Gonzalez signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Orioles for the 2010 season, but he missed more than three months with a left shoulder injury. Overall, he was 3-5 with a 4.18 ERA in 78 games for the Orioles over two seasons.
"More than anything, it's kind of a pride thing for me," Gonzalez said. "It's understanding and knowing what you're capable of doing, and that's being able to go out there and show what's what, especially when you hear people talk about the beast of the East.
"It's one of those things where you know if you're healthy, you can go out there and get it done. I think that was the most frustrating for me. It was that I was obviously brought here to help the team win in those types of situations, and not being able to do that was tough for me."
Gonzalez was born in Robstown, grew up and played high school baseball in the Houston area and pitched one season at San Jacinto College before being drafted by the Pirates in 1997.
"I'm excited, of course," Gonzalez said. "Obviously I'm leaving great teammates. I think we had pretty much a good chemistry going here toward the end. It felt good, but it's one of those things where I'm going to go to Texas and see what these guys are about over there. If they're anything like Tommy [Hunter], I'm going to be all right."