Some news from around the NL East…
- The Nationals have no plans to deal Gio Gonzalez, GM Mike Rizzo tells Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. With an enviable amount of young starting depth on hand, there had been speculation that the Nats could look to deal Gonzalez in order to address other roster needs (MLBTR’s Jeff Todd noted this scenario in his recent Offseason Outlook piece on the Nationals.) Rizzo did hint, however, that Gonzalez’s rotation spot wasn’t set in stone, as the southpaw, Joe Ross, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, A.J. Cole and Austin Voth could all be competing for two starting jobs rather than just the fifth starter role. One would think that if at least two of these young arms perform well in Spring Training, the Nats could revisit the idea of a Gonzalez swap, though the team would be taking a risk in dealing a proven innings-eater. In addition, Rizzo said Washington is always looking to add young pitching as a general principle, given its value within the game.
- Bartolo Colon’s departure is a blow to the Mets both in terms of rotation depth and clubhouse chemistry, though John Harper of the New York Daily News opines that by not re-signing the veteran, the Mets saved some money for more pressing offseason needs. With Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman in the fold and (hopefully) their regular starters all healthy, spending $12.5MM to re-sign Colon would’ve been an expensive luxury. Harper feels the Mets could instead focus their offseason spending on re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, or adding bullpen depth.
- The Marlins’ key offseason focus is pitching, though as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro notes, the team also wants to improve its roster depth, both on the Major League bench and within the farm system. Jeff Mathis, Jeff Francoeur and Chris Johnson could all return in backup roles, though Frisaro suggests Miami could also look to reunions with ex-Marlins like Emilio Bonifacio, Chris Coghlan or Alejandro De Aza. A higher-level upgrade would be a player like Steve Pearce, who Frisaro notes the Marlins have shown interest in acquiring in previous seasons.