Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MLB Off-Season: Hot Stove Alert, a Trade a'brewin?? Is Gio Gonzalez > Cole Hamels ???

This about sums it up...
WTH??? I wake up to see from Ken Rosenthal that the Phillies are pursuing Gio Gonzalez? All experts saying it opens the door for a Cole Hamels trade?? I haven't felt as sick to my stomach like this since the Phillies traded for Roy Halladay 2 years ago only to be hoodwinked and swindled by Ruben Amaro about 30 seconds later announcing they traded Cliff Lee in the same breath. By trading Hamels, Amaro --who later admitted the Lee trade was a mistake-- can't & won't have the opportunity to make amends like he did by signing Lee last year.

Let's just get straight to the numbers, they're kind of stunning considering Gonzalez plays in Oakland, a team that hasn't had a sniff of playoff action in quite some time:

Gio Gonzalez (age 26 on Sept 19)
Arb Eligible: 2012, Free Agent: 2016
  • 2010 
    • 15-9  
    • 3.23   ERA
    • 1.31   WHIP
    • 4.1     BB/9
  • 2011
    • 16-12
    • 3.12   ERA
    • 1.32   WHIP
    • 4.1     BB/9
Cole Hamels (age 28 on Dec 27)
Arb Eligible: 2012, Free Agent: 2013
  • 2010
    • 12-10 
    • 3.06   ERA
    • 1.18   WHIP
    • 2.6     BB/9
  • 2011
    • 14-9
    • 2.79   ERA
    • 0.986 WHIP
    • 1.8     BB/9
Gio Gonzalez
Clearly, this is about player control, as Gonzalez would be signed for the next 4 years. And his numbers are quite good considering how mediocre and invisible the A's are. However, that stadium in Oakland is a cavern and it isn't exactly a large market out there. Most Philadelphians couldn't even name 4 or 5 of the A's starting 9 (myself included) and if this trade goes down, many will wonder how Gonzalez would react to playing in the now tightly contested NL East on a team that expects nothing short of a World Series parade--after replacing a former World Series MVP. If Gonzalez doesn't get those BB per 9 innings down (combined with 15 and 17 HR's served up in 2010-2011 playing half a season in a football stadium), it would be a long summer for both he and Ruben Amaro.

Ken Rosenthal lists the same suitors for Gonzalez would obviously be a good fit for Hamels. One team and player that intrigues me --and would be the only way I'd be abe to swallow a Hamels trade-- would be the Texas Rangers and Michael Young. It's no secret the Phillies would love to have Young's bat, no secret that Young would prefer to play in the field instead of DH, and it's also no secret the Phillies have already dangled Placido Polanco's name during the winter meetings in Dallas this past week. Polanco would be a nice AL part-time DH/3B/2B at his age and recently fragile state.

Let it be known that while I understand this is yet again another example of the right-between-the-eyes business side of baseball, I don't think I'd have the quijones to make this trade in a million years. Actually, I know I'd never do it as I am a big fan of Hamels and with a little run support in some close games in the past 2 years, he probably wouold have been top 1-3 for the Cy Young award. But, I'll take Hamels any day with a 5th place finish in the Cy Young voting in 2011 as our 3rd starter any day.

I'm never sleeping again until the meetings in December are over.

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