Teams with two marketable assets generally prefer to trade them separately to maximize the return.
The Athletics likely will do that with left-hander Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey. Ditto for the Braves with right-hander Jair Jurrjens and infielder/outfielder Martin Prado.
Certain teams, however, are interested in both Gonzalez and Bailey, and others want both Jurrjens and Prado, according to major league sources.
It is unlikely that that the Athletics or Braves will package both their chips in the same trade, sources say. But the mere possibility raises the potential for a bigger deal.
The Red Sox, Rangers and Reds are among the teams that have shown interest in both Gonzalez and Bailey, and the Orioles and Braves have discussed a deal that included both Jurrjens and Prado, sources say.
The main problem with pulling off such trades is that teams offering veterans with rising salaries want back packages of high-value, low-cost players — the very players that most clubs are reluctant to move.
The Athletics likely will trade before Bailey before Gonzalez, preferring to hold off on Gonzalez until after the winning bidder for the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish is identified. At that point, Gonzalez should be in even greater demand.
Then again, a team could justify trading multiple prospects for both A’s pitchers. Bailey, 27, is under club control for three more seasons; Gonzalez, 26, is under club control for four more.
The same case is more difficult to make with Jurrjens and Prado, but not by much; Jurrjens, who turns 26 on Jan. 29, and Prado, 28, each are under club control for two more seasons.
— Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi