Somewhere listed on ESPN.com’s MLB Rumor mill is the suggestion that the A’s are out to make Gio Gonzalez the next Dan Haren. By that they mean the A’s could look to trade Gonzalez, while his stock is still rising, in order to stockpile on younger talent. The A’s are pushing for a new venue outside of Oakland, but the team is still waiting for MLB to make a decision regarding the team’s request to build a ballpark in San Jose.
The A’s, if they’re granted permission to move, would likely begin yet another rebuilding process in order to get a “winning” team ready for the opening of the new ballpark. GM Billy Beane started a rebuild process back in 2007, which our very own Staff Writer, Jason Leary, analyzed, but has so far seen mixed results for his efforts to mold his club into winners.
He’s put together a very formidable starting rotation, with Gonzalez seemingly leading the way, but Beane’s ability to assess good hitters has been under question recently. He’s passed on great hitter before in the past, as seen in Moneyball, and he’s also given up a lot of talent during his tenure with Oakland.
He traded Andre Either to the Dodgers in exchange for Milton Bradley prior to the 2006 season, and he also traded away Carlos Gonzalez in the Matt Holliday trade a few seasons ago. Imagine having Either and Gonzalez in the outfield.
He’s still, however, regarded as one the game’s brightest GM’s in baseball. Heck, he was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the movie adaptation of Michael Lewis‘ Moneyball.
He turned Haren, who was traded back in 2007 to Arizona, into Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, and Carlos Gonzalez (the A’s also sent over Connor Robertson in that deal).
Of course you know what happened with Smith and Gonzalez, but still, Beane definitely has a knack for completing some pretty huge deals. Haren brought in a lot of young talent, and I’m getting the feeling that Gio could ultimately be the next Haren.
Gonzalez won 16 games this year, and has 31 wins over the past two seasons. He’s a strikeout pitcher with the potential to be an ace, but walks are always a concern with Gonzalez. He was ranked 1st in baseball with 91 walks issued, not a great thing. He was also ranked 9th in the AL in strikeouts with 197 over 202.0 innings.
The A’s offseason remains cloudy, but that won’t stop the rumors from swirling around the organization. The A’s are definitely a step away from a major rebuild and trading Gio Gonzalez could be the fire that lights the match.