Initially, I heard about the Freddy Garcia for Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd trade and had an adverse reaction. Uh-oh, I thought, here we go again - Pat Gillick is trading the future for the veterans.
There is, of course, cause for concern. Despite Garcia's 17 wins last season, he showed two troubling trends - a 5-8 mph loss in velocity and a drop in strikeouts. He gave up 32 HR last year, and I cannot expect that number to improve in Philadelphia. If not for an excellent September, Garcia's numbers would look even worse.
In return, the White Sox welcome back Gio Gonzalez. Despite his high ERA in AA last year, keep in mind that he was one of the youngest pitchers in AA. His strikeout/IP is highly encouraging for a 21 year old pitcher. Moreover, the White Sox get Gavin Floyd. Frankly, being in Philadelphia, I can tell you that Floyd looked lost last year. Nonetheless, he is only 23 years old.
Putting baseball aside for a moment, what does this trade mean from a fantasy perspective. Well, I gather that Garcia was a borderline keeper for most teams coming out of this offseason, so there is little fantasy impact in the AL. It does, however, make for one less acceptable starting pitcher in a league without too many options.
Floyd is not worth a bid at this point - I doubt he will be in the majors this year. There is an outside chance he could become a reliever at some point in the future, and he may be worth taking a look at then. Gonzalez will also likely be in the minors - I think another season at AA is likely. In a league with a deep minor league system, he is worth a late round flier and stock him away for the future. Otherwise, keep an eye on the free agent pool in the event he comes up for a cup of coffee.
On the N.L. side of things, Garcia brings some wins potential. Given the Phillies offense, he should win 15-17 games again this year. Moreover, his newfound deception will give him an early month or two advantage over his opponents. A second tier price, plus a plan to sell high in mid-May, would be a good fantasy plan.