The left-handed pitcher most in demand at the winter meetings is not either of the top free agents, C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle.
No, the lefty generating the most attention is the Athletics’ Gio Gonzalez, who is attracting trade interest from nearly a dozen teams, major league sources say.
The Tigers, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Reds and Phillies are the known suitors for Gonzalez, according to sources.
Other clubs including the Blue Jays, Nationals, Red Sox, Rangers and Rockies also are known to be pursuing starting pitching and likely have some interest in Gonzalez. The Yankees have had only minimal conversations with the A’s about Gonzalez and are not a factor in the discussions, a source said.
The Phillies, on the other hand, are something of a surprise in the Gonzalez sweepstakes, given the strength of their rotation and high number of prospects they have traded in recent seasons.
But the idea makes sense. The addition of Gonzalez would give the Phils the depth to trade left-hander Cole Hamels — give them or a ready-made replacement if Hamels leaves as a free agent after next season.
The potential suitors for Hamels? See the teams listed above.
Gonzalez, 26, is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and under club control for four more years. In the past two seasons, he is 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA in 402-2/3 innings. However, he did lead the American League with 91 walks last season.
The Athletics are open to moving everyone on their roster but second baseman Jemile Weeks, sources said. Closer Andrew Bailey also is drawing significant trade interest and is perhaps more likely to be dealt than Gonzalez, sources said.