LHP, Gio Gonzalez
If Keuchel is a no-go but Texas still wants a starter to slot in as their number three guy, Gio Gonzalez represents a good veteran option. Gonzalez is no longer the frontline starter he once was for the Nationals but he still has the ability to be effective for a couple of more seasons.
Gonzalez spent 2018 with the Nationals before being dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers. The biggest sample size came with the Nationals where he made 27 starts throwing 145.2 innings. He’s no longer the strikeout guy he once was but still is crafty and can generate some decent soft contact. With Washington, he had an elevated WHIP of 1.531 which is concerning but not so much so that it’s not worth still considering.
Once arriving in Milwaukee he was markedly better albeit in just 5 starts. His 2.13 ERA in 25.1 innings but his WHIP jumped way down to just 0.947 despite the small sample size. He does have the second highest WAR of free agent starters still available with a 2.0 trailing only Dallas Keuchel’s 3.6 last season.
Gonzalez is 33-years old so a 4-year deal like Keuchel would get isn’t much of an option. However, I think Texas could try and get Gio on a 2-year deal with a team option for a 3rd season. They’d have to include a substantial buyout for that 3rd-year option to get Gonzalez to agree. Something along the lines of Anibal Sanchez’s deal that is 2 years worth $19 million would be a good starting point. If Texas and Gio can agree to 2 years, $17 million with a $10 million club option for a third season, I think that would be of benefit to both clubs.