David Villavicencio, a freelance writer for MLB.com and former beat writer for FoxSportsFlorida.com, supposedly has the inside scoop.
A source close to Gio Gonzalez reports the Miami native could be joining his hometown team soon.The 26-year-old is coming off the best season of his young career. Gonzalez won 16 games and struck out 197 batters while posting a 3 .12 ERA and representing the Oakland A’s in the All-Star Game. He has won 31 games and struck out 368 over the past two seasons with Oakland.But adding a player like Gonzalez comes at a price. The lefty is young, performing at a very high level, affordable and under team control through 2015. A’s general manager Billy Beane could expect to get a nice package in return for the left-hander. He is also certain to receive plenty of calls from fellow GMs should word get out that Oakland is actively looking to move him.The source says three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal. All three players played significant time with the Marlins last season. It is unlikely that all three would be involved in the deal
UPDATE: The Marlins have flatly rejected a Gio Gonzalez deal with Oakland A's when the A's asked for either Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton, this according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald (H/T MLB Trade Rumors and FS reader rayrayrayrayray cont.). No surprise, since the Marlins did mention earlier that Morrison was "off-limits." Asking for Mike Stanton was bound to get laughed off the stage. Billy Beane certainly should have known better. This news may squash that rumor.I'm inclined to believe there is some truth this report. Gio Gonzalez is a hometown kid and if I recall correctly, David V. knows people who know people who -- you get the idea. That's not to say it's a sure thing and you should start ordering his jersey.
- Why would the Oakland Athletics, a small market team, jettison a great young player at a low salary whom they have under club control for four more years?
- If they were to trade him, wouldn't they want an incredible trade package, including cheap major league talent AND notable prospects?
- Why would the Marlins make a trade (and most likely sign Gonzalez to a contract extension) when they could just sign Mark Buerhle or C.J. Wilson or other free agents?
- Who are the three Marlins being discussed in the deal? Presumably Logan Morrison and/or Gaby Sanchez are involved. Who are the others?
So let the speculation begin.
Michael's Take: We have heard these rumors before regarding Gonzalez. The idea is that the A's are in flux because of their lack of a stadium deal, and Billy Beane is willing to listen to almost all of his players whom he does not suspect will be involved in a future winning A's team that might exist after their stadium situation is resolved. The current plan is to move the team to San Jose if the city of Oakland will not assist in a new stadium, but the San Francisco Giants own rights to that area and are fighting a move to that location.
What does that all mean baseball-wise? The A's are going to listen to offers, but it does not mean they will be jettisoning players wholesale a la 1998 Florida Marlins. If the Fish want to acquire Gonzalez (and I would not be averse to this, since Gonzalez is very affordable and quite good), the team will have to pony up good talent in return. One of the chips would undoubtedly have to be Logan Morrison, as the A's would not be interested in an older player like Gaby Sanchez. Would the Marlins be able to pull off a deal headlined by Morrison and perhaps the falling stock of Matt Dominguez? I'd suspect this would be decently appropriate, as Morrison and Gonzalez both share the status of talented, young, team-controlled players.
Fish Stripes will have more on this story if and when it develops. Once again, the offseason is proving to be quite intriguing this year.