Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has been subject to trade rumors since last summer, but he has not let the talk get to him. For now, CarGo isn't focused on being on a better ballclub, instead, he's focused on being a better ballplayer.
Gonzalez a former all-star and MVP candidate hit 40 home runs in 2015. His resurgence came as he was healthy for the first time in years during the second half of the season. This gave him the opportunity to enter the winter with a clean bill of health for the first time in a long time.
"It feels good," Gonzalez said about his good health. "I don't remember the last time I went into a normal offseason. In the past two or three years, It has always been get better try to fix this injury and rehab. It's completely different and it feels good, I'm excited... The only thing different (about this offseason) is I don't have to go to physical therapy."
This may remind some Rockies fans of Troy Tulowitzki's 2014 where he had the entire winter before to get healthy and he came out firing to start the year. For Gonzalez, he's already had a great stretch coming off of his injuries, now he's looking to sustain it.
"I felt really strong physically (at the end of last season)," Colorado's slugger said. "I always stay positive through bad moments and good moments, I know that I can play well in the big leagues, as a result of that, at the end of last year, I showed what kind of player I can be. I know that I can help this club. It was fun at the end, and I'm looking forward to spring training and continuing where I left off."
But showing what kind of player that he can be, has caught the interest of other clubs because when CarGo is playing to his capabilities there are few outfielders in baseball that can play at his level. He has been the target of many trade talks since he's one of the Rockies key chips. Potentially today at fan fest Gonzalez could've worn the purple pinstripes for the final time.
"Right now my focus is on what it's always been, training," CarGo told. "Trying to get better and trying to get stronger. I never really pay attention to what is going to happen tomorrow or what has happened in the past. Right now I'm a Rockie and I'm excited about the upcoming season and I'm excited to go to spring training and play together with my team. Just have some fun and play baseball."
If the question of Gonzalez being a member of the Rockies has been answered then the biggest question for Colorado regarding their outfielder has to be, can he maintain his health?
"I don't think there is a secret (to being healthy)" Gonzalez answered. "Of course, I'm not 20 years old anymore, I can't just run out to Pizza Hut and Papa John's and eat bad, I gotta take care of my body. That's the key, stay lean and feel strong, it's a long season."
For the Rockies and Gonzalez, that long season could be made even longer if he were to put up the obscene numbers that he did in the second half over the course of a full season. Although unlikely that Gonzalez produces at that level or that the Rockies make the playoffs, CarGo is prepared for whatever 2016 brings.