Hot Stove Targeting: Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez isn’t a free agent, but there have been talks that he’s available on the trade market this winter. Since his debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2008, he has not disappointed Athletics fans while the other 29 teams look. Actually Gio Gonzalez’s name may be a bit familiar to some of the Yankees including Nick Swisher. Both Swisher and Gonzalez were traded from the White Sox to the Athletics in 2008 when Gonzalez was still in the minor leagues. The numbers don’t lie, Gonzalez is impressive but if there is one thing that the Athletics need, it’s hitting. So are the Yankees the right team to fit into the Gio Gonzalez equation to give both teams what they truly desire? Well, let’s look at Gonzalez’s past numbers and leave decisions till the end.
Gio Gonzalez impressed the Athletics from day one, even if his rookie year wasn’t very promising. With Gonzalez, the reason that he is so successful is because he is a strikeout pitcher. In his first full season in 2009 he sky rocketed from 34 K’s to 109 K’s and kept his strikeout numbers in the 100’s for the next 2 seasons. Also noticeably in 2010 & 2011, Gonzalez’s ERA has been good with 3.23 ERA & a 3.12 ERA respectively. Gonzalez also has an All-Star status, making the All-Star game in 2011. Gonzalez also gives up fewer hits than innings pitched which is a good thing (In 2011, in 202.0 IP he’s only gave up 175 Hits). He doesn’t hit many batters and (Yankees fans will love this) he doesn’t Balk very often either (He’s only balked once in 2011).
Every player has their negative sides and unfortunately, Gio Gonzalez has just that. For one thing, Gonzalez gives up too many walks. In 202.0 innings in 2011, but he walked 91 batters. The same thing happened in 2010 when he pitched 200.2 innings walking 92 people. Imagine if he stays on the Athletics and faces the Yankees, then he will have a tough time due to the Yankees being a patient team and having fast base runners (Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Eduardo Nunez) to play ABC ball with. It would be the same situation, no matter what team he’s on, especially on the Yankees.
Is Gio Gonzalez a Fit for the Yankees:
Okay, now let’s cut to the chase. The Athletics need hitting and the Yankees need pitching, so Gonzalez would be an ideal match for the Yankees. But the issue here would be who the Yankees will give up in order to get Gonzalez. In my mind, the Yankees would give up a minor league pitcher (Probably either Banuelos, Betances, Phelps, etc.) and Jesus Montero since he has a fantastic bat. But the Yankees might want to look into it some more before they go giving away some of their players for Gonzalez. Gonzalez has not pitched in the “spotlight”. I mean, sure he has pitched for the Athletics, but let’s face it. Oakland is not the same press wise as New York. He could get overwhelmed by all of the pressure that the press will bring him. So is he the perfect fit for the Yankees? He might be, and it wouldn’t hurt to try and besides he only made $420,000 last year so the Yankees might want to take this into consideration when asking about Gio Gonzalez.