The Orioles are again interested in a potential reunion with veteran right-hander Miguel González.
Looking to rebuild its starting rotation this offseason, the club has expressed interest in signing González — who is a free agent — by requesting his medical report, according to an industry source.
Requesting a player’s medicals is standard procedure for most potential free-agent targets, but the Orioles have shown interest in a reunion with González in the recent past. The Orioles pursued him this past season at the trade deadline, but he was dealt to the Texas Rangers instead.
The Orioles are one of at least three teams that have shown interest in González.
González was 8-13 with a 4.62 ERA in 27 starts with the Chicago White Sox and Rangers last season. He had eight quality starts in his final nine outings with the White Sox before he was dealt to Texas at the waiver trade deadline on Aug. 31. He allowed 11 runs in his first 5 1/3 innings with the Rangers but just five in his last 17.
Signed by the Orioles before the 2012 season, González emerged from being an unknown minor league camp pitcher to a key part of the major league starting rotation from 2012 to 2015, going 39-33 with a 3.82 ERA in 101 games (95 starts). In 47 starts against American League East competition with the Orioles, González had a 3.38 ERA.
Coming off a 2015 season that ended with shoulder fatigue and a rocky spring training during which his pitches had diminished velocity, the Orioles unceremoniously released González just before they would’ve been responsible for his entire $5.1 million salary negotiated in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He later signed a minor league deal with the White Sox and rebounded well, going 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) with Chicago, actually gaining a tick in velocity.
Returning just two starters — right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman — from a rotation that had a major league-worst 5.70 ERA last season, the Orioles have said their top offseason priority is rebuilding their starting pitching.
Because of González’s age (he turns 34 in May), he’s probably not likely to get a multiyear deal, but it’s realistic to expect he’s seeking a one-year deal with an option.