Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Boston Red Sox are “known to be extremely high” on Oakland A’s starter Gio Gonzalez. The A’s are willing to listen to offers on Gonzalez, who is also a target of the Yankees and Marlins.
According to Edes, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has acknowledged that Boston will likely not be in on the one of the market’s high-end free agent starting pitchers. Instead of pursuing costly free agent targets such as C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, the Red Sox may instead turn to the trade market to fill out their rotation.
While there are a few solid starting pitching options known to be available via trade, Edes says the Red Sox top interest is Gonzalez.
A’s GM Billy Beane has let teams know that it will take ace return in order to pry Gonzalez away from Oakland, and Edes says the Red Sox may be hesitant to surrender huge packages of prospects in back-to-back winters. Last offseason, Boston sent top young talent Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo to the San Diego Padres in return for slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
While the Red Sox are expected to proceed cautiously regarding Gonzalez, Edes said that the lefty “has been a name widely discussed internally by the team”.
There have since been mixed reports, but it originally came out that the Marlins and A’s discussed Gonzalez earlier this week. Oakland reportedly requested packages built around either Mike Stanton or Logan Morrison, but the Marlins quickly rejected these initial offers.
Regardless of which names came up early in talks, Edes expects that any team looking to bring in Gonzalez this winter will have to surrender a similar package to what the Cubs sent to the Rays for Matt Garza.
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