If you thought the Angels were being greedy by pursuing C.J. Wilson, brace yourself. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Phillies are among the teams interested in dealing for A's lefty Gio Gonzalez.
Despite having a historically dominant rotation that features Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, Philadelphia is among about a dozen teams in the mix for Gonzalez. The thinking, according to Rosenthal, is that acquiring Gonzalez would either give the Phillies a built-in replacement for Hamels when he departs via free agency after the 2012 season, or even allow the Phils to shop Hamels to other clubs this winter.
Hamels would figure to have the same suitors as Gonzalez, and this wouldn't be the first time the Phillies dealt an elite starter to acquire another arm they could control for longer. Two years ago around this time, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. sent Lee to the Mariners and acquired Halladay from the Blue Jays when Lee only had one year left on his contract. Halladay was extended for three seasons, though as it turns out, Lee wound up re-signing in Philly as a free agent on a five-year deal anyway.
Speculation on my part, but the Phillies may not want to have Ryan Howard and three of their starting pitchers making $20MM+ per season, and Hamels' free agent years could approach that neighborhood. Dealing for Gonzalez would allot them another three years of team control on an affordable, upper-tier left-handed starter.
Rosenthal specifically names the Tigers, Diamondbacks, Marlins, and Reds as other suitors for Gonzalez's services and says that he, not Wilson or Mark Buehrle, is the lefty who is in the highest demand at the Winter Meetings.