While this sounds like a big deal -- especially to your fantasy baseball team -- it's somewhat common in Major League Baseball. It's more about financials than play on the field since Gonzalez makes $1.7 million this season and is expected to make $6 million in 2011. Especially since Gonzalez has fared well since his return from the disabled list.
Gonzalez has been hurt for most of the season, and it looked as if he was pitching while hurt in April as he blew two saves in three games and compiled an 18.00 ERA.
Since returning from the disabled list, Gonzalez has thrown nine innings in nine appearances and has a 2.00 ERA with five strikeouts and three walks. He hasn't been given any save opportunities, so therefore he's useless in leagues that don't count holds. He's playing second-fiddle to Alfredo Simon right now, and he might even be in third position behind Koji Uehara as well. But it sounds as if manager Buck Showalter isn't married to the idea of Simon at closer after he blew his fourth save of the season on Monday.
I'm sure Simon will get some more opportunities along the way, but I feel like we have some other people capable of doing it other than him. We'll see what each night dictates. Some guys down there have shown that they are capable of getting big outs for us. He has above-average pitches but he's still got to locate them, too. Guys can turn around a bullet up here.The best chance for Gonzalez to have any opportunity at all to pick up saves is if no team attempts to sign him from waivers. Staying with Baltimore, in their tumultuous ninth-inning situation, gives him a shot, at least, to move into the closer role.
There are two contenders that appear to have marginal interest in Gonzalez. The Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies are both reportedly considering the option. If the Red Sox pull the trigger, Gonzalez has no chance of closing -- Jonathan Papelbon is entrenched and Daniel Bard is next in line. As poorly as Brad Lidge pitches at times in Philadelphia, he's the closer there too. Gonzalez probably has no shot at displacing him.
If Gonzalez is currently on your fantasy roster, you should be rooting for him to stay in Baltimore. Or better yet, you can hope that he avoids teams with solid options in the ninth inning and lands with a team that needs a closer, or is willing to give him a shot.
I wouldn't hold your breath.