Pittsburgh Pirates: Left Feels Right With Free Agent Pitching Targets

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Brett Anderson #42 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park on August 29, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 25: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the 5th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 25, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 25: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Chicago White Sox pitches in the 5th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 25, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Like his fellow southpaw, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez is an 11+ year veteran who toed the rubber in Oakland before landing with the Nationals from 2012-2018. He would split 2018-2019 between the Brewers and Nationals before signing with the Pale Hose in 2020 for 1yr/$5M with a previously undisclosed team option for 2021.

After tossing a disappointing 31.2 innings of 4.83 ERA ball with an even bleaker 5.50 FIP, the Sox declined his option. However, over his career, Gonzalez has posted a generally solid 3.70 ERA, 8.66 K/9, and 3.68 FIP. More impressively, he has reached the 30 start plateau eight times during his decade-plus in the bigs.

Gonzalez was slated to make $7M in his 2021 club option, but the Pirates could surely lure the former Washington stalwart back to the National League for less. Potentially more attractive to Gonzalez will be the opportunity to immediately work out of the rotation after making only four starts in 12 appearances on the South Side. A solid start to the 2021 season could see the hurler become an attractive midyear trade chip with the potential to move to a World Series contender.

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