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Juan Gonzalez

Juan Alberto Gonzalez Vazquez (born October 20, 1969 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico), nicknamed "Juan Gone" or "Igor", is a Major League Baseball player. Juan was one of the premier run producers during the 1990s, averaging 117 RBIs per season from 1991 to 1999.

Table of contents
1 Early Career
2 Best Years
3 Accomplishments
4 Teams
5 External References

Early Career

Juan Gone was signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent in 1986 and made his Major League debut on September 1, 1989 as a September call-up.

Best Years

Juan's first full season was 1991. It was Juan's first of many 100-plus RBI seasons, proving himself a capable middle of the line-up run producer. Juan improved his average and home run totals over the next few seasons, leading the league in home runs in 1992 and 1993, with 43 and 46 respectively.

But it is the late 1990s for which Juan will be remembered. On the strength of Juan's steady production at the plate, Texas finished first the American League West division in 1996, 1998 and 1999, although they were eliminated in all three seasons by the New York Yankees in the American League Divisional Series. Between 1996 and 1998, Juan averaged 45 home runs and 144 RBIs, the most productive period in his career. Juan won the American League Most Value Player award in 1996 and 1998.

Fearing they would be unable to meet Juan's rising salary demands, Texas elected to trade Juan in the postseason, eventually settling on a deal with the Detroit Tigers. On November 2, 1999, Juan was traded with Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun to Detroit for Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler, Justin Thompson and Alan Webb.

The following season was a disaster for Juan and the Tigers as a team. 2000 was the opening year for Detroit's new ballpark, Comerica Park, and the team's management had counted on strong seasons from the team's new players to draw interest from fans. But, hampered by injuries and unable to adjust to Comerica's unfavourable dimensions, Juan had one of the poorest seasons of his career. Detroit had gambled on the one-year remaining on Juan's contract hoping to spark fan interest and lost.

Juan resurrected his career in 2001 with the Cleveland Indians where he was asked to fill the void left behind as a result of Manny Ramirez' free agency departure to the Boston Red Sox. He hit 35 home runs, had 140 RBIs and batted a career-best .325, leading the Indians to the postseason.

On January 8, 2002, Juan signed with the Texas Rangers, but injuries limited his play during that season and 2003.

On January 6, 2004, Juan signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Kansas City Royals.



External References