Carlos Gonzalez trade speculation: What about the Baltimore Orioles?


Carlos Gonzalez could still potentially be traded this off-season. Could a deal with the Baltimore Orioles be a good fit for the Rockies

Not only do the Baltimore Orioles want an outfielder; they want a left-handed outfielder.

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Are you really telling me that Carlos Gonzalez isn’t a more attractive target than Colby Rasmus, Nori Aoki, or Andre Ethier? I know I am inclined to be biased on behalf of the Rockies, but get real. Even coming off knee surgery, and even with some spendy years left on his contract, he must be a more attractive trade target.

If the Rockies engaged the Orioles about a deal, wouldn’t this make sense?

Roch Kobatko of MASN reports that the Orioles continue to pursue outfielders, including trade talks for Ethier.

"They maintain a lower level of interest in free agent Nori Aoki and have engaged in trade talks with the Dodgers regarding Andre Ethier, according to an industry source.Earlier this winter, the Orioles checked on Matt Kemp but decided against pursuing him due to his contract and health issues, and the Dodgers’ insistence on getting Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy."

The biggest potential hitch would be that the Rockies would come to trade discussions with a similarly lofty asking price. Furthermore, the attraction of signing Rasmus or Aoki would be that they are free agents and would not require giving up talent in a trade.

Let’s say for a moment that the Orioles go the route of a trade. Here are some side-by-side comparisons of Ethier and Gonzalez.

  • Gonzalez has three years left on his deal. He will make $16 million this season, $17 million in 2016, and $20 million in 2017.
  • Ethier has three guaranteed years left on his deal. He will make $18 million this season, $18 million in 2016, $17.5 million in 2017, and has a $17.5 million club option that will surely be declined for a $2.5 million in 2018.

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So, Carlos Gonzalez makes about the same money over the same period of time. It is essentially a wash. The difference? The Dodgers are in a better position to eat some salary to make a deal work.

For the same cost, Gonzalez is three years younger and offers a higher ceiling. Some of that upside might be cancelled out by his injury troubles, but I still believe that it wins out. Consider this:

  • As recently as 2013, Gonzalez was a 4.8 WAR player. His best season was 2010 when he posted 5.9 WAR.
  • In his very best season (2012), Ethier was a 3.8 WAR player. He was a 3.0 WAR player in 2013, but was a depressing replacement level guy last season.

All told, Carlos Gonzalez comes at roughly the same cost with the same number of years left on his deal and a far greater upside than Andre Ethier.

Shouldn’t Jeff Bridich at least pick up the phone and call the Orioles to see how serious they are about making a trade for a left-handed outfielder?