The following scenario was allegedly discussed...
Of course nothing should be taken way too seriously at the winter meetings, especially considering the fact that Brian Cashman is extremely comfortable with walking away empty handed, but the thought of this trade occurring is rather intriguing.
Exactly who is Gio Gonzalez? Well, he's been a fantastic starting pitcher for Oakland the past two seasons and made moderate strides between 2010 and 2011. He's logged 402.2 in 65 starts and finished a minimum of six innings in 48 of those starts (73.8% of starts). He also has a solid strikeout rate of 8.2 K/9 during that stretch and climbed from 7.67 in 2010 to 8.78 in 2011.
Interestingly enough, Gonzalez's velocity also jumped up last season on his fastball, curveball and changeup. The southpaw's bRef WAR tallies up to 6.7 since the beginning of 2010, ranking him 37th in baseball amongst starting pitchers.
Most of all, he's merely 26-years-old and will be entering the prime of his career over the next several seasons. Oh yeah, he's under team control until 2016.
The prospect of losing Brett Gardner is a bit disappointing due to his stellar defensive abilities and blazing speed, but how many years of 5-6 WARs does he have left? Granted, Gardner could very well be entering his prime at 28-years-old... but there's always a chance that an injury could quickly diminish his speed. Either way, he's under team control through 2015 and could remain a relatively cheap outfielder over the next three seasons for the Yankees or the Royals (comparatively to other left fielders).
Thoughts, Pinstripe Alley?
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