Tom Gorzelanny’s Trade Value

Jayson Stark, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have each suggested that clubs could attempt to acquire Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry is not shopping the left-hander now, but the Cubs won't have room for Gorzelanny as a starter if Carlos Zambrano pitches well in his return to the rotation tonight.

As long as Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Silva remain healthy, the rotation is set without Gorzelanny. You could make the argument that he is one of the team's top five starters, but he's in the 'pen for now after allowing five earned runs in two of his last three starts. 

If the Cubs consider trading Gorzelanny, who turns 28 next month, they should be able to obtain a significant piece or two for him. Despite the pair of rough starts that preceded his move to the bullpen, Gorzelanny has been an improved pitcher since arriving in Chicago last July

Gorzelanny is striking out more batters (9.3 K/9 vs. 5.9 K/9 with Pittsburgh) and walking fewer batters (3.3 BB/9 vs. 4.1 BB/9 with Pittsburgh) since joining the Cubs. Those improved ratios, and Gorzelanny's 3.66 ERA would compare well with any available starting pitcher this side of Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

But there's an important difference between Gorzelanny and other trade candidates like Lee, Oswalt, Kevin Millwood and Jake Westbrook. Every one of those starters earns at least ten times as much as the $800K Gorzelanny makes in 2010. That could give the Cubs more potential trade partners, since not every team can afford the salary of a veteran starter. And not only is Gorzelanny cheap, he doesn't hit free agency until after 2013. Unlike most starters we'll hear about in trade rumors, he's controllable and affordable.

Even though there's been lots of talk about Gorzelanny, there hasn't been a concrete rumor indicating that he's available. That may mean the Cubs keep Gorzelanny, but Hendry should be able to obtain good prospects or major league pieces in a trade if the Cubs decide to move him.


11 Responses to Tom Gorzelanny’s Trade Value Leave a Reply

  1. ubercubsfan 5 years ago

    I hope that the Cubs keep him. Yes, he has value right now, but how about the value he holds to the Cubs as a starter next year? It would be insane to sign Lilly to another 2 or 3 year deal that he would command when you have Gorzelanny for that same 3 years. The Cubs need to keep him simply for the reason he’s a decent pitcher and cost virtually rock bottom prices for a team with high payroll issues.

    • studio179 5 years ago

      I agree the Cubs hold on to Gorzy for the reasons you point out. Even if Lilly was having a great year, I would not want the Cubs to resign him for 2-3 more years. They need someone to take Lilly’s spot next year and Gorzy is an affordable, back end, lefty option. Marshall seems to do better out of the pen and both he and Gorzy communicate with Maddux on situational pitching often. Never a bad thing. No one is expecting Gorzy to become Johan Santana in his prime. Gorzelanny can provide quality starts at a cost friendly rate and is under team control. This, as was already pointed out, is important on the Cub payroll.

  2. aap212 5 years ago

    If the Cubs trade him, he’d be a great fit for the Mets, especially since he won’t require pieces they don’t have or wouldn’t part with.

  3. monroe_says 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t it be better to sell high on Silva while they can?

    • hoostinohambone 5 years ago

      I totally agree! One thing that Hendry has proven is that he NEVER sells high…Patterson, Pie, Harden, and Sosa are a few that come to mind. I’d listen to offers for Gorzy, but I really like the way he pitches, so I wouldn’t deal him unless it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

      Just so you know…I’m ready for a rebuild…I was actually hoping it would start after the 2008 playoff sweep. If I were in Hendry’s shoes, I’d try to sell high on Silva, Lilly, and Fukudome right now. That way, when/if DLee and ARam finally heat up, we still won’t be in contention and they may waive their NTCs to go to a contender!!

      I’ve always been fans of DLee, ARam, and Z, but I have never pictured them carrying us to the promised land…peaceyo

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      “Every one of those starters earns at least ten times as much as the $800K Gorzelanny makes in 2010.”

      The same goes for Silva. His age/salary/upside still isnt going to get you anything important in return, Gorzelanny would be very attractive on the market.

    • I agree as well, but unfortunately I don’t think that any GMs are going to be too interested in Silva.. Keep in mind he was atrocious in Seattle. it will be easier to trade him now that he’s doing well, but other teams will be scared that he may revert to his old form from his days as a Mariner..

  4. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    I think a lot of teams could use him. The Reds, Cardinals, and Astros, but they are all in the division, though. Maybe the Pirates would like him back? Also the Dodgers, Rockies, Mets, and Nationals could make use of him. Angels, Indians, Arizona too. If I were the Cubs, I’d make someone else available, like Ted Lilly, whose contract is up at the end of this year.

    • souldrummer 5 years ago

      This doesn’t work for the Nationals. The Nationals have an abundance of 4/5 starter types that they believe will help them before the end of this year. It’s not just that they think these guys will be better; they want to see what they have in them so that they can evaluate whether it’s better to press to contend in 2011 or 2012. I don’t think the Nats realistically see themselves as buyers.

      The Nats assets are that they can pick up money (hence the speculation on Oswalt) and that they have some 4/5 starters they can move. Trading a 4/5 starter when all they have to offer is 4/5 starters in return doesn’t seem like the move. And they really don’t have anything else close to MLB that I could see the Cubs wanting.

  5. stewie75 5 years ago

    the cubs bigger need is for a reliable righty arm out of the pen. once grabow gets back, no matter how useless he may be, will give us 4 lefty arms out of the pen. tom’s pitched well and has taken the demotion like a trooper, but i think everyone would be better off if hendry could find a match elsewhere while helping the current squad fill a need now.

  6. bigpat 5 years ago

    I think he is pitching well this year, but who knows if he’s completely turned it around. It would make sense to hold onto him to replace Lilly, but also this would be a good opportunity to sell high on him, because no one really knows if he’ll continue to pitch this well.

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