Now that Jason Heyward has set the market for free-agent outfielders, Colorado Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez is beginning to draw more and more interest from contending teams looking to fill a hole.
Per ESPN's Jim Bowden, five teams have checked in with Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich about Gonzalez, who hit .271/.325/.540 with 40 home runs -- and, perhaps more importantly, appeared in 153 games -- in 2015. The most intriguing of those are the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals, all of whom have the necessary pieces to make a deal work with the Rockies. Bowden added that the Rockies "probably will get" the large haul they're seeking in return for the veteran All-Star.
Lucas Giolito, the Nationals' top pitching prospect and a consensus top five prospect in all of baseball, might be a pipe dream for the Rockies in any potential deal involving CarGo. But over the past couple of seasons, teams have been more inclined to deal impact prospects than was previously the case. Given the Nationals' status as a real World Series contender, they might look long and hard at doing whatever they need to do to land a player of Gonzalez's caliber.
Even if Giolito doesn't end up being realistic, Erick Fedde, Reynaldo Lopez and others could be part of a package needed to land CarGo.
Royals prospects Raul Mondesi and Miguel Almonte have been floated in rumors involving the Rockies' star outfielder. The Cardinals have Marco Gonzales, who has pitched in the big leagues and hails from Colorado, as well as top pitching prospect Alex Reyes and a bevy of other young arms (St. Louis' top five prospects are all pitchers).
We can talk potential returns all day, but the main takeaway from this latest update on CarGo is that his contract is relatively team-friendly -- and that the result is the market for him is beginning to be competitive enough to where Colorado just might get what it wants if it holds out for the best deal.