With movement finally happening again in the free agency market, there seems to be plenty of talk surrounding Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies, eager to move him in order to get some pitching talent instead, with the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox likely landing spots.
Gonzalez, 30, had a huge 2015 with 40 home runs and hitting .271, bouncing back from a rough season the year before. He won his second Silver Slugger award as he got his OPS back to previous levels with .864. He’s a two-time All-Star with three Gold Glove awards as well, although his defense did slightly decline last season, playing exclusively in right field. Despite his value, the Rockies think that moving him for some pitching talent is better.
A lot of teams were looking for outfielders two weeks ago, but things have changed. The Kansas City Royals re-signed Alex Gordon and won’t be trying to trade for Gonzalez, who makes $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017. Another team that’s no longer looking for some outfield talent? The San Francisco Giants. Landing Denard Span means they’re needs are different now, even if Gonzalez provides the kind of power they were interested in.
The Cardinals might be in the best position to trade with the Rockies for Gonzalez, recently signing Mike Leake, which means they have the luxury of moving some young pitchers. The Indians are drowning in talent on the mound, but all offseason have been reluctant to let go of one of their players, despite a lot of calls coming their way. The White Sox might not have the prospects to complete this deal although they might be willing to give up expensive players of their own (which we don’t know if the Rockies would want). The Angels? They have the money for Gonzalez, but they might need to give up more than they’re willing too.
Other teams who could join the race for Gonzalez are the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, but right now they don’t seem to be part of the loop of discussions. After a rather dormant winter regarding the Gonzalez situation, things seem to be heating up, and after eight seasons with the Rockies in which he has hit 176 home runs in 914 games, it looks like the day Gonzalez is playing for someone else is getting closer and closer.