Blog Entry

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 10:15 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


The Washington Nationals have landed left-handed starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. In return, the A's will receive a veritable killing that is usually reserved for an ace-type pitcher. Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole are headed to Oakland's system in a trade that was first reported by ESPN.com. In fact, Peacock and Milone are probably going to be thrown into the A's starting rotation. UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports that the Nationals will also get right-handed pitcher Robert Gilliam.

"It's 99 percent done," Gonzalez said (Associated Press). "It's pending a physical and I'm just waiting to hear from my agent."

On the Washington end, they are getting a 26-year-old lefty who isn't eligible to be a free agent until 2016. Gonzalez was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202 innings last season for the A's. Of course, he also led the majors with 91 walks. Still, he's pretty tough to hit, holding opposing hitters to a .230 batting average and .336 slugging percentage last season.

With Gonzalez alongside Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, the Nationals have a formidable trio to lead their rotation for several years. Further, with John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang -- and Ross Detwiler as insurance -- the Nats have a very strong rotation top to bottom. They are coming off their best NL East finish since the move to Washington -- third place -- as they'd previously finished in last place five times and fourth place once.

Gilliam, 24, appears to be a throw-in. He was 12-7 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in High-A ball last season. He did strike out 8.5 batters per nine innings, though.

More Hot Stove
As for the A's, they are clearly rebuiling, just as we've known all winter. They already traded All-Star pitcher Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks and are still rumored to be close to trading closer Andrew Bailey.

This deal will go a long way toward setting up the future, and -- as I mentioned earlier -- Milone and Peacock probably step into the rotation with Brandon McCarthy and two others (Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden are still recovering from season-ending surgeries) immediately.

Milone is a 24-year-old left-hander. He was 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 155 strikeouts in 148 1/3 innings in Triple-A last season. He was then promoted to the big-league club and made five starts, with decent success. He had a 3.81 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 26 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks (and two of those were intentional).

Peacock was pretty dominant last season at three different levels. The 23-year-old right-hander started the season in Double-A, where he went 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings. He then struck out a batter per inning in Triple-A for nine starts and was moved up to the Nationals. In 12 big-league innings, Peacock only gave up seven hits and one run (0.75 ERA).

Norris, 22, is a high-on-base, power-hitting catcher. Last season, he hit just .210 but had a .367 on-base percentage with 20 home runs in Double-A. He also stole 13 bases and threw out 40 percent of would-be base-stealers.

Cole, 19, is a bit away from the bigs but has high upside according to many scouting services. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for Class-A Hagerstown last year, but he also struck out 108 batters in 89 innings.

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Comments

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:38 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

mar725, you must be from the east coast and never get a chance to see Gio pitch.  The stat line is just that-he walks to many people- but he is filthy and has the best curveball in the majors.  I have watched him grow the last couple years and the A's treated him right, limited his innings and handled him the right way.  His control has gotten better every year and his strikeouts and era all continue to improve.  This is the right time to aquire this kid and put an offense behind him.  This will give the Nationals hopefully 3 frontline starters and helps them win today instead of 'rebuilding' yet again.  I can only hope the Padres would do something like this to help them win, but they are pathetic losers.



Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

Richie: Actually, I agree regarding the A's fortunes here. First, the catcher they have is both good, young, and sturdy. then, of all positions, they have catching depth in the minors. The A's need corner outfielders! Hitting, hitting, hitting. Been the problem for years.
As for those wondering if this would be good if its the final piece: Thinking like GMs think...they probably figure that they are on a short time frame and that they probably do think the time is now. Yeah, the Phils look solid, but you can't just give in to that. If nothing else, they can figure there is a Wild Card up for grabs (and soon, TWO spots) that they could actually reach.
Gio is solid, will not likely get hurt, and I wish him well with the Nats. 



Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:33 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

This is a tough one for me since I like the trade... and I don't like the trade. I saw the headline on the home page and was immediately excited since I've always been a fan of Gio and I know what this kid can bring to the table. Then I saw what we gave up... Norris had some great promise and I even got to see him in a few games in 2009 [they'll have a great replacement once Suzuki moves on] and Peacock's knuckleball has some serious zing to it. All in all I'm happy with the trade, I guess. The only problem I have with Gio is his high walk rate... but he limits hits and has a nasty curveball.

Our rotation is looking pretty nasty for the forseeable future. Unfortunately, it doesn't help that much since we play in the toughest division in baseball.



Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:27 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

I agree that Oakland pulled a fast one here.  The Nats are definitely on the rise, but have just mortgaged their short term future.  Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Lannan have all had arm trouble already.  Wang isn't exactly a picture of health either.  If anything happens to these guys, look out.  The Nats just traded all of their pitching depth.  Think about what the rotation would look like if just two of them went down with injury...not pretty.  Cole and Peacock have big upside and may turn out better than Gio sooner than later.  Norris was admittedly expendable with Wilson Ramos in town.

I could agree with the Nats if this was the final piece to their puzzle, but realistically, I don't think that's the case.  I think they are still a couple of years away (the Phils are still looking pretty strong).



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:26 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

Oakland should be charges with robbery. I am a Nats fan and they gave up WAY too much for a pitcher who walks WAY too many. And this is not Oakland Alameda Stadium. Nationals Park plays small. If Gio walks that many walks again, he is going to get hammered. Now, if they can teach him better control, this might be another story. However, Millone and Peacock will both put up great numbers in Oakland and in a couple of years, Norris will be one of the best catchers in the majors. Cole also has a lot of potential and the 3 ex Nats could be the 1-2-3 pitchers by 2013.
mar,

i wouldn't be too upset.  washington is getting one of the best left handed starters in the mlb.  i don't care what kind of 'prospects' they gave up -- pitching prospects are a dime a dozen.  you are getting a proven commodity.  

yes -- you gave up quite a few prospects, but what you did not have to give up is strasburg or bryce harper.  also -- saying norris is going to be one of the best catchers in the majors in a few years is foolish.  the guy hit .210 in double-A -- he will make it to the MLB, but will be a defensive catcher and not "one of the best catchers in the majors.

to break it down even more -- you say gonzalez walks WAY too many -- yet he still finished with a better than 2 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.  he finished in the top 10 in the AL in ERA, threw over 200 innings last year and has 31 wins over the last two years with an ERA of 3.10.  This was playing for Oakland, who wasn't a good team.  what do you think that is going to equate to in the softer hitting NL and where he gets to face the pitcher 2 or 3 times a game?

also -- the nats will have gonzalez locked in until like 2016 or something like that for next to nothing.  i think he made 420,000 last year.

trust me -- being a tigers fan -- i've heard all about can't miss prospect, blah blah blah -- when we traded for Miguel Cabrera -- we gave up Andrew Miller (a supposed randy johnson clone) and Cameron Maybin (a supposed Ken Griffey Jr. clone) -- they both have now bounced in obscurity from team to team and Cabrera has been winning batting titles and homerun titles and rbi titles for Detroit.

 



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Gio Gonzalez traded to Nats for four prospects

Oakland should be charges with robbery. I am a Nats fan and they gave up WAY too much for a pitcher who walks WAY too many. And this is not Oakland Alameda Stadium. Nationals Park plays small. If Gio walks that many walks again, he is going to get hammered. Now, if they can teach him better control, this might be another story. However, Millone and Peacock will both put up great numbers in Oakland and in a couple of years, Norris will be one of the best catchers in the majors. Cole also has a lot of potential and the 3 ex Nats could be the 1-2-3 pitchers by 2013.



Since: Jan 22, 2009
Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:47 pm
 

Report: Gio Gonzalez traded to Washington

The Nationals really got the better end of this deal, but the Athletics really got some nice prospects in return. The suprising thing is out of the players acquired. The only offensive player was Derek Norris. Norris is a catcher, but also projected to have the ability to play 1st base, but he is primarily a catcher. The Athletics actually have a few young catchers of note in their system so it is suprising that the Athletics took Norris over the outfielder Hood. I am also suprised that the Athletics didn't get Lomdardazzi in the deal as an alternate option for Pennington at Shortstop. This deal to me sets up the possibility that the Nationals may try and acquire Prince Fielder now. If Jordan Zimmermann pitches like he did last season or improves, and if Strasburg comes back healthy. It makes the Nationals rotation start to look somewhat formidable, and if they add Fielder the left handed hitting 1st baseman to compliment the right handed hitting Ryan Zimmerman. It gives the lineup extreme punch and will give the Nationals the ability to keep up with my Braves or possibly be better than, and even give them the ability to be up there with the Phillies (although not quite as good even with Fielder because of the Zimmermann performance question, Strasburg health question, and Ryan Zimmerman health questions.)


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