There's no other way to say it. So far, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been a complete and total bust.
When the Phillies signed the young Cuban pitcher to a three-year, $12 million deal back in 2013, it was thought that perhaps Gonzalez could be a useful back-of-the-rotation starter with the upside of a No. 3 or maybe even a No. 2. And, failing that, perhaps he would become a valuable set-up or middle reliever.
But on Wednesday, MAG hit rock bottom.
#Phillies waived $12 million Cuban pitcher Miguel Gonzalez, but no team wanted him http://t.co/dRcy4lYzGJ— HardballTalk (@HardballTalk) April 1, 2015
That's right. Gonzalez has been so bad, and was of so little interest to the rest of Major League Baseball, that the Phillies were able to drop him from their 40-man roster, get him cleared through waivers, and assign him to Triple-A.
And just think. The Phillies almost signed him to a $48 million deal. Talk about a dodged bullet.
But in the end, the Phils are on the hook for $3.66 million this year and $4.66 million next year, all of which will likely be dead money unless there is a miraculous turnaround.
Amaro on MAG being outrighted: This is not about money. It never has been during the rebuild. #Phillies— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) April 1, 2015
On it's face, this looks like a bad signing, and it certainly doesn't look like it's going to work out for the Phils. But here's why, no matter how things eventually turn out, the MAG signing was a good chance for the Phillies to have taken.
Gonzalez was the first big-name Cuban player the Phillies signed, and it showed a willingness to take a risk. That, in and of itself, is a good thing, and showed a change in philosophy for an organization that has traditionally been very risk averse.
Alas, it didn't work out this time. When you take a risk, sometimes you get rewarded with an Aroldis Chapman, Jose Abreu or Yasiel Puig. Sometimes, you get Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
What's more important than whether Gonzalez is ever worth the contract he ended up signing is that the Phillies signed him in the first place. And if we want the Phils to wade into the risky Cuban waters again anytime soon, it's best not to filet the team for making the decision to sign him.
Of course, it's also possible MAG has made the team more gun shy about signing Cuban players in the future, and if that turns out to be the case, that would be a disappointment. And it's possible the next Cuban signing, if it ever does happen, may not work out either.
But the Phils needed to get into the Cuban player pool and, for one moment, they did. That alone makes all this mess worth it.
Hopefully, they're not done.