Our friends at Bucco Blog have reported the Rays and the Pirates are discussing a deal that would send OF/1B/DH/resident lunatic Elijah Dukes to the Steel City for one of two pitchers: either closer Mike Gonzalez or starter Tom Gorzelanny.
I'm not sure if Dukes value could be enough to get Gonzo (who the Braves and Redstripes have both been after), considering that Laroche - Gonzo didn't go down, though in fairness the Braves wanted Jose Castillo and Paul Maholm as well....
Gorzelanny had some elbow stiffness but recently has said it was nothing. He projects to be more of a 3 starter, though a Dukes for Tommy Gorz deal seems more believable to me than Dukes for M-Gonzo (unless the Rays were to throw another piece in, perhaps one of the infielders?)
Both are southpaws, Gorzelanny,24, posted a 3.79 ERA in 61 innings last season, though his record was a putrid 2-5, and his 6 K/9 : 5 BB/9 rates have to increase on the K level, or decrease on the BB level rapidly or at least reach the 9 K/9 3 BB/9 rates throughout his minor league career.
Gonzalez had a great year, finishing with a 2.17 ERA and 24 saves, along with a nearly 2:1 K:BB ratio, still a little high but when he's striking out 10 per 9 he obviously has great stuff. Getting Gonzo would really turn around the Rays off-season, no offense to Seth McClung whom I still think is going to have a great season, but Gonzalez is a hot commodity in the league right now, and for the Rays to put some of that depth in the system to use would show the casual fan (who at times I hate)that perhaps the team is trying...though if the deal happens I fully expect the fact that he only had 24 saves last year to be an indictment on Gonzo and not his poor team itself.
Stay on DRB for any updates that may come.