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Gio Gonzalez On Boston Red Sox Radar

The Boston Red Sox are highly interested in acquiring a closer to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon. But the club could also be in the market for a young starting pitcher, even one who's currently under contract with a different club.

ESPN's Gordon Edes reports that Boston has had discussions about acquiring the services of Gio Gonzalez, the Oakland Athletics' young, left-handed workhorse.

Edes noted that the Red Sox are "known to be extremely high" on Gonzalez, and that his name has been "widely discussed internally by the team."

The 26-year old finished the 2011 season 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202.0 innings pitched. The year before, he was 15-9 with a 3.23 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 200.2 innings pitched. 

Boston would likely have to part with some top-level prospects in order to grab Gonzalez from Oakland. After giving up young studs Anthony Rizzo and Casey Kelly to bring Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, the Sox could have second thoughts about thinning their farm system any further. 

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