WASHINGTON -- Lefty relievers Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez were two reasons the Nationals won the National League East in 2012, and they both wanted to return to the team this season, but instead they ended up signing with the Brewers.
Gorzelanny was non-tendered by the Nationals last November, and that didn't surprise Gorzelanny. But he thought there was a chance he could return to Washington. A few weeks later, the Nationals told Gorzelanny they were going in a different direction. They decided to start the season with one lefty -- Zach Duke -- in the bullpen.
"There wasn't really much going on, and then Milwaukee came. It was something I really couldn't pass up," Gorzelanny said.
Gorzelanny, who signed a two-year, $5.7 million contract with Milwaukee, is having a solid season. As a starter and reliever, Gorzelanny has appeared in 32 games and had a 2.31 ERA entering Tuesday's action.
"Whatever capacity they need me in is what I'm doing. They brought me here and they knew I was versatile," Gorzelanny said. "They knew I could do everything. I've been in late games, I started a game and played in the middle of the game. I've been all over the place. … I pitch whenever they call on me."
The Brewers are Gonzalez's sixth team, and he said the Nationals were also in the mix to retain his services, but ended up being surprised that the Nationals let him, Gorzelannny and fellow lefty Sean Burnett sign with other clubs.
"I guess they have their own way of thinking," Gonzalez said. "I thought it was a pretty good little overall chemistry that the team had last year. I was a little surprised that they didn't just take me, Burnie or Gorzo. But that's the business of the game. If you let it get personal, there is going to be a problem. It's not a big deal. It is what it is. You live and learn. They learned they needed a couple of lefties. That's what you need for a playoff-contending team."
The Nationals now have two lefties in the bullpen in Fernando Abad and Ian Krol. Gonzalez is impressed by what he has seen by Washington's current bullpen.
"Their bullpen is legit. They definitely have the guys to go out there and get it done," Gonzalez said.
With the Brewers in fifth place and 19 games behind the Pirates in the NL Central entering play Tuesday, Gonzalez said that there is a 75-percent chance he will be traded.
"There is always a possibility, being a one-year free agent. That's kind of how it goes. Don't think about it too much," Gonzalez said. "Is there a possibility? Yes. ... That's just how it is. I don't think too much of it. It is what it is."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Tom Schad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.