Beane: No long-term contract for Gio … right now

Along with Andrew Bailey, Gio Gonzalez has been a popular name here at the Winter Meetings this week. He’s obviously been the subject of much trade talk — the Marlins, Red Sox and Yankees are among the rumored teams to be interested, while Billy Beane shot down talk of the Royals being in. But on Tuesday he was asked if he has considered locking up Gonzalez to a long-term contract, as he’s already done with young hurlers Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson, along with catcher Kurt Suzuki. It’s a fair question and one I know several fans have asked all year.

Billy’s response?

“We had had some conversations last year, but not right now I don’t think, because of some other things more immediate, more pressing.”

Translation: The A’s really can’t touch payroll until a stadium decision comes through, which is why they’re leaving open the possibility of trading Gonzalez in an effort to net a handful of prospects that could welcome in fans to a potential new stadium in San Jose in a few years.

Of the Marlins, Red Sox and Yankees, the Marlins appear to represent the best trade partner at this point for Gonzalez — especially if they sign Albert Pujols, at which point their budget would likely force them to turn to the trade market rather than the free-agent crop. With Pujols in tow,Miami would seemingly be able to move either outfielder Logan Morrison and/or first baseman Gaby Sanchez — guys that could make a big impact in Oakland.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, depleted their farm system when acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, and the Yankees don’t exactly have the high-upside outfielders the A’s need and want. Boston could be better positioned to land Andrew Bailey.

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