It’s deja vu all over again.
A day after the report that the White Sox asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos in return for John Danks comes word from Bob Klapisch that the A’s wanted the same package in Gio Gonzalez trade talks.
Which at least is somewhat justifiable. Gonzalez is better than Danks, plus he’s a full four years away from free agency, making him a one of the game’s more valuable pitchers. Gonzalez has combined to go 31-21 while finishing with ERAs of 3.23 and 3.12 the last two years. Danks has never finished with an ERA that good, and he actually came in at 4.33 last season.
The Yankees still weren’t going to give up both for Gonzalez, but the A’s certainly have no reason to part with their young left-hander for much less. According to Klapisch, the A’s were willing to settle for Dellin Betances instead of Banuelos, but that still didn’t get a deal done.
The Royals, who can offer top outfield prospect Wil Myers and one of their better pitching prospects, have also expressed interest in Gonzalez. However, there’s nothing to indicate that anything will get done anytime soon.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.