The Miami Marlins want a top of the rotation starting pitcher and are scouring the free agent and trade markets in order to find one. Their search led them to Oakland where Florida native Gio Gonzalez currently pitches. Interested in acquiring Gonzalez from the A’s, the Marlins have reportedly “flatly rejected” Oakland’s initial trade proposal which included either Mike Stanton or Logan Morrison.
It’s not surprising to see the A’s asking for such lofty return for Gonzalez. Oakland’s general manager Billy Beane made it clear from the start that if he were to trade one of his top young arms this winter, he would be looking for ace return.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the A’s and Marlins have spoken recently about Gonzalez. During their preliminary discussion, Spencer says that Beane proposed a package built around Stanton or Morrison. Miami balked and the request and now that they have confirmed the asking price they may turn their attention to other possible trade targets.
When rumors first surfaced regarding Gonzalez, it was said that the A’s were looking at several of Miami’s young players that provided significant contributions at the major league level in 2011. Stanton and Morrison would certainly qualify.
Stanton (22) hit 34 home runs and drove in 87 runs in 2011 while Morrison (24) tallied 23 long balls and 72 RBI’s last season.
As Spencer mentions, Miami’s farm system isn’t “exactly bursting at the seams with highly coveted prospects”. If the Marlins are hoping to bring in a top starter via trade, they may have to concede some of their young and talented major leaguers.
Beyond Gonzalez, several other starting pitchers are said to be available. Tampa Bay Rays starter James Shields interests the Marlins and John Danks and Gavin Floyd of the Chicago White Sox and Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros are all rumored to be available this winter.
When talking about Gonzalez and his availability, many reference the Dan Haren deal. In that trade, Beane and the A’s brought in a ton of young talent including starting pitcher Brett Anderson and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Other than the Marlins, the New York Yankees have been tied to Gonzalez this winter. FanSided’s own Jon Verburg and Derek Stykalo explored the idea of the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox dealing for Gonzalez as well.