Red Sox targeting Cuban pitcher

The Guru
Contributing Writer

CBS Sports is reporting that the Red Sox are one of the teams scouting Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.

Call it the “Puig effect”.

The Dodgers seem to have scored big when they signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig for $42 million, so it’s no surprise they are in on Gonzalez as well.

However, the Red Sox have sent eight, count ‘em, eight scouts to evaluate Gonzalez Friday in Mexico. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was the only GM in baseball to witness Gonzalez's showcase first hand last week.

"He's a real talent," one scout told CBS’ Scott Miller. “His stuff is top shelf. He threw it over the plate, and he can make it move. He's really good.”

Gonzalez threw his fastball mostly at 94-95 mph.

The 26 year-old is surely an interesting target for the Red Sox. Gonzalez has over three years of professional experience in Cuba which makes him a true international free agent. What does that mean? It will be costly to sign him.

While, Gonzalez won’t have the kind of budgetary restrictions of a typical young international player, a bidding war may break out. Think a $60 million bidding war.

Is the risk worth the investment? Scouts say it is. Many believe Gonzalez is near-MLB ready. He might need a month or so in the minors, but he should pitch in the majors this season. He projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter with No.2 upside.

With the questions in the Sox rotation regarding Jon Lester's recent slump and the concerns over Clay Buchholz' health, Cherington and the gang are certainly doing their home work on Gonzalez. But don’t think for a minute the Red Sox brain trust is not discussing how things went last time they entered a bidding war over an international player and paid over $100 to sign Daisukue Matsuzaka.

But, the 6’3” right-handed Gonzalez just might be too good to pass up.

Besides, if he ends up on the Red Sox and things go south, just pick up the phone and give Magic Johnson a call.

Should the Red Sox target Gonzalez? Leave a comment below

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