Free-agent pitcher Miguel Gonzalez reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, per’s Scott Merkin and the Chicago Sun-TimesDaryl Van Schouwen.

Gonzalez started 26 games for the Baltimore Orioles last year, going 9-12 with a 4.91 ERA. The team released the 31-year-old right-hander last Wednesday, saving nearly $3.9 million in the process. The Baltimore Sun‘s Eduardo A. Encina reported Baltimore offered him a “competitive” deal similar to the White Sox’s offer, while the New York Yankees expressed interest in his services as well.

Historically, Gonzalez has outpitched his normalized metrics with a 4.70 FIP and a 4.45 xFIP over his career compared to a 3.82 ERA, per FanGraphs; his luck ran out in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his 0.5 WAR was second-lowest among Orioles pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched.

Although his 6.8 strikeouts per nine innings were a career high, so, too, were his 3.2 walks per nine innings. FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan questioned whether health might be a concern for Gonazlez going forward:

To me, this is about the third approach. For some quick background, Gonzalez has never been a power pitcher. In 2012, as a rookie, his fastball averaged 91. He stayed there, in 2013, in 2014, and in 2015. There wasn’t any sign of degradation, but: toward the end of last season, Gonzalez went on the DL with elbow and shoulder tendinitis. He returned to make one start on September 30, and the fastball averaged 89.

According to Brooks Baseball, Gonzalez’s velocity fell across the board from August to September last year. Most concerning was the fact his fastball and sinker each lost over two miles per hour. Both pitches hovered a little above 92 mph for most of the season. Over the final month of the regular season, his fastball clocked in at 90.23 mph, and his sinker averaged 90.14 mph.

In 19.1 spring training innings, Gonzalez posted a 9.78 ERA and gave up five home runs, which doesn’t inspire much confidence with regard to his 2016 outlook.

While there are questions over his long-term value, the White Sox were smart to take a flier on Gonzalez with the regular season right around the corner. The cost is relatively low, so Chicago won’t have a hard time offloading him if his issues on the mound continue.

Having Gonzalez also provides some security for the rotation with both John Danks and Mat Latos coming off poor 2015 campaigns.’s Phil Rogers also posited his arrival could allow Carson Fulmer, the White Sox’s No. 1 draft pick from last year, to gain more experience in the minors until he’s fully ready to make the jump to the majors.

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