With the Washington Nationals looking to make upgrades to their starting rotation, veteran Gio Gonzalez could potentially be available on the trade market.

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Latest on Gonzalez’s Trade Availability

Tuesday, Dec. 6

According to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark, the Nats told teams Gonzalez would be on the block if they completed a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Chris Sale. However, Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Jim Bowden of ESPN reported Monday that Washington and Chicago were closing in on a deal that would send Sale to the Nationals for top prospects Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles.

Gonzalez is coming off a down year, as he went 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 171 strikeouts in 177.1 innings pitched. That marked his highest ERA since the 2009 campaign with the Oakland Athletics (5.75).

The 31-year-old lefty previously enjoyed a six-year streak with an ERA of 3.79 or better, and he earned two All-Star nods during that time.

Since winning 21 games and finishing third in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2012, however, he has settled in as a middle-of-the-rotation arm, averaging 11 wins per season.

While Gonzalez is reliable in terms of taking the mound with 31 or more starts in six of the past seven seasons, 2016 was a roller-coaster ride from a performance perspective, according to Sung Min Kim of Vice Sports:

The peripheral numbers suggest Gonzalez was somewhat unlucky last season, though, as he posted a FIP nearly a full run lower than his ERA at 3.76, per Baseball-Reference.com. Gonzalez has had a lower FIP than ERA in three straight campaigns.

Washington will no longer have a need for Gonzalez if it can land another starter even after losing out on Sale, especially with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross in the fold.

The veteran could have value to another team in need of rotation depth, though, and he is affordable for a starting pitcher with a salary of $12 million, per Spotrac.

Provided Gonzalez’s ERA and FIP come closer together in 2017, he has a chance to provide great value for another team.


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