Gio-graphy: Getting Gonzalez will take big package
Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski noted a little progress on gaining some regard from other teams in Detroit’s position prospects, but he also noted that the primary interest from teams in trade talks has been the team’s highly-touted pitching prospects, as usual. If the Tigers are going to make a serious attempt at acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the A’s, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser suggested late Tuesday evening, there’s no reason to think they could do it without giving up highly-regarded pitching prospects, starting with Jacob Turner.
Slusser reports the Tigers have strong interest in joining the Gonzalez sweepstakes, which so far has centered around the Yankees, and would probably be willing to include Turner as part of their offer. Essentially, then, Gonzalez would slot into the open rotation spot rather than replace one of the other four, and Turner would be a man without a role in Detroit.
A’s general manager Billy Beane told reporters earlier Tuesday that nothing was imminent. Dombrowski said Tuesday afternoon that talks on various fronts had reached “a lull period.”
The A’s have been attracting interest in Gonzalez as he heads into arbitration eligibility for the first time in his career as a super-2 qualifier. If another team acquires him, they’ll have to pay for Gonzalez’s success over the past couple years, but they’ll get four seasons out of the 26-year-old left-hander before he’s eligible for free agency.
With that type of control, and the level of interest from big-market teams, the A’s have every reason to expect a haul of prospects for their gifted young left-hander. What form that package takes will have to depend on the team.
Supposedly the A’s are interested in young outfield help, but while the Tigers have some young talent there, it’s not their strength. Andy Dirks just completed a surprisingly strong rookie season that included some stretches of everyday play and can play all three outfield spots, but he isn’t regarded as a top prospect. Avisail Garcia has the physique and ability to become a very good player, but has to find the consistent performance to match.
The Tigers also have some young infield prospects, but the A’s already have talent there, starting with Jemile Weeks. The Tigers prospects generating respect are the pitchers, starting with Turner and continuing with Drew Smyly and possibly Andy Oliver. If the Tigers are going to offer the type of package the A’s received when they traded Dan Haren four years ago, as Slusser suggests, they’ll probably have to offer a little bit of all of that.
Yes, the A’s are deep in starting pitching. But as Dombrowski has always believed, you can never have enough pitching. It’s a commodity.