Gio Gonzalez is on the trade block and, as if Billy Beane was divinely inspired by Brad Pitt’s performance in Moneyball, he’s trying to trade like it’s 1999 (or whenever that book came out, cue “Lazy Song” music).
And while anyone with eyes and a high school level grasp of statistics can tell you that Gonzalez’s career 4.4 BB/9 is an enormous red flag, teams are still begging Beane to take their top prospects in exchange for the 26-year old left-hander.
In true bizzaro-world fashion, the Washington National have stepped up as a possible suitor for Gio’s services. Here’s why trading Gonzalez to the NL East power(less)house would be a MLB fan’s dream.
Don’t look now, but with the Marlins new shopping spree (on the tab of the taxpayers of Miami-Dade) and the Nationals (eventual) prospect emergence, the NL East is shaping up to be quite a dogfight. The Phillies and Braves and still ahead of the pack, but the Mets will always have deep pockets and the Nationals can only draft #1 overall for so long before they break .500 (right?). If the NL East wasn’t already must-watch drama, here are a few more moves that would put it over the top:
1. Nationals trade for Gio Gonzalez – With a rotation of Strasburg, Zimmerman, Gonzalez, cross your fingers on Chien-Ming Wang, and hand it off to a solid bullpen headlined by Drew Storen, and you have a chance to be worth watching on a nightly basis.
2. Marlins sign Yoenis Cespedes – If you haven’t heard of the Cuban defector with the Kenny Powers-like hip-hop inspired highlight video, he’s the real deal, and he’s hitting the market as soon as he gains residency in the Dominican Republic. Putting Cespedes in the middle of the Marlins’ lineup is a better move than Pujols cause he’s younger, cheaper, plays a premium position, and allows the Marlins to keep Gaby Sanchez in the lineup.
3. The Braves trade Prado and Jurrjens – Just the thought should make Braves’ fans break into a sweat, and yet the rumors are both guys are on the block. Why would you consider moving Jurrjens, a legit top-of-the-rotation guy, and Prado, a super utility man who can actually hit? Sure, both guys were dinged up last year, but they don’t hit the free agent market until 2014. If the Braves move these guys, they drop 4-6 wins.
4. The other shoe drops in Philly – Not a “move” per se, but after resigning Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies aren’t getting any younger, and you can only keep the same guys on the field for so long without seeing a natural decline. We aren’t in the steroid era anymore, players in their 30s are going to see a natural digression in their skills, and nearly ever player in Philly is starting to creep into the 32+ range.