CarGo on the Move

Carlos Gonzalez is free agent this off season, and it may seem surprising that his name is not a hot topic.  He had an un-cargo like season in 2017 posting a -.2 WAR.  He is now 32 years old coming off of his worst season in years.  Despite this he is still worth a look for many teams in particular.  First lets really look at this past season and see where he struggled.

Cargo hit .262/.339/.423 in 136 games played in 2017 while hitting only 14 home runs.  His OBP and average ranked middle of the pack among qualified hitters in 2017.  He did however ranked in the bottom 25 in wRC+.  His BABIP was .318 which means he was not exactly getting unlucky either.  His walk rate was up from previous years at 10.5% which is his highest of his career.  He had a 31.7% fly ball rate which is right with the level he had in some successful seasons in 2011 and 2012.  His best season, 2013, he hit fly balls 40% of the time.  He continues to swing at the same rate as he did earlier in his career and is swing at the same pitches.  Where he has really regressed since his prime years is his contact.  In 2017 he had a career worst out of zone contact percentage and 2nd worst in zone contact percentage but still way down from his prime years from 2011-2013.  Gonzalez also has not been stealing bases like he did back in 2013 when he was a perennial 20-20 threat.

Obviously Cargo is not going to win any MVP awards in the near future.  He may have had a rough 2017, but he was still league average or better in many categories.  Many of his trends in 2017 fit the trends of the past couple season, though while not All Star seasons, are still serviceable.  Another thing to consider is the Coors effect.  Although it appears like he struggles in 2017, it could have been worse if he did not play half of his games in Colorado.  A team like the Giants could get Cargo for a short term deal to fill the holes they have in the outfield.  A 3 year contract at most should be what he signs for.  Cargo may not be a 20-20 player anymore, but he could still be a useful short term signing.

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