ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Mike Gonzalez #51 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the seventh inning during Game Three of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
• UPDATED: 11:26 pm EDT - The Nationals just made the move official:
Nationals select LHP Mike Gonzalez (#51) from Syracuse, option RHP Ryan Perry to Syracuse, transfer RHP Drew Storen to 60-Day DL.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 3, 2012
• 11:20 pm EDT: ESPN.com's Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) wrote on Twitter last week that the Washington Nationals were "... actively seeking a veteran reliever," with left-hander John Lannan mentioned in the Tweet as possible trade bait. The Nationals added a veteran reliever to their roster according to reports this morning, but they didn't make a trade for one, and it's not clear if this is the pitcher Mr. Olney's source had in mind, but they already had 34-year-old lefty Mike Gonzalez in the organization after signing the veteran of nine MLB seasons back in early May. Nats' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters at the time, including the Washington Times' Amanda Comak, that the Nationals had been talking to Gonzalez and his agent, Scott Boras for some time at that point, but the injury to 35-year-old veteran reliever Brad Lidge had, "... amped up their pursuit," as the Times' Ms. Comak wrote.
The one-time Pirates, Braves, Orioles and Rangers' reliever had offseason knee surgery this past winter and had been discussing signing with several teams before the 6'2'', 215lb lefty signed with Washington. Gonzalez split the 2011 campaign between the Orioles and Rangers, putting up a 4.39 ERA, 4.11 FIP, 21 walks (3.54 K/9) and 51 K's (8.61 K/9) in 56 games and 53.1 IP. In his career, the 1997 Pittsburgh Pirates' 19th Round pick out of San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, has a 2.94 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 164 walks (4.12 BB/9), 412 K's (10.34 K/9) and 56 saves. The press release on the signing said that the left-hander would report immediately to the Nationals Spring Training facility in Viera, FL. Gonzalez made one appearance at Triple-A Syracuse Friday night, throwing 1.1 scoreless in which he struck out two, and according to reports from Nationals Park, his name is listed on the big league roster this morning. MLB.com's Bill Ladson was first with the news:
• The move has not been officially announced, but NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman had the following report from the Nats' clubhouse:
LHP Mike Gonzalez listed in #Nats bullpen today, RHP Ryan Perry not.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) June 3, 2012
• More info when it's available...