Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, born in 1983, was officially with the Phillies after it was announced that he was signed as a 26-year old right handed pitcher on August 30, 2013, this after he had defected from his homeland of Cuba. He was won with a bid of a large contract offer by the Phils of $48M for 6 years for someone who had never pitched in the Major Leagues – the Phils in fact didn’t even pay him that $48M amount, but agreed to offer him a $12M, 3-year deal after his physical came back with some unanswered questions about how healthy he was.
It was recently reported that unfortunately, Miguel was killed in a car crash in his native homeland of Havana, Cuba on November 24th.
Back in 2013, the Dodgers had signed a Cuban defector, Yasiel Puig, to a $42M contract just a month prior to the Phils signing Gonzalez for even more money. In an article by Todd Zolecki, Ruben Amaro Jr was quoted as saying:
“You hope those things work out,” Amaro said last month. “Hideki Irabu didn’t work out. [Jose] Contreras worked out on certain levels. [Rey] Ordonez. Dice-K [Daisuke Matsuzaka]. It’s a risk.”
In a Spring Training mailbag segment, Section 215 – a Philly Sports blog – wondered what did the Phils have in store for Miguel since he didn’t seem to be pitching too well for them back in 2014. The Phils eventually released Gonzalez in 2016, his full contract of $12M paid.
Ironically another baseball player named Miguel Gonzalez, who has a Baltimore Orioles prospect, also died in a car crash in his country of the Dominican Republic, reported on September 19, 2017 by ESPN.
Here’s Miguel’s pitching line for the Phils, he only played in 6 games for the Phillies, and had one loss: