The Miami Marlins have finally reached a quite period this off-season. The past month we have raided the news on pursuing a number of top free agents. Other than a few minor league signings, things have been pretty slow with few rumors circulating. However, one name is still floating around and has caught the eye of the organization. Gio Gonzalez, the lefty from Oakland is drawing strong trade consideration from a number of teams, including the Marlins. With pitching still being a priority, the fish would love to bring in another quality starter and Gonzalez would fit the role. Below I will break down the pros and cons of trading for the lefty.
- Gonzalez is just 26 and entering the prime of his career. If you look at his career stats, you will notice he has improved every year. In 2010, the lefty earned 15 wins while pitching 200+ innings. With an above-average ERA of 3.23, Gonzalez struck out over 170 batters while also logging his first complete game. Gio also improved in 2011 pitching 200+ innings earning 16 wins. With an impressive 3.12 ERA, Gonzalez was just 3 punch outs away from 200 strike outs. Gio also had a weak offense in Oakland stopping him from more wins.
- He is a lefty with a good variety of pitches. Being a lefty offers advantages, especially in the NL East. Gonzalez has a pretty motion that is used to throw a mid 90’s fastball, an improving cutter, a deadly change up, with an occasional slurve in the mix. Gonzalez is known for mixing up his pitches well, and that is a quality that is over looked by many people.
- He would stabilize a starting rotation that would be considered one of the best in the NL. Gonzalez is a rising pitcher that has the potential to be a #1 option in the future. Gio would step in and take over the #2 role behind Josh Johnson. With a rotation of JJ, Gio, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco, we would be feared by every line-up on any given day.
- He is from Miami and played his high school ball in Miami. To the people who may think this makes no difference, you need to check yourself. Playing at home eases a lot of tension and nerves, and quite frankly makes the game more enjoyable for the ball player. Keeping a player happy is an important tactic to practice, and playing in front of friends and family would certainty do the job.
- The asking price. While I’m sure the Marlins would love to add Gio to the fold, he will not come cheap and the A’s have made that clear. Rumors going around are saying that the A’s would want Mike Stanton in a trade for the lefty. While Gio is a talented ball player, he is no Mike Stanton and the fish will not give in to the demand. Other talks have included Logan Morrison, Matt Dominguez, and other prospects. The A’s know they have a ball player and are going to try to get an equal amount of talent, if not more for the lefty.
- His walk rate. Gio Gonzalez is a good pitcher, but he is not GREAT. Reason why? His walk rate. Gio at many times struggles to find the strike zone and last year was a shining example. Gonzalez led the AL in walks with 91 last year. He also managed to walk 92 batters the year before, so he is very inconsistent in the strike-zone.
- Unproven. While Gonzalez has put up great numbers the past 2 years, he still has a lot to prove. Gio started off last year on fire. Making the all-star game, he actually had a shot at the Cy Young half way through. However he hit a cold spurt for the second straight year and began falling to mediocre at best.