Susan Slusser, who covers the Oakland A's for the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Tigers are "making a strong push" for Oakland A's lefty starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Slusser reported in this article that the Tigers would be willing to part with their No. 1 prospect, Jacob Turner.
I learned from multiple Detroit team sources tonight that the Tigers have strong interest in Gio Gonzalez and they probably would be willing to part with top prospect Jacob Turner, a right-handed starter, in any deal.
To land Gonzalez, of course, it will take a package of significantly more: likely one more of the club’s top three or four prospects and several other decent young players. (I can’t repeat it enough: Think Dan Haren deal.)
Gonzalez is a star young pitcher who would obviously be a big boost to the Tigers rotation. Gonzalez is a 26 year old lefty who made his first All Star appearance in 2011, finishing the season with a 16- 12 record, and an ERA of 3.16 while holding opposing batters to a .230 average in 32 starts.
Gonzalez is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter and will not be eligible for free agency until 2016. Slusser also reported that sources close to the Tigers were unsure whether the club would be able to put together a package as good as the Yankees could put together to get a deal done. The Yankees reportedly balked at Oakland's demand for Jesus Montero plus either Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos. The Tigers simply don't have that kind of talent in their minor league system, and if they were to match that kind of demand, they'd probably have to deal from the major league roster.
Jason Beck also reported that the Tigers were approached earlier this off season about left handed starter Wandy Rodriguez, but were unwilling to take on his full salary. Rodriguez will earn $10 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013, and there is a $13 million club option for 2014 that converts to a player option if he is traded.