The Washington Nationals announced this afternoon that they'd signed 33-year-old, nine-year veteran left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez to a minor league deal. The one-time Pirates, Braves, Orioles and Rangers' reliever had offseason knee surgery and had been talking to several teams, with both Texas and the LA Angels reportedly offering minor league deals before the 6'2'', 215lb lefty signed with Washington. Gonzalez split the 2011 campaign between Baltimore and Texas, posting 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. On his career, the Corpus Christi, Texas-born 1997 19th Round Pittsburgh Pirates' Draft 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.
• D.C. GM Mike Rizzo spoke to reporters this afternoon about the signing (via the Washigton Times' Amanda Comak):
#nats GM Mike Rizzo said Michael Gonzalez will work w/Spin Williams in Viera & determine where he'll play but not likely right to MLB— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 8, 2012
The #nats had been talking w/Boras for a while about Gonzalez, Rizzo said, but when Brad Lidge got hurt they amped up their pursuit.
— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 8, 2012