Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, who the Phillies had high hopes for after he defected from Cuba in 2013, was killed in a car accident in Havana, Cuba last Friday.
The 34-year old Gonzalez had signed a three-year, $12-million deal with the Phillies in August of 2013. Initially, the deal was to be for much more, but a physical prior to the signing showed concerns over Gonzalez’ right elbow and the deal was cut down to three years and $12-million.
Gonzalez started his Phillies career on the DL in 2014 with a sore right shoulder and was assigned to Clearwater to rehab. In July, he was promoted to Reading and went to Lehigh Valley just a week later. In 31 minor league appearances, including three starts, Gonzalez went 0-4 with a 3.13 ERA that summer and saved seven games. The Phillies recalled him when rosters expanded in September and he made six relief appearances with them and had a 6.75 ERA.
In 2015, the Phillies removed Gonzalez from the 40-man roster when they outrighted him to Lehigh Valley and by mid-April, he was back on the DL for four months. He finished 2015 with a 4.86 ERA in six starts throughout the minors and was released by the Phillies following spring training in 2016. The right-hander didn’t pitch after being released by the Phillies and returned to Cuba.
Gonzalez pitched for Vaqueros de La Habana in Cuba from 2004-2012 and had a career ERA of 3.78 over 596 innings. When he defected and was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball, he was a highly regarded prospect, although there were concerns that his age was actually higher than what was officially given.