The Oakland A's have not been in the playoffs since the 2006 season. This could have been the year to make it back had they not traded away Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez was the ace for the A's before the offseason trade to the Washington Nationals. Now he is the Nationals' second ace, behind Stephen Strasburg, and will pitch his fourth game for Washington on Tuesday night.
Gonzalez has started the season with a 2.04 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and he has struck out 21 and only walked five.
Gonzalez has been a major contributor to the NL East-leading Nationals, and he could have had the same effect on Oakland if they did not make the trade.
Oakland has started the season under .500, but where would they be with Gonzalez still on the team?
Assuming that Oakland still would have signed Bartolo Colon, they would have had a very good front three in their rotation with Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy and Colon.
Last season Oakland was 74-88 with Gonzalez. It looks as though the A's are a better team this season and would be a playoff contender if they had that one big pitcher to compliment Colon.
The additional wild card spot would have given the A's a better chance to make the playoffs this season if they still had their ace on the staff. Without Gonzalez, this team does not appear to have enough weapons to keep their heads above water in 2012.
The back end of their rotation is unproven and will not be able to carry this team to the playoffs. They might come close this season but they will be one ace short.