Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is being heavily recruited by the Red Sox and is expected to sign with a team this week. (Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said Thursday morning on WEEI radio that the organization is looking "pretty hard" at Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The Sox are reportedly one of five teams that the 26-year-old right-handed pitcher is considering and, according to a report from ESPN Deportes citing his agent, Gonzalez is expected to make a decision this week before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Gonzalez, who was recently granted free agency permission from Major League Baseball, was initially being looked at by the the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins. It's unclear which of those teams comprise the five that he is reportedly considering but in a report earlier this week from Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers are not in the running.
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The 6'2, 185-pound pitcher typically throws a fastball at 89 to 93 miles per hour but has gotten up to 96 miles per hour recently and also regularly throws a curve, splitter and a change-up.
According to the WEEI report, Gonzalez would cost the Sox approximately $60 million over five years and the team wouldn't have to give up any prospects to sign him. Lucchino hinted Thursday morning that the team would not be looking at Gonzalez if the front office knew it would have to give up prospects:
“The main drawback [of trading for a pitcher] for us would be giving up the prospects. … That’s the hard thing. Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier. We have some really talented young players in our minor league system, and [General Manager] Ben Cherington guards them like his first-born child. He really does want to grow this team internally. That is the most proven path to long-term success, but we all share that point of view."