We’ve all known for some time that the starting rotation for the Phillies has been abysmal at best and wasn’t getting any better until this year. A somewhat surprising report now shows that the front office could have potentially landed starter Marco Gonzales in an interesting three-way trade.
What Could Have Been
The need to upgrade some aspects of the pitching rotation was now put at the forefront of any trades being made this past season. Although they weren’t able to land some big names on the chopping block, the Phillies were able to obtain Noah Syndergaard from the Los Angeles Angeles for outfielders Mickey Moniak and Jaidel Sanchez. This trade also saw them take on Syndergaard’s large one-year deal of $21 million that he inked with the Angeles in the beginning of the 2022.
Their interests mainly lied with three starters who were put up for grabs: Jose Quintana, Tyler Mahle, and Marco Gonzales, the latter of which was almost apart of a three-team trade between the Phillies, Mariners, and New York Yankees. This deal would have most likely seen Joey Gallo shipped off to Seattle and Gonzales headed for Philly before it fell apart. Gallo was instead sent to the Dodgers for pitching prospect Clayton Beeter while Gonzales remained in Seattle.
After a modest year in 2021 which saw Gonzales post a 3.96 ERA over 143.1 IP accompanied with 108 Ks, he seemed to struggle in 2022. He finished with a 4.13 ERA in 183.0 IP with 103 Ks but that wasn’t the most interesting part here. Before the trade deadline, he had a 3.95 ERA in 21 starts dating back to the inception of the 2022 season. From the trade deadline to the end of regular season play, he finished with 4.45 ERA in 11 starts.
Could it have been a bullet dodged for the Phils here?
Potentially. Could it also have played out differently had he been dealt to an NL team instead of remaining in the AL? Of course. Regardless, his value still remains the same and he could still be a guy to lookout for come next year’s trade deadline. He’s a guy who won’t put up a ton of strikeouts but likes to work batters into flyballs or grounders to obtain his outs.
Looking Ahead To the Phillies Next Season
Seattle is still working with six guys for their rotation and Gonzales is currently under contract with them through 2024. Even though starter Chris Flexen is set to become a free agent in 2023 and most likely to be moved before then, Gonzales could still find his way to Philly next year. If the Mariners could pay half of his two-year, $18.5 million dollar deal then I see this being doable at some point for the Phightins.
This guy is a good back end starter with plenty of experience under his belt given he made his MLB debut in 2014. Veterans like Kyle Gibson just won’t do the job and fortunately for them, he may be on his way to Pittsburgh if a deal arises there. For now, one can only hope that next year continues to bring more, better starting pitching to cap off a rotation that has had one heck of a season.
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