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Juan Gonzalez
Career Paths
Marcus' Memoirs

'CAREER PATHS': February 2005 



Texas Rangers 1989-99:  Signed by the Rangers as a 16-year-old in 1986, Gonzalez would make his major league debut three years later as a 19-year-old.  During his tenure in Texas, Gonzalez appeared in two All Star Games (1993, 98), led the AL in homers twice (1993 – 43; 1993 – 46), RBI once (1998 – 157), won MVP honors in 1996 and 1998, and led Rangers to division titles in ‘96, ‘98, and ‘99.  Although they were upended by the eventual world champion Yankees in the divisional round of the playoffs each time, those remain the Rangers only trips to the postseason.


Following the 1999 season, with one year left on his contract, the Rangers shipped Juan Gone to the Detroit Tigers in a nine player trade. 



Detroit Tigers 2000: Gonzalez’ year in Detroit was not a pleasant one.  After spurning an 8 year, $140 million contract offer from the Tigers shortly after the trade, the Puerto Rico native sulked through a season that saw his production dip to an all time low (22 HR, 67 RBI in 115 games).  During the season he informed Tigers management that he would not return to Detroit unless the fences were moved in at the cavernous Comerica Park.  When the team tried to trade him to the Yankees prior to the deadline, he balked saying that he would not play in New York.


A free agent following the season, Gonzo inked a one year, $10 million deal with the Cleveland Indians.



Cleveland Indians 2001:  The former MVP got his groove back in Cleveland, hitting .325 with 35 HR and 140 RBI and leading the Tribe to an AL Central title.  Like with Texas however, his team was unable to advance past the divisional round, falling in 5 games to the Seattle Mariners.


Once again a free agent, Gonzalez returned to Texas, signing a two year $24 million with the Rangers.




Texas Rangers 2002-03:  Gonzalez’ return to Texas was marred by injury.  In two seasons, he played in 152 games and hit 32 home runs.  A free agent following the 2003 season, he signed a one year, $4 million deal with the Kansas City Royals.



Kansas City Royals 2004:  Nothing went right for Gonzalez or the Royals in ’04; the team lost a franchise record 104 games and injures limited Gonzo to only 127 at bats.


Again a free agent, but now with diminished skills and tattered reputation, Gonzalez signed a minor league contract with Cleveland in January.



Cleveland Indians 2005:  Gonzalez will head to spring training in hope of landing roster spot with the upstart Indians.  He enters the 2005 season with 434 home runs.


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