Keeper and Future Value of Carlos Gonzalez

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I finally had to drop Carlos Gonzalez off of one of my redraft teams. I traded for him a few months back when he was a prime buy low candidate, or so I thought.

Since then he has struggled, and is not only done for this year, but may not be ready for Spring training either. I was just glad that I do not have him on a keeper team and really had to figure out his worth for next year.  Then I decided to write about for you all anyway, just in case you do.

For a long time, Cargo has fallen under this blanket. He’s an elite player, if he stays healthy. Heck this past year he was going easy Top-10 and as high as 4 in some drafts. No one doubts his production when he is healthy, and playing at Coors field.

The other underlining if with Cargo is, if you can sit him on the road, then go for it. Some guys like to run offense lean and mean (not many bench players) and let their guys ride it out.  Well, going into last season I must have read 4-5 articles about how Cargo is an elite platoon guy in fantasy baseball.  AN ELITE PLATOON GUY??  Is that even a thing?  Turns out it is.

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The dude flat out rakes at home, and just falls off reasonable production away from the thin Colorado air and as you probably know, this is not a 2014 trend

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While his career numbers don’t suggest that he is a “must bench” whilst on the road, he certainly isn’t great. But that’s nothing new by now.

Let’s talk about the other big IF looming over Cargo these days. What IF he gets traded?  What happens to his value?

According to ESPN Park Factors, Coors Field tops in Hits and Runs, and it shows in Cargo’s production first and foremost. The one area where perhaps Cargo can find a suitable home is in terms of HR production.

Three parks edged out Coors, Great American, Yankee Stadium, and Rogers Centre.  Now Coors isn’t just a hitters park because of the short porch, actually the porches aren’t short like they are at those places. The thin air carries the ball it’s the air, it changes everything.

But the point is that the air in Coors Field doesn’t just change the flight of the ball, but the movement on pitches.

This has been great for Cargo, just ask Michael Cuddyer, who has now hit over .330 for his last 660 at bats since going to Coors.

While I do not think Cargo becomes undraftable if traded, he has to go to a hitters park or his value will take a substantial hit.  I also think that Gonzalez needs to head over to the AL where he can DH and save some wear and tear on his legs and back. So his options are the New York Yankees, who seem to have just about as many guys who need to DH some as any team should have, or the Toronto Blue Jays.

Even if Cargo ends up on one of these two teams — the two most favorable options for him — I do not think he is close to a first rounder.  Heck, he may very well fall out of the Top-25 players in my book.

With the ever present health concerns coupled with the change of scenery that would happen, it would take a toll on his fantasy value.

So the real question is, as a keeper, what do you do with Carlos Gonzalez?  Well, if you are keeping him in an auction, I would not keep him for more than $15. If you need to give up a draft pick, I would much rather be drafting a player as low as Round 4, maybe even 5 than keeping Cargo.

He is just not a reliable production option at this point.