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Rockies sign pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez to minor league deal

The stove is sort of warm at the Winter Meetings

The Rockies made a literally minor transaction today, as they inked right-handed pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported the deal on Twitter.

Gonzalez, who will be 27 by the time spring training rolls around, is a former top 100 prospect from the Rangers’ system. He was their first round pick and 23rd overall in the 2013 draft. After an unsuccessful run in Texas, the Rangers released Gonzalez last week.

As a result of Tommy John surgery, Gonzalez didn’t pitch at all in the majors in 2017 or 2018, but from 2015 to 2016 he accrued 77 13 innings for the Rangers. He had a 4.54 ERA, a 5.06 FIP, and uninspiring BB/9 and K/9 rates of 4.8 and 4.3. In August Gonzalez pitched 15 innings total for Texas’s Rookie and Low-A affiliates. It was the first game action he’d seen since 2016. Gonzalez is currently seeing winter action in the Dominican Republic.

Gonzalez came up through the minors as a starting pitcher, though he may be used both as a starter and as a reliever in the Rockies system as he gets back into pitching shape and waits behind the break in case of emergency glass.