Mike Gonzalez: August Trade Candidate

Let's imagine for a minute that the Orioles didn't sign Mike Gonzalez last winter, and his season unfolded in exactly the same way for another team: April struggles, months missed with a shoulder injury and strong outings of late. If all of that happens in, say, a Mariners uniform, would the Orioles want to sign Gonzalez to a one-year $6MM contract for 2011? Maybe, but that's not the kind of deal the Orioles would necessarily want to make.

Essentially, the O's have guaranteed Gonzalez a one-year $6MM deal for 2011. That, along with $1.7MM this year, is what remains on his contract and it's not necessarily the kind of deal the O's want on the books. It stands to reason that Baltimore would consider trading the left-hander if he clears waivers, though the Orioles may want to see him succeed in Baltimore given their initial $12MM investment.

Gonzalez is on waivers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Orioles may not want to move the left-hander, but they will soon see whether he clears waivers. It's entirely possible that he'll clear, since his salary is substantial and teams are probably not fully convinced by Gonzalez's nine-game stretch of effectiveness. The Phillies are one potential fit and the Red Sox, who acquired a left-handed reliever last August, are another.

The Orioles may prefer to keep Gonzalez in the hopes that he provides some value in Baltimore. The Orioles showed that they aren't desperate to move payroll when they held onto Ty Wigginton, Jeremy Guthrie and others at the trade deadline. However, they would have to consider letting Gonzalez go if a rival team claims him. 

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