The Guardians are not giving up on the dream of Anthony Gose just yet. The former outfielder turned southpaw pitcher who can light up the radar gun is returning to Cleveland on a two-year minor-league deal, as first reported by MLB insider Robert Murray.
According to Murray, the contract will pay Gose $1 million per season if he’s on the major-league roster. Otherwise, it remains a minor-league deal.
Sources: Left-hander Anthony Gose is in agreement on a two-year minor-league contract with the Cleveland Guardians. Gose continues to rehab after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September. The deal pays $1 million per season if he’s the big leagues.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 1, 2022
Gose, 32, was non-tendered along with Luke Maile last month. While Maile signed with the Reds shortly after, Gose is set to return to the team where he carried a 4.71 ERA over 21 innings of relief in 2022.
A two-year minor-league deal might seem strange on the surface, but remember that Gose is coming off of Tommy John surgery in September. He’s likely to miss all of 2023 as he recovers, and the Guardians will have him under contract for his return in 2024 if all goes well and he’s back out there hitting 98 on the mound. If not, they don’t lose anything, really.
While Gose’s walk issues have prevented him from being a great reliever so far, he’s had at least a taste of success on a baseball mound, pitching 5.1 innings with one hit, three strikeouts, and one walk in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (which took place in 2021).
Bottom line — it’s a no-risk deal for the Guardians that could net them a year of a decent reliever or cost them virtually nothing if it doesn’t work out. On a human level, this will give Gose at least a little job security as he rehabs through TJ surgery. And if he can start walking fewer batters on a big-league mound, the 30.4% strikeout rate he put up with the Guardians last season will look mighty nice in two years.