Sources: Reliever Gonzalez to sign with O's

BY foxsports • December 17, 2009

The Orioles and left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez have reached preliminary agreement on a two-year, $12 million contract, two major league sources confirmed to FOXSports.com.

The signing was first reported by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. The contract, which is pending a physical examination, could be worth $16 million if Gonzalez reaches all available performance incentives.

Baltimore intends to use Gonzalez as its closer, one source said. As a result, Wednesday’s agreement could affect the market value of remaining free agent closers Fernando Rodney and Jose Valverde. Only a small number of teams are looking for a closer; the Nationals and Tigers are in that group, and neither plans to spend lavishly to fill the role.

Gonzalez went 5-4 with a 2.42 ERA in a career-best 80 appearances for the Braves in 2009. He also recorded 10 saves. The average annual value of his contract -- $6 million -- is slightly higher than the per annum of Brandon Lyon’s recent three-year, $15 million deal with the Astros.



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