Asking price high for Gio Gonzalez

In so many ways, A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez is a fit for the Miami Marlins.

The team is in the market for left-handed starting pitching, and the 26-year-old Gonzalez is coming off an All-Star season where he won 16 games.

Being from Hialeah, Gonzalez has a hometown connection to the Marlins. The former Miami Monsignor Pace High School standout also is affordable, as he projects to make about $3.6 million in 2012, his first year eligible for arbitration. In ’11, the lefty earned $420,000.

What is tricky for the Marlins is actually acquiring Gonzalez.

A’s general manager Billy Beane understands he has a viable trade commodity, and the asking price is steep for Gonzalez.

Rumblings from those connected to the Marlins is Miami had at least one inquiry conversation with the A’s regarding Gonzalez. It took place before this week’s General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee.

The belief is the Marlins said no when the A’s were asking for Logan Morrison, Ricky Nolasco and two top prospects for Gonzalez. The Minor Leaguers the A’s were said to be coveting were outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, two promising talents who were part of low Class A Greensboro’s championship team.

Trading for established starting pitcher certainly is costly in terms of parting with talent.

That’s one reason why the Marlins are aggressively pursuing free agent Mark Buehrle, who visited Miami last week.

According to reports from the GM Meetings, the Marlins met again with Buehrle’s agent, Jeff Berry, on Tuesday in Milwaukee.

Joe Frisaro

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