Report: The Marlins are talking to the A’s about Gio Gonzalez

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We’ve heard the Marlins connected with all manner of free agents. But how a trade rumor? Here’s one: Miami is talking with the Athletics about Gio Gonzalez

David Villavicencio is the man with this report, and he says that sources close to Gonzalez are telling him that the two teams are talking trade for the lefty. It’s not clear from the report that a deal is imminent, but Villavicencio reports that three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal and that all three  “played significant time with the Marlins last season.”  Not all three would be part of a potential trade.

Such a trade would make all kinds of sense for everyone involved.  The A’s are — as always — looking to get a lot of talent in return for someone  they soon won’t be able to afford, and Gonzalez is worth a boatload on the trade market right now.  Meanwhile the Marlins, despite playing footsie with Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes, really need starting pitching, and Gonzalez would upgrade the rotation in major fashion.

Oh, and let us not forget: the Marlins are all about building a strong local brand, and Gonzalez is a Miami native.

Stay tuned to this one. Because even if the Marlins aren’t ready to pull the trigger on this, there are any number of teams who would like to get in on the Athletics selling off their best pitcher.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.