Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Trade talk: Gio Gonzalez
By Richard Durrett
We continue our look at possible free agents or trades for the Rangers. One name that has been tossed about is Gio Gonzalez.
The A's are willing to deal him and the Rangers inquired at the Winter Meetings. But the A's want top prospects in return and the Rangers aren't willing to pay that price. If the asking price drops, maybe a deal can be made. It's worth noting that possibly a dozen teams (that's the number the San Francisco Chronicle put on it) have contacted the A's about Gonzalez.
Gio Gonzalez, who went 16-12 last season with the Athletics, had a 3.12 ERA in 32 starts and was selected to his first All-Star Game.
Why? First, the left-hander has just entered arbitration and is under team control through the 2015 season. So this wouldn't be some sort of rental-player deal. Second, he's put up solid numbers for a team with very little offense.
Gonzalez, 26, was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA with 197 strikeouts and 91 walks in 202 innings (32 starts) in 2011. But that wasn't Gonzalez's only solid season. He was 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA with 171 strikeouts and 92 walks in 200 2/3 innings in 2010.
Why it makes sense: Gonzalez is a lefty, which doesn't hurt at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and he's still developing. It would be interesting to see what pitching coaches Mike Maddux and Andy Hawkins could do with him. He certainly isn't the ground ball pitcher that his teammate, Trevor Cahill, is, but Gonzalez had a 1.43 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio, which was only slightly behind Matt Harrison (1.44), who was second on the team to C.J. Wilson in that category.
Gonzalez also would be a pitcher that could slide into the rotation for a number of years, not just as a one- or two-year player. He would be in the upper half of the club's rotation and give them some depth.
Why it might not make sense: He's going to be costly -- in prospects and maybe including major-league players, etc. -- and the price might be even higher for Texas for dealing within the division. Is Gonzalez that much better than what the Rangers currently have on staff? Is he worth dealing away some top hands on the farm to get him? Plus, he has not fared well in Arlington in his career, sporting a 4.29 ERA in 21 career innings. But let's be fair: He was facing a dangerous lineup the last two seasons and with the Rangers' offense behind him, those numbers would get better.
What do you think of Gonzalez? What are you willing to trade? Someone in the current rotation and a top pitching prospect or more? Is he worth a hefty price?