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Reliever Mike Gonzalez Close to Deal with Brew Crew


According to reports, the Milwaukee Brewers are closing in on a deal for LHP Mike Gonzalez with a physical to take place after January 1.  Gonzalez, 34, was one of the pitchers GM Doug Melvin reportedly had on his radar when discussing the relief market last week.  Like the recently signed Tom Gorzelanny, Gonzalez has spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates among other teams but most recently pitched for the Washington Nationals.  Whether he’s used as a middle reliever, a setup man or a LOOGY is unclear, but a veteran guy like Gonzalez will hopefully help fortify a bullpen makeover that includes several unproven guys on minor-league deals along with Gorzelanny and the acquisition of Burke Badenhop via trade.  As Tom Haudricourt points out over at the JS, Gonzalez has 56 saves; he could provide some additional protection against a potential meltdown at closer.  Gonzalez also has postseason experience, albeit only about five innings pitched, with Texas and Washington over the last two seasons.  In 2012, left-handed batters hit only .179 against Gonzalez while righties hit .279; Gonzalez seems to have some trouble with walks (4.1 BB/9 over a 10-year career) but he limits the long ball and strikes out a lot of batters (10.3 K/9 over his career).  If Gonzalez can put up numbers close to his career averages, he will no doubt be a nice addition to what was a train-wreck bullpen for the Brewers in 2012.  Reportedly signed for only one year at around $2.25MM plus possible incentives, this looks like an affordable and reliable bullpen arm to help the Crew get through the back end of games.