Carlos Gonzalez: Time to Shop Around Star Outfielder?


Carlos Gonzalez re-entered the superstar realm with his rejuvenated 2015 campaign; thus, should the Rockies shop his services in the offseason?

In 2008, the Colorado Rockies acquired Carlos Gonzalez in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The trade sent Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith to the Rockies and Matt Holliday to Oakland. Carlos Gonzalez spent one year in the MLB before being dealt to the Rockies, and it turned out to be one of the best trades, for the Rockies, in franchise history. The Athletics regarded Gonzalez as one of their prized-prospects, but after one season, they decided to deal the left-handed, power hitting outfielder.

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Carlos Gonzalez lived up to the billing of a five-tool prospect. In Gonzalez’s first season with the Colorado Rockies, he hit 13 home runs, drove in 29 RBI, and stole 16 bags in just 89 games as a platoon-level outfielder. Gonzalez owned a very respectable .284/.353/.525 slash line, and he impressed the Rockies so much that they gave him the starting outfield job heading into the 2010 season. As a regular in the Rockies’ lineup in 2010, Gonzalez impressed, and he put together an MVP-caliber season.

In 2010, Carlos Gonzalez put together the best season of his career, to date. Gonzalez played in 145 games and led the National League in hits (197) and batting average (.336). He quickly vaulted himself as one of the bright, young superstars in the game with his performances in 2010. In addition to his high batting average, he hit 34 home runs, registered 117 RBI, and stole 26 bags. Gonzalez demonstrated his nice blend of power and speed; furthermore, he won his first Gold Glove Award and first Silver Slugger Award.

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Following his breakout 2010 campaign, Gonzalez put together solid seasons in each of the next three years, averaging 25 home runs, 82 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. However, Carlos Gonzalez suffered injuries in each of the three seasons, limiting him to 127 games in 2011, 135 games in 2012, and 110 games in 2013. Despite short seasons, Gonzalez still contributed at an All-Star level. Gonzalez won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in 2012 and 2013; additionally, he earned All-Star selections in each of those two seasons, as well, showing his elite-level skill set.

Coming off of back-to-back All-Star seasons, Carlos Gonzalez looked poised for another great season; however, the injury bug bit him harder than ever before. A lingering finger injury that required surgery limited the former All-Star to just 70 games in 2014, raising doubts if he would return to All-Star form. 2014 was an injury-riddled season for Gonzalez, and he put together the worst season of his professional career, posting a slash line of .238/.292/.431. He managed to hit 11 home runs despite the injuries.

After an injury-plagued season, many people did not know what to expect out of Gonzalez heading into the 2015 season. He played in a career-low 70 games the previous year and posted the lowest batting average of his professional career. Despite getting off to a slow start in 2015, Carlos Gonzalez put together one of the best seasons of his career. He played in a career-high 153 games, putting to bed his injury concerns. Also, he hit a career-high 40 home runs while driving in 97 RBI. The offensive outbreak in 2015 led to Gonzalez winning a second Silver Slugger Award of his career.

Despite the offensive outbreak in 2015, Carlos Gonzalez stole a career-low two bases. However, he likely stole two bases to preserve his health for the longevity of the season. With Gonzalez playing in nearly every game this past season, the Colorado Rockies need to think about dealing the two-time All-Star this offseason. His rejuvenated 2015 season brought his stock value back to the star-range, and the Rockies could get a nice haul for his services. The Rockies need pitching, both starting and relief; thus, the Rockies might look to address that this offseason.

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  • Many teams would like to have a player the caliber of Carlos Gonzalez. At age 30, teams looking to make a playoff push likely would deal for the 2015 Silver Slugger. With the New York Mets unlikely to sign Yoenis Cespedes, could they be interested in a deal for Carlos Gonzalez? The Mets possess a slew of great, young pitching, and a deal between the two teams makes sense for both parties. Also, the Dodgers could use a player like Gonzalez. With Puig struggling, the Dodgers need a power bat to help Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup. Also, the Dodgers have some very talented, young pitching in their minor league system.

    While possible suitors for Carlos Gonzalez is purely based on speculation, we must assume that there is a large market for Gonzalez. Left-handed power hitters are highly coveted in the MLB, and Gonzalez is one of the best in the National League. He improves a team in both aspects of the game – offensively and defensively. Also, with the Colorado Rockies dealing Troy Tulowitzki, anything is possible for them moving forward. Gonzalez is one of the older position players on the team, and he looks to be next on the chopping block.

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    The Rockies would be wise to deal him while his value is through the roof, because if he suffers an injury next season, they may have missed their chance to sell-high on the two-time All-Star, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove outfielder. While it will certainly hurt Rockies’ fans to see their beloved “CarGo” leave the team, baseball is a business, and most deals are time sensitive. Thus, the Rockies cannot stumble with a player like Carlos Gonzalez. He deserves to be traded to a playoff contender, because the Rockies are a few years away from contention, as they are in the midst of another rebuilding season.