded a couple of times, you understand,” Gonzalez said. “Every team is like a family. It’s going to take a couple of days, you get together, figure the guys out and there you go, it’s another new family. It’s not a big deal for me.”
Signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, Gonzalez has had an up and down season for the Brewers. After being hard to hit in May with a 1.46 ERA in 17 games, Gonzalez has a 5.59 ERA in his last 27 appearances.
Left-handed hitters batted just .179 against Gonzalez last season in Washington, but lefties are hitting .263 against him this year. There have been outings in which Gonzalez has blown through his inning and others where he can’t find the strike zone and is all over the place.
But Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has trusted the veteran, as Gonzalez is tied with Dodgers right-hander Ronald Belisaro and Mets left-hander Scott Rice for the most appearances in baseball with 57.
“I definitely take pride in that, but it’s also a good feeling from Ron, him putting me out there,” Gonzalez said. “He obviously believes in me and believes in my talent and what I can do. I’m thankful for him also.
“I’m just trying to do everything I can to make us a better team and trying to get us to win more ball games.”