Look who’s back: Gio González returns to the White Sox, and it looks like he will finally make a major league appearance for them. (@Stadium)
This afternoon, the White Sox agreed to terms with left-handed starting pitcher Gio González. As a result, the 34-year-old veteran will join the organization for the third time in his career.
The White Sox have quite the history with González, even though the southpaw has not yet pitched a game in the majors for them. The White Sox drafted González in the first round (38th overall) in the 2004 draft. However, in the 2005-06 offseason, the White Sox traded González to the Phillies along with Aaron Rowand for Jim Thome. The following offseason, González rejoined the organization in another trade with Philadelphia. This time, Freddy Garcia went to the Phillies, while González and Gavin Floyd came to Chicago. In the 2007-08 offseason, for the third time in as many years, González was involved in a trade. This time, the White Sox sent him to Oakland in a deal for Nick Swisher.
Fast forward about 12 years, and here we are. González has had a successful major league career, and he appears to still have quite a few solid innings left in him. In 12 major league seasons, González has a 3.68 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 3.86 xFIP, and 32.3 fWAR. Last season, González posted a 3.50 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 4.45 xFIP, and 1.4 fWAR in 87 1/3 innings for the Brewers.
One caveat to González’s game is that he does not typically give bullpens a light day. In 17 starts last season, he averaged just under five innings per start. The good news is that the innings he did provide were usually strong. Of those 17 starts, González allowed more than three runs only three times, and he allowed more than two runs only five times. Sure, González benefited from being caught by Grandal, but the good news is that Grandal will catch him again.
Prior to this signing, if the White Sox had stood pat, they would have likely needed Dylan Covey and/or Carson Fulmer to start a few games at the beginning of the season. In the fourth year of a rebuild, that would have been unacceptable, and the front office deserves credit for ensuring that did not happen. González is a good addition to a rotation that was in desperate need of help. While the White Sox cannot afford to end their offseason acquisitions here, this is a step in the right direction. It is time to keep this momentum going and add another piece to the rotation. Ryu, I see you.