The mystery free agent target is … Luis Gonzalez?

You know, I honestly had no idea that Luis Gonzalez was still in baseball. Apparently he is and he’s looking for a bench role that will enable him to get paid $1 million or so to stay in baseball. And hey, whaddya know! The Pirates are game!

Gonzalez, 41, a career .283 hitter with 354 home runs and impeccable leadership credentials, batted .261 with eight home runs and 47 RBIs in 341 at-bats with the Florida Marlins last season and is looking for a similar, bench-type role this year. Two other teams are interested, though those are not known.

When a player arrives at the point in his career in which his impeccable leadership credentials are mentioned before his most recent stats, you’re going to get what you pay for. Oh, to be a fly on the Federal Street walls today.

Frank Coonelly: Good God, Neal, the incessant bitching by these fans about Jack Miller and Doug Manklabitz is driving me nuts.

Neal Huntington: Jack Wilson and Doug Mientkiewicz?

FC: Whatever. Who can we sign to pacify them?

NH: Well, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, and Ben Sheets are still free agents …

FC: Can you get them for less than $5 million a year?

NH: No, probably not.

FC: Aim lower then, dammit!

NH: Well, there’s always Luis Gonzalez. Decent career batting average, lots of home runs …

FC: These fans don’t want stats! They whined when Jason Michaels left and he hit like a high-schooler, for chrissake! What about his grit quotient? If we don’t re-sign Mientkie-whatever am I going to be verbally assaulted every time a Pirate fan sees me in public, or will this signing keep me from having to deal with that crap? WHAT ABOUT HIS LEADERSHIP CREDENTIALS?

NH: Well, they’re not Mientkiewiczian, but they’re still pretty freaking impeccable.

FC: Dooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

I’m mostly kidding, of course, but Gonzalez certainly isn’t a player that’s going to be flipped for anything of value at the trade deadline. If the Pirates sign him, he’ll be here to take the Jason Michaels’ role from last year. He’ll be much better at it than Michaels or Craig Monroe. If you were expecting the Pirates to sign a free agent that could start in left field and might have some value at the trade deadline, well, you’re going to have to keep waiting, because Luis Gonzalez ain’t it.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.