Veteran shortstop Alex Gonzalez will be back with the Milwaukee Brewers for at least another season, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the Brewers have signed Gonzalez to a one-year deal. The 35-year-old missed almost all of the 2012 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, and he was only able to amass 81 plate appearances in 24 games. During that period of time, Gonzalez hit just .259 but drove in 15 RBIs and four home runs en route to a .783 OPS.
Prized young shortstop Jean Segura is the starter at shortstop for the Brewers, and Gonzalez will be some solid veteran backup behind Segura. He rates out well as a fielder and was worth 3.3 WAR in 2010 due to his defense.
In his last full season in 2011, Gonzalez knocked 15 home runs for the Atlanta Braves but was worth just 1.1 WAR in 149 games due to a paltry .270 OBP. Gonzalez is the opposite of most shortstops at the plate, as he isn’t the best base-runner out there, nor is he a good contact hitter (career 18.7 K%, 21.2% in 2011). However, Gonzalez does bring plenty of pop per the position to the table for the Brewers, he’s definitely good veteran insurance to have behind a young shortstop and Gonzalez is also one of the better fielding shortstops in the game today.
Gonzalez waited out the free agent process, as he was firm in only taking a starting spot. However, not many teams are willing to take on a 35-year-old coming off of a torn ACL a starting gig — especially when his last full season yielded a .270 OBP.
The Brewers did express plenty of interest in re-signing Gonzalez, and they got their man. The rival St. Louis Cardinals also showed interest in him earlier this offseason.
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