Guardians Give Reliever Unusual Contract

Tyler Maher
The Cleveland Guardians have given relief pitcher Anthony Gose an unusual contract.
The Cleveland Guardians have given relief pitcher Anthony Gose an unusual contract. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

It turns out the Cleveland Guardians are bringing back reliever Anthony Gose after all, albeit on an unusual contract.

The Guardians non-tendered Gose last month, making him a free agent. It was reported on Thursday, however, that the team is bringing him back on a two-year minor league deal.

Cleveland Guardians News

Multi-year minor league deals are extremely uncommon in baseball, as a minor league deal is essentially taking a flier on a player who may have recently gotten hurt or has suffered a decline in performance. These types of deals are risky and don't often work out, which is why they're usually limited to one year and aren't very expensive.

In Gose's case, however, the Guardians are acknowledging that he'll likely be unavailable to pitch in 2023 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. A minor league deal will enable him to rehab with the team next season without taking up a 40-man roster space or much of the payroll, then Cleveland can see where he's at in 2024. If he does make the big-league roster at any point during the deal, he'll earn $1 million for that season.

Gose went 3-0 with a 4.71 ERA in 21 innings out of the bullpen in 2022 before going down with his injury in June. He flashed promise with a 12.0 K/9 but also walked too many batters with a 6.0 BB/9. Gose is still inexperienced on the mound after beginning his career as an outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers from 2012-2016 before transitioning to pitching.

Given his age, injury history and control problems, Gose has a lot of obstacles to overcome to make it back to the major leagues. The Guardians are still hopeful that he can be a part of their pitching staff going forward, which is why they're willing to wait and see how his rehab progresses before giving him another shot.

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