Friday, March 22, 2019

Card Spotlight: 3-22-19

2004 Topps Draft Pick Bonus #8 - Gio Gonzalez

A small part of me really wanted the White Sox to right a wrong in their past this off-season. I really wanted Gio Gonzalez to come home. You see, the White Sox originally drafted Gio in 2004, as the thirty-eighth pick overall in the first round. I've been hearing great things about Gio ever since.

The mistake was not trading him away after the 2005 season. No. That may have taken Aaron Rowand away too, but the White Sox got Jim Thome out of the deal. That was a great overall trade. I would have pulled the trigger on that trade. In fact, Gio was the player to be named later in that trade. It stung, but Jim Thome was such an asset to the White Sox that it was worth it. Center field may have been too much for Brian Anderson to take over, but the Sox were still in great shape.

When the White Sox shipped out "Sweaty" Freddy Garcia to the Phillies, almost a year later to the day, I was saddened to say goodbye to Freddy, but I cheered getting Gio Gonzalez back. The other player the Phillies threw in was a prospect named Gavin Floyd. That trade worked out well for the Sox too.

Gio was well on his way to making his debut with the White Sox a few years down the road, when the unthinkable happened. The White Sox got fleeced in a trade with the Oakland Athletics on January 3, 2008. Losing Fautino De Los Santos didn't sting so much. I remember him being highly thought of, but his MLB career didn't pan out greatly. The loss of Ryan Sweeney wasn't too bad. I'd miss him, since he had been up for a little bit in the previous two seasons. I could live with losing those guys. The Sox threw in Gio Gonzalez.

There was literally no position player that I would have wanted from the 2007 Athletics coming back in a trade to the White Sox. If the player was a name, they were past their prime. If they were mid-20s or younger, they didn't amount to much. Did Mark Kotsay and Dan Johnson work out when they were on the White Sox a few years later? No? Imagine them coming to the White Sox a couple years earlier. You'd be right to think that was underwhelming. Who did the White Sox get back in that trade? Nick "Dirty 30" Swisher.

His grating antics, anemic batting average and lackluster fielding skills were a black cloud over the 2008 White Sox team. Despite him, that team went on to win the division. Out of those three main complaints, Swisher was benched. Instead of cheering on his teammates and pumping everyone up, Nick decided his time would be better spent by pouting.

If the Sox had to give up Gio Gonzalez in a trade to the Athletics, who would I rather they have gotten? That's easy. A prospect that was thrown into a trade with the Diamondbacks a few weeks earlier... Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos would make his MLB debut with the Athletics on May 30, 2008. He had a better attitude, a better average and was four years younger. His fielding would improve greatly in 2009, when he was traded to the Rockies.

Swisher was such a burden to the Sox and clearly not a good fit, that they packaged him with Kanekoa Texeira to the Yankees that brought back the underwhelming trio of Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. Clearly not their best trade.

Gio would make his MLB debut in 2008 for the Athletics. After two years of bumps and bruises, he would find his footing and become a two time All-Star and be in the running for the Cy Young award twice.

Cargo would have been a nice addition for giving up Gio for the second time. I was hopeful that the White Sox would have added Gio to the 2019 White Sox, but the battle of Ervin Santana and Manny Banuelos for fifth starter will have to suffice. Good luck in New York, Gio!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...