Brewers, Gorzelanny agree on two-year contract

By Adam McCalvy /12/20/12 1:54 PM ET

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers agreed to terms with left-hander Tom Gorzelanny on a two-year contract pending a physical exam, two sources confirmed Thursday. The club did not comment on an agreement first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The pact is expected to be made official on Friday afternoon. Gorzelanny, who made $3 million with the Nationals in 2012, will earn close to $6 million over two years with the Brewers, according to
The deal had been rumored for several days, though Brewers general manager Doug Melvin would not comment about the status of negotiations with Gorzelanny on Tuesday.
"I don't like to comment on guys, but that's the world we live in -- people pick up on stuff," Melvin said. "It's like Anibal Sanchez. The news breaks that he signed [with the Cubs], then Detroit jumps in because they hear the Cubs are on him. That's happened to two or three clubs this offseason."
Gorzelanny, 30, is a good fit for the Brewers, because they have no left-handed relievers on staff after non-tendering Manny Parra last month, and because Gorzelanny fits manager Ron Roenicke's preference for a non-specialist -- in other words, a left-hander who can also face right-handed hitters. In his career, Gorzelanny has held left-handed hitters to a .237 average and right-handers to .245, though he walks right-handers at a much higher rate.
Given the Brewers' relative uncertainty in their starting rotation, Gorzelanny could also provide insurance in that area. He has started 111 of his 193 Major League games, though he has appeared mostly in relief over the past two seasons with the Nationals.
After spending his first six seasons in the National League Central with the Pirates and Cubs, Gorzelanny pitched for Washington in 2011 and '12, going 8-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 75 games, 16 starts. He struck out 2.49 batters for every walk, more than a strikeout better than his numbers as a starter with the Pirates and Cubs.
He became available when the Nationals opted to non-tender Gorzelanny rather than take him into arbitration.
With Gorzelanny, the Brewers have four or five bullpen spots spoken for with closer John Axford, setup man Jim Henderson, sinkerballer Burke Badenhop (acquired in a Dec. 1 trade with the Rays) and Gorzleanny, plus Brandon Kintzler, who pitched well for Milwaukee late in the season after missing the start of the year with an elbow injury.
At least one additional spot could be filled by one of the starters who do not make the cut for the starting rotation. At the moment, the Brewers have five candidates (Marco Estrada, Chris Narveson, Wily Peralta, Mark Rogers and Mike Fiers) for four openings behind Yovani Gallardo.