When San Francisco Chronicle Writer Susan Slusser reported late last night that the Tigers were making a push for Althletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez, it was both surprising and exciting. The 26-year old Gonzalez was 10th in the American league with a 3.12 ERA and had 197 strikeouts in 202 innings in 2011. He does struggle with his control walking a league-leading 91 batters. However, that didn't stop him from finishing 10th in the league with 22 Pitching Runs Saved.
Gonzalez is not only talented, but affordable in terms of salary. He made just $420,000 in 2011 and will not be a free agent until 2016. That all sounds good, probably too good. There are several teams interested in Gonzalez and it's going to take a lot to get him. For example, the Athletics asked the Yankees for top prospects Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos.
The Tigers do not have that kind of talent in their system, so they would probably have to include a major league player in the deal. Right-handed starter Jacob Turner would almost certainly have to be included in the deal, but that wouldn't even come close to getting it done. Adding third baseman Nick Castellanos would make the Athletics listen, but the Tigers would be reluctant to give him up given their death of infield talent. The Athletics are in need of young outfielders, so Austin Jackson or Brennan Boesch would be attractive to them. However, that would create an immediate hole which would be difficult for the Tigers to fill.
Perhaps a third team could be added to the mix, but that's easier said than done. In the end, other teams have more offer in terms of prospects, so it's difficult to see this happening for the Tigers. It's good to see they are not content to just stand pat though.