Day Three of the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings brought more of the same for the Diamondbacks. There were whispers and rumors about Arizona showing interest in A’s pitchers Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez, but nothing ever materialized between the two sides.
Probably the biggest Diamondbacks news came from general manager Kevin Towers, who stated that he would be open to trading some of the organization’s top prospects in order to add another arm to the rotation or even another bat to the lineup.
D’Backs beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic discussed the news on his twitter account.
Towers went further in-depth on why he believes now is the time to possibly trade top prospects in order to improve the 25-man roster. During the July Trade Deadline, the D’Backs general manager was against risking the future in order to make the major league club better at the moment.
“We see an opportunity in the next couple of years, and this is just our eyes, the way we view it,” Towers said. “This is probably an opportune time to hopefully stay on top if we make the right moves and are able to make our club better, even if it means giving up prospects.”
I pretty much agree with Towers sentiments. With the NL West being wide open, now is the time to improve the roster. The Dodgers have been busy this offseason, but they haven’t necessarily gotten any better. The Giants and Rockies have been pretty quiet and the Padres don’t have the talent to compete with the big boys in the division.
As for the Diamondbacks competing against the entire National League, the Cardinals proved that a hardly perfect team can win a World Series.
When I first read this morning that this club wasn’t possibly adding an arm like Cahill or Gonzalez to the rotation, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me considering what Towers said during the trade deadline a few months back. Now after Towers’ comments today, everything is crystal clear.
Would I trade one of Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer or Jarrod Parker for Cahill? Absolutely not. All three have better upside than Cahill and I don’t think the lefty would even be much of an upgrade over Joe Saunders anyways.
Gonzalez is a much different story than Cahill though. After struggling in his first two seasons in the majors, Gonzo has been one of the best left-handers in the American League the past two seasons. During 2010 and 2011, Gonzalez has managed to win 31 games despite not getting a ton of run support in Oakland with a 3.23 and 3.12 ERA respectively in 65 starts.
The lefty is a swing and miss pitcher. Since coming into the league in 2008, Gonzalez has averaged 8.6 SO/9, which aren’t exactly Randy Johnson type numbers, but still nice nevertheless. His one weakness has been his ability to throw strikes at times, but then again, that has been a weakness of a lot of young pitchers over the years, including Johnson early in his hall of fame career.
Now I am not comparing Gonzalez to RJ because he has several years to go before he even gets consideration to be put into Johnson’s category of great left-handers, but this Gonzalez deal is something that the Diamondbacks should certainly explore, even though they might have to give up one of the Big Three in the process.
A top three of Ian Kennedy (26), Daniel Kennedy (24) and Gonzalez (26) would form one of the best young rotations in the entire game. Scary to think about.