Forgive me if I can't get too excited about this one, but the Phils signed another versatile infielder with a good defensive reputation and a questionable bat Tuesday. They now have three of these creatures. The latest is Alex S. Gonzalez, a 33 year-old who's played both shortstop and third base in the last few years, and yes, Pat Gillick has hired him before: Gonzalez spent his first eight pro seasons with Toronto.
This Gonzalez -- the second Alex Gonzalez to sign in as many days -- batted .269 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs in 109 games with the Devil Rays last season. He is a .244 career hitter who spent his first eight seasons with the Blue Jays.
While the 2005 season was one of his better offensive performances, the right-handed hitter is known for his superb defense. The 11-year veteran can play all four infield spots, though he has spent the majority of his career at shortstop.
What's sad is that Gonzalez, .244 career average and all, immediately becomes the second-best hitter on the Phils' bench, behind only rookie Shane Victorino. As a regular for the Blue Jays and Cubs between 1996 and 2003, ASG was generally good for about 25 doubles and 15 home runs a year. Though a righty batter, Gonzalez has actually hit slightly better against righties than southpaws over the last few years.
While it's not an awful signing--and presumably it didn't cost too much--I struggle to see where Gonzalez fits in with Abraham Nunez and Tomas Perez already on the bench, and Matt Kata and Danny Sandoval waiting for opportunities at Triple-A. Presumably there's either another trade coming, or Gillick is readying to send Perez and his beloved shaving-cream pies to another club looking for veteranish scrapitude.