Friday, December 28, 2012
Hot Stove talk: Carlos Gonzalez
By Richard Durrett
Since we started this "Hot Stove talk" series, I've received some candidates from you either in the comment section on the blog or via Twitter or email asking about Carlos Gonzalez.
Ok. Let's start with a few disclaimers. First, it's unlikely the Colorado Rockies will trade Gonzalez. He and Troy Tulowitzki are the biggest selling points for the fan base and it's difficult to imagine they'd deal Gonzalez away before the season starts. But, as we've seen with other players, you never know. And it wouldn't be shocking to see them look at dealing him around the trade deadline.
The Rockies need pitching, both at the big league level and in the minor leagues. It might take dealing one of the club's current starters that still has some years under club control. Take Derek Holland, for instance. Add to that some pitching prospects, perhaps starting with Martin Perez, and you have something started. The other need for the Rockies? Third base. They were third-to-last in the NL in fielding percentage at third base. They were last in MLB in DRS (defensive runs saved) at the position and last in UZR.
Mike Olt could certainly help with that part of the equation. So there could be some pieces the Rangers have that would match up. It may depend on how high a price they are willing to pay in those assets to get Gonzalez.
For the Rangers, they'd be getting a 27-year-old who has played all outfield three positions in his big league career. He hit .303 with 22 homers and 85 RBIs in 135 games in 2012. He has a career .299 batting average. He's a left-handed hitter and someone who could bat in the middle of the lineup. No, he wouldn't completely fill the shoes of Josh Hamilton. But he would sure help.
If there's one concern, it's probably his home and road splits from last year. Gonzalez hit .368 at Coors Field and .234 on the road. He's .258 on the road in his career. Gonzalez is 7-for-29 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in his career.
Gonzalez also fits into the club's philosophy of looking for players that are under control for a few years and could become part of the core of the team. His contract goes through the 2017 season. He makes $7.5 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017. He also gets $1 million if he's traded, but he doesn't have a no-trade clause.
If the Rockies insist on a big league pitcher, a few pitching prospects and Mike Olt, are you OK making that deal? Would that be enough for the Rockies to do the deal?