Washington Nationals: Five more players who could be traded in August
By Blake Finney
Gio Gonzalez – Starting Pitcher
Potential Fits: Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners
A rotation stalwart for the Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez has had his worst season with the team in 2018. It will be interesting to see whether any teams needing a spare rotation arm will take a look at the left-hander.
He was another name mentioned by Castillo among those who had been put on waivers by the Nats. Similarly to Reynolds, it’s unclear if he went through unclaimed, but it seems likely given his current contract compared to his 2018 performance.
The lefty has a 4.51 ERA this season, to go along with a 1.549 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, and 7.9 K/9, all of which are among the some of the worst figures in his career. But his season has spiraled out of control lately with a 7.07 ERA and 39 walks to 46 strikeouts in his last 13 starts.
With those struggles, in order to trade Gonzalez, the Nationals would likely need to take on a fair chunk of salary. But there are contenders out there with rotation concerns who could gamble on a return to form. They only need to look at Cole Hamels for a success story in that regard.
Hamels’ recent success has largely come from no longer pitching in the pitcher-friendly Globe Life Field. Gonzalez’s struggles though are largely due to a sky-high walk rate and a ballooning home run rate.
The Mariners could do with Gio Gonzalez to help a very iffy rotation that’s suffering from injuries. Seattle has the worst starter’s ERA among AL teams in realistic contention so he could at least do a job as a fifth starter.
The Brewers have also been bitten by the injury bug, with Jimmy Nelson, Zach Davies, and Brent Suter all on the DL. If the Nats take on a fair amount of Gonzalez’s salary, then the Brewers may be interested in the cheap fix at the back-end of the rotation.
It would be a shame to see Gonzalez’s Nationals career end in a trade, but given the unlikelihood of him re-signing with the team, it makes sense to see if they can get something for him.
UPDATE 8/23: Jorge Castillo reported Gio Gonzalez cleared waivers and is now free to be traded to any team this month.