Last night news broke that the O’s will be signing Reliever Mike Gonzalez and third baseman Garrett Atkins. So far this off-season, everything has been moving very slow, but in just one evening we fill two very crucial team vacancies. Andy MachPhail’s play the market out approach has once again worked in our favor.
According to a lot of local sources, the O’s will be giving Gonzalez a two year deal with worth $12 million and possible another additional $4 million in incentive clauses. Although Boras usually gets his players overpaid, I believe the O’s came away with a very respectable deal.
Gonzalez was a type-A free agent, so we’ll be losing a second round draft pick in the upcoming draft. This was a must need signing to improve the bullpen. The former Brave posted a 2.57 ERA last season and will add a valuable lefty arm to the bullpen. This sighing will also most likely mean Gonzalez will be taking over the closing roll and put Johnson back to his best as a setup guy.
Garrett Atkins was non-tendered by the Rockies Saturday, and immediately became a hot target with at least 10 teams interested. The terms with Atkins are not known, other than it will be a one-year deal. Atkins numbers have been steadily declining over the past four seasons, with last season being his worst.
If Atkins is able to post numbers like his 06 season, than he will be the big right handed bat in the middle of the lineup like the team desperately needs. Atkins numbers over the years may have been better then the should of been, with half of his games being played at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Overall, these two signings were just what we needed. A top-notch reliever who can also be the teams closer, and a short term, right-handed, power bat in the middle of the lineup.