The Phillies have made yet another move in what has already been an incredibly active offseason, announcing the trading of relief pitcher Severino Gonzalez to Miami for a player to be named later or cash. Gonzalez, who was designated for assignment last week after the signing of outfielder Michael Saunders, was the Phillies’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The 24-year-old righty was signed in 2011 as an International Free Agent and found much success throughout his minor league career.
In 531 1/3 innings as a minor league pitcher, Severino dealt a 3.32 ERA and had a WHIP of only 1.11. However, he struggled mightily after being promoted to the majors; in 66 career innings in Philadelphia, he was rocked for a 6.68 ERA in a split between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Gonzalez finds himself dealt to a new organization in part by the fact that the team’s bullpen has been rebuilt. After the signings of Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit, and the presence of prospects with more upside than Severino, the Phillies made him the odd man out before he was DFA’d. The team does not expect to rotate as many relief pitchers as was the case last season, so there was no logical reason to hold onto a bullpen piece who has yet to make a positive major league impact.
In Miami he will provide minor league depth in an organization with one of the worst farm systems in all of baseball. His versatility can be useful for a roster with a thin pitching staff, but it has also been his downfall in terms of developing an identity as a professional pitcher. The Marlins will be tasked with the decision of where to focus their newest addition’s talents.
After an unsuccessful start to a young career in Philadelphia, Severino Gonzalez’s Broad Street ties have finally been severed. Whether or not a change of scenery will kickstart his major league prosperity is to be seen, but it certainly can’t hurt.
Photo by Tom Hagerty (via Flickr)