RHP, Marco Gonzales
Marco Gonzales is intriguing purely based on his price point. He’s 26, has 5 full years of control, and in his first full season as a starter posted a 4.00 ERA in a hitter friendly ballpark and tough division.
Gonzales was a nice pitching prospect in St. Louis. Drafted in 2013, and made five starts in the following season for the big league Cardinals. He probably wasn’t fully developed and fast-tracked too quick. Gonzales had a rough first go with the Mariners in 2017, but really settled next year.
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Gonzales has a strong fastball changeup combo, but there isn’t a whole lot of velocity on Gonzales’ fast ball. His sinker ball is also a nice mix in along with a hard curve. Gonzales won’t exactly walk in and be an ace, and nobody should ever really expect him too.
But with time, he could become a really solid second or third option. Gonzales’ HR/9 was top 20 in baseball last year, so he doesn’t give up the long ball. With a good defense behind him, he just might fit well into AT&T park, which would limit the long ball damage.
What would it take to get Gonzales? If I were the Giants I’d try Tyler Beede, one of the Slater/Williamson crew, and maybe a low level prospect. Gonzales isn’t great, and his age/control is the most intriguing factor. But the Giants aren’t truly looking for a 2019 only solution. Gonzales can grow into the Giants rotation as they continue to get stronger.
Honorable mention trade ideas
Swapping Leake for Samardzija. Both could use a change of scenery, and both are on not too great contracts. You could likely get the Mariners to hang on to the Samardzija contract by tossing in a prospect. Or, thanks to the big mutual option in the Leake contract, that could be enough to warrant a straight swap.