Could White Sox trade veteran Miguel Gonzalez next season if he has solid start to 2017? South Siders in midst of rebuilding and could use more prospects.
With the current rebuilding of the Chicago White Sox underway, there is a player that isn’t being talked about much. That would be starter Miguel Gonzalez. While it might not make sense to move him over the winter, could the club move him as the trading deadline approaches next season? Let’s take a look.
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The White Sox picked up Gonzalez off waivers early last season, and the results were fantastic. He went 5-8, while posting an ERA of 3.73 and a WHIP of 1.24. His BB/K rate was very good as well, as he only walked 35 batters and fanned 95 in 135 innings pitched. Keep in mind the main reason Gonzalez was let go by the Orioles is his velocity decreased, however he performed up to his capability on the South Side.
Since all indications point to the White Sox not competing in 2017, they should do everything in their power to build up Gonzalez’s value by mid-season. Contenders will be looking for pitching, and even if it is towards the back end of the rotation they will take it any way they can get it. Gonzalez may not be a top of the rotation starter, however he could still provide valuable depth to a team in contention down the stretch, assuming he performs.
There is one issue with this strategy however, and that is if the Sox continue to move more key pieces it will be harder for Gonzalez to pick up wins. This is especially true if the club moves Jose Quintana, as he would then face more top of the rotation starters, due to the fact he would be slotted higher in the rotation.
Another concern with moving players is the team will be weaker around him. Gonzalez is far from an ace, therefore he needs more help in order to pick up wins. If his team is poor, it may hurt his production and therefore his trade value. Front office executives may not evaluate a player on his stats, however if he performs below his ability the White Sox would not get nearly the return they would like.
Overall, Gonzalez is a hidden gem in the White Sox rebuilding efforts. Pitching is always at a premium, and any pitcher that shows the ability to help a contending club at the deadline has the potential to bring back a decent return. Given that return could yield very little, but who knows at this point.
So, this could go one of two ways. Gonzalez might have solid year, just as in 2016 and maybe bring back a solid prospect or two. Or, the fact the White Sox will be downright terrible (most likely) in 2017 could undo any chance to bring back any type of decent return for him. Hope for the former, White Sox fans.