Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Gio Gonzalez
The beauty of baseball is that every season is different from the last. You have teams who surprise and disappoint every season. This year, the Seattle Mariners are on the positive side of that ledger.
Mariners fans have been pleasantly surprised by their team’s performance this season. However, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the Washington Nationals. Viewed by many as a lock to win the NL East and a World Series contender, the Nationals season is slowly slipping away.
Washington finds themselves 7 games behind the Atlanta Braves, and a game below .500 nearing the All-Star Break. The team’s superstar OF Bryce Harper is struggling and is just 3 months from free agency.
In short, the Washington Nationals could be this years “surprise sellers”. It is unlikely they will trade Bryce Harper, whom they still hope to resign and will most definitely net them a first-round pick if he leaves the national capital.
However, as the Nationals prepare to turn the page on 2018, they still have useful pieces that could net them solid prospects in return. One such player is Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a free agent after the 2018 season and is widely expected to find a new home this off-season.
If the Nationals continue to struggle in the coming weeks, the team could look to unload Gonzalez to ensure they don’t lose the lefty without some level of payment.
As for Gonzalez, the 32-year-old LHP is having a disappointing season in 2018. His 3.77 ERA and 3.93 FIP look good on the surface. However, his 1.42 WHIP and 4.27 BB/9 stats are eyebrow-raising. His fastball velocity has fallen every season since 2013, and he now sits at 90 MPH.
Like most lefties, he backs up the average fastball with an above-average changeup. The curveball, which has been good in the past, has not been great this season. In 2017, Gonzalez finished 6th in the NL Cy Young race. In that year, his fastball and changeup were exceptional and his curveball was above-average.
But now it comes down to cost. What would the Mariners have to ship to Washington to get their hands on Gio Gonzalez? As we have already mentioned, Gonzalez is a rental. And he is having a good but not great year. These factors might help Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto.
However, if Gonzalez becomes available, he will surely have several teams bid for his services. So what does that mean? What’s the cost? Here is what we would be comfortable doing:
The Mariners trade Seth Elledge to Washington for Gio Gonzalez.
Is this enough to land Gonzalez? Probably not. It’s not like the Nationals wouldn’t be getting a nice relief prospect. Elledge is dominating Low A ball and should be in AA shortly. He will likely make his MLB debut in 2019.
Next: Mariners Trade a Day: Danny Duffy
So 6 years of Seth Elledge for 3 months of Gio Gonzalez isn’t bad for Washington. It is just more likely that somebody would outbid them. And is Gonzalez a significant upgrade over Wade LeBlanc or Marco Gonzalez? No. An upgrade sure, but not substantial, at least in 2018.