Nationals Acquire Tom Gorzelanny

Tom Gorzelanny is heading to Washington for three prospects, the Cubs and Nationals announced today. Lefty Graham Hicks, right-hander A.J. Morris and outfielder Michael Burgess are going to Chicago in the trade. 

The Nationals have been looking to bolster their rotation all offseason long. Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke spurned the Nationals, but GM Mike Rizzo continued his pursuit of arms. Once the Cubs acquired Matt Garza from the Rays, Chicago had a starter to spare and the team seriously considered moving Gorzelanny.

Gorzelanny posted a 4.09 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings for the Cubs last year. The left-hander started 23 games, after spending most of the 2009 season as a reliever. Though Gorzelanny faded as the 2010 season progressed, he has logged over 200 innings before. The 28-year-old's best season may have come in 2007, when he posted a 3.88 ERA in 201 2/3 innings for the Pirates.

Morris, 24, posted a 3.77 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 86 innings as a swingman at Rookie ball and Class A last year. The 2009 fourth rounder has yet to pitch in the upper minors. Neither Morris nor Burgess appeared on Baseball America's list of top ten Nationals prospects.

Burgess, 22, posted a .265/.357/.465 line in 529 plate appearances at Class A and Double-A last year. The 2007 supplementary first rounder has hit at least 18 homers in eacch of the past three seasons.

A super two player, Gorzelanny is on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season. He agreed to terms on a $2.1MM deal for 2011 yesterday.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com first reported the trade and MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported on the deal as the story broke.


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187 Comments on "Nationals Acquire Tom Gorzelanny"


mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

Not even knowing the minor leaguers involved, I like this move from the Nationals standpoint. He’s exactly the kind of low cost pitching option they should take chances on, plus if he does well, they can keep him for a few years.

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 7 months ago

As a Braves fan, for the first time since they have been the Nationals…I really like the direction that they are going…they continue to make moves in the positive direction, I worry that in the next couple years they will be a very good team.

Diehard Philsphan
4 years 7 months ago

Because of this move It makes it official: the nats are better than the mets.

4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t expect any pitching duels when the teams meet.

4 years 7 months ago

“Prospects.”

I doubt the Nats gave up anything more than a B prospect and filler.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

My thoughts exactly.

souldrummer
4 years 7 months ago

Burgess isn’t really that good. He’s a C+ prospect and has had contact issues all through the minors. With Harper and Werth locked up into the corner outfield slots, he was blocked and hasn’t shown but so much anyway. We’ll see what the pitchers are but the Nats don’t have any real starting pitching prospects of that much substance. They’ve got some low ceiling arms that I like for their ability to defy expectations moving up the ranks but they don’t have anybody in their system who is eligible to be traded and grades higher than Gorzellany. The other half of this move that will be interesting will be who this bumps out of their rotation.

4 years 7 months ago

I made my post before any of the players being sent to the Cubs were announced, so I’d say it was a pretty good guess.

thebigdog
4 years 7 months ago

Give that man a Milk-Bone.

NorthSideIrish
4 years 7 months ago

Gorzelanny pitched decently last season…was hoping they’d be able to move him for major league pieces. Guess they have to re-stock the system a little after the Garza deal.

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

The guys they dealt for Garza were from positions of surplus.

chance18
4 years 7 months ago

You can never have enough quality pitching prospects. It wasn’t like Archer was blocked like Lee and Guyer

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

I am aware, but it’s not like Archer was the only good pitching prospect they had. His number one prospect status made it look like he was way more important to the farm system than he really was.

chance18
4 years 7 months ago

You can never have enough quality pitching prospects. It wasn’t like Archer was blocked like Lee and Guyer

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

Seems like an overpay for a back end SP at best.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

We don’t know who the Nats gave up? How in the world can you already say it’s an overpay?

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

No kidding… could just be three warm bodies. Odds are the Nationals gave up at least something of some value, since Gorz is cheap and coming off a good season, but I doubt we’re talking any legitimate big name prospects here.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

I would say one of the pitchers probably has a high upside, but still very far away from the majors. Then a couple fillers. Just a guess though

souldrummer
4 years 7 months ago

The Nats don’t have anybody like that, really. The upside guys they have are their recent draftees, Solis, Ray, and Cole, who aren’t eligible to be traded.

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Great move, I really like this guy. Who did we give up? We are really starting to look good.

souldrummer
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t got that far, but this is a legit move for a team that actually wants to try to improve themselves for next year. Maybe we gave up Detwiler or somebody like that.

4 years 7 months ago

Gorzellany is a good pitcher. Not great, but very solid and great to fill innings for the Nats, and then be a solid pitcher at the back end if they are ready to contend in 2012

Diehard Philsphan
4 years 7 months ago

Why does everyone say the nats are going to contend in 2012? They r still a ways a way.

4 years 7 months ago

Maybe, maybe not. The reason people are saying this is because the Nats have a lot of pieces that, while not put together yet, can make a very good team. They would have veteran studs in Zimmerman and Werth, great young pitching that, once developed, will be awesome (Strasburg, Zimm), Storen could easily move into the 9th inning role, he has the stuff, and let’s not forget about the potential Harper has to have an impact on that lineup.

They have plenty of pieces, it just needs to be put together. And it isn’t a stretch to say this could be put together within a year.

4 years 7 months ago

I’m very pissed that the Cubs dealt him. He’s cheap, effective and undervalued. I would have rather eaten Silva’a salary and moved him.

4 years 7 months ago

Don’t think many want Silva but Gorz is one of the last starters I’d have moved.

0vercast
4 years 7 months ago

I agree. Gorzy is a relatively young, cheap, solid, back of the rotation guy who can chew up innings, and he’s a lefty.

mmontice
4 years 7 months ago

Too bad Silva can’t eat his own salary, as he already eats everything else.

baseball52
4 years 7 months ago

Good move for both parts. This lightens the log jam that the Cubs have in the rotation. Looks like Cashner has himself the #5 spot unless he blows it.

4 years 7 months ago

It’ll be Garza-Dempster-Z-Wells-Silva, but I’d rather see Cashner get a shot above Wells at this point.

4 years 7 months ago

After just meeting Grozelanny this weekend I hope him the best..My guess is that we get atleast a B prospect back..Hendry and his scouting staff tend to do well on these trades, remember everyone screamed about the DeRosa deal and it turned out to net Archer…

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

And DeRosa netted Perez for Cleveland and a pocket full of dust for St. Louis. The Cubs fans ought to love how that deal ended turning out!

jayrig5
4 years 7 months ago

But it was a move made in order to sign Milton Bradley, who now gives us Carlos Silva.

4 years 7 months ago

and Matt Garza….

jayrig5
4 years 7 months ago

Now, yes. Didn’t do much good in 2009 or 2010 though. Just saying. And Garza is really just a replacement for Ted Lilly, if you’re comparing the 2010/2011 opening day rosters. A younger, more cost-effective one, yes, but not necessarily a better pitcher.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

Okay, now I’m going to wait for the Kevin Bacon reference.

NorthSideIrish
4 years 7 months ago

Ted Lilly was in the “We Believe” documentary with Bonnie Hunt who was in “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise who was in “A Few Good Men” with Kevin Bacon. And I’m more than a little sad I could do that…

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

Wow…

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

Wow! Impressive…I didn’t think there would be a Kevin Bacon connection. On the other hand, there always is, isn’t there?

4 years 7 months ago

are you beginning to look like Kevin Bacon?

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

Nats fans should really give Mike Rizzo credit, he built the farm system, and his first year as GM look how active he has been. Great job Rizzo!!!!

Jntg4
4 years 7 months ago

Want to know who the prospects were. But now there is less competition for Cashner to make the rotation, so I like it either way.

Vote_For_Pedro
4 years 7 months ago

The nats sure love old bucos nyjer morgen, sean burnett, adam laroche, tom gorzelanny, and matt capps formally.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

hahaahah i know. i was actually just thinking that [esp cuz my brother is a big bucs fan].

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

“The nats sure love old bucos nyjer morgen, sean burnett, adam laroche, tom gorzelanny, and matt capps formally.”

Sounds good. Now if they would only take John Grabow, too.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

Ha! The Nats love only goes so far….

The Cubs get to keep Grabow, and who knows, maybe he has a bounce back season.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

The deal is probably Harper, Strasburg and a low level pitching prospect.

Wrek305
4 years 7 months ago

Harper is a little cocky SOB I don’t want him.. the Cubs drafted his older brother.. i doubt he’s as good but Bryce Harper is gonna end up being a bust. His brother Bryan i think it is will be a star..

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the insight.

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

You don’t make any sense.

elbeisbol
4 years 7 months ago

LOL.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Is this an attempt at humor?

chance18
4 years 7 months ago

step away from the keyboard…..

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

FOUR LOKO:

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems. (3) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to make rational and well thought out trade proposals. It’s suggested that you refrain from making silly trade posts while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage with an alcohol content greater than 5% by volume.

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

Nice!

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

I dont think the Cubs have a lefty left in the rotation.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

The Cubs are stretching out lefty James Russell in spring training. His chances are slim and will likely start the year at AAA.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 7 months ago

If they are concerned about that, they should take another look at Sean Marshall for the rotation. At worst he would be a stopgap; at best, maybe he’s ready to be a back end starter now.

chance18
4 years 7 months ago

No. He’s a 4 starter at best. Why would you want to turn him from one of the games top lefty set up guys to a back end starter? His value goes way down….

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

“If they are concerned about that, they should take another look at Sean Marshall for the rotation. At worst he would be a stopgap; at best, maybe he’s ready to be a back end starter now.”

Marshall has done much better as a set up guy than as a starter. He feels comfortable in the pen as well. In the past, the Cubs would tinker too much with players. They are getting better in that area and I like what they did with Marshall. They saw he would be a so-so starter and excell as a set-up man. The Cubs made the right choice in their evaluation of Marshall. More money for him in a few days, too.

4 years 7 months ago

he is a great 2 pitch pitcher in the setup role, like Lee Smith early on those 2 pitches let him pitch 5 innings then everyone shelled him. Sean will be a closer one day like in 84 when we had Hernandez/smith in the setup/closer role and Hernandez went to Detroit and was one of the games best lefty closers of course he had that wicked screwball!

4 years 7 months ago

don’t forget Grabow could get a chance to move to the rotation, I still think Z or Dempster will be with the Yankees soon.

thejerkstore
4 years 7 months ago

“Outfielder Michael Burgess is one of the prospects heading from the Nationals to the Cubs, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).”

Pretty nice for the cubs – BP has Burgess as the nationals 7th best prospect. He becomes their best minor league prospect after Jackson

thejerkstore
4 years 7 months ago

*best minor league outfield prospect

4 years 7 months ago

This helps offset the loss of Guyer. Sickels likes Burgess slightly less, but it’s close.

I wonder who the pitchers are.

crunchy1
4 years 7 months ago

I think both are 4th outfielder types with Guyer having the better shot of sticking in the majors (largely because of his defense and that he does a little bit of everything) and Burgess as the guy with higher upside. You could say something similar about the Cubs “trade” of Robinson Chirinos for Max Ramirez — at least when it comes to hitting potential. Both are ideally backup types with Chirinos being the better defender and has the better all around skills — and thus is more likely to find a niche in the bigs, while Ramirez bat has bigger potential.
It’s not a terrible trade off because the Cubs can afford to wait at those positions and gamble on upside- as they have young, talented players in Jackson and Soto entrenched at those spots for the foreseeable future. The Cubs have done a decent job of replenishing some of the minor league depth they gave up in the Garza trade so far.

Wrek305
4 years 7 months ago

the problem is jackson and burgess are blocked for the next 5 yrs with Soriano in Left.. i doubt Fukudome will be headed anywhere anytime soon.. I could be Byrd being traded for a few players in July before the deadline.. he deserves to be on a good team.. maybe the Rangers would want him back Chris Davis for Byrd straight up the Cubs need a good 1st baseman anyway

NorthSideIrish
4 years 7 months ago

Fukodome is Free Agent after 2011…Byrd after 2012. Soriano is an anchor for four more years…not five. Jackson’s a CF anyway.

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

whoa whoa whoa, what’s with all the facts! Get that nonsense outta here.

NorthSideIrish
4 years 7 months ago

My bad…lost my head for a minute.

dbreer23
4 years 7 months ago

And Burgess is a RF, with a very good arm, apparently. Had 26 assists a couple of years ago..no, that is not a typo. 26.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 7 months ago

Didn’t the Cubs just sign Pena?

Wrek305
4 years 7 months ago

Yes, but he sucks.. he’ll have 180 SOs and if he’s lucky 10 HRs by the end of August.. and hopefully be traded for low level prospect in July along with Ramirez. I’d rather have Derek Lee who is washed up and at the end of a decent career after this year

slider32
4 years 7 months ago

Pena is a modern day sabermetric player. In the old days he wouldn’t be rated as high as he is today. He’s reminds me of a Dave Kingman type.

4 years 7 months ago

Jaramillo will fix Pena and make him a better contact hitter and less free swinging. He will endure at Wrigley I predict 35+ hr and .280 avg. and under 100 K’s He will help Byrd in the 3 hole and Soriano after him. Castro, Colvin, Byrd, Pena, Soriano Soto, Ramirez, Dewitt.

BillB325
4 years 7 months ago

Lets just be realistic and hope for .260AVG and a .380OBP with 30 bombs and 100RBI. And just to be honest thats my prayer on what he hits.

4 years 7 months ago

Fukudome will be gone next year – off the books that opens up right field if Colvin doesn’t fall off in the sophomore jinx. look for Fielder or Pujols at 1B in 2012 for the cubs. with Silva, ramirez and fukudome off the payroll the Cubs will be the only team that can afford one of those premier 1B, if the cubs talk Cashman into taking Z’s contract that frees up much more money. The cubs made a lot of moves but in what they have done they should be scrappy and competitive this year. Look for a surprise.

4 years 7 months ago

can’t belive the nats gave up micheal for this guy
he was an AFL allstar, just thius summer, if i recall.

souldrummer
4 years 7 months ago

He wasn’t an AFL all star. He’s blocked by Harper and Werth and he hasn’t even proved himself in AA let alone looking like a big league prospect. Part of paying for guys like Harper and Werth is so that you define and secure those positions so that you can focus your farm on other areas of need. Secure position player spots with reliable options and draft and develop pitching.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Again, please stop with the facts. :-)

4 years 7 months ago

actually he was an AFL Rising Star…
http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=OF&sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=518518
I’m not against trading him, I just think that we should’ve gotten more for him

4 years 7 months ago

actually he was an AFL Rising Star…
http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=OF&sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=518518
I’m not against trading him, I just think that we should’ve gotten more for him

disgruntledreader
4 years 7 months ago

If the Cubs’ player development guys can turn Michael Burgess into even an MLB 4th outfielder, they should all be given seven figure bonuses. He’s among the least likely players in the game to convert his (only so-so) tools into actual baseball skills.

dbreer23
4 years 7 months ago

Kinda down on Burgess, eh – his plate discipline/contact rate is the only lacking tool. He has above average power and speed, and a rifle in RF. Plate discipline can at least be taught. Do I think he’s a stud – no, but he could certainly be a starting RF.

crunchy1
4 years 7 months ago

His plate discipline isn’t that bad either. He did walk at around an 11% rate last year. He’s not Jason Heyward, but he can at least take a walk once in a while.

Wrek305
4 years 7 months ago

Wow!! 3 players for Gorzelanny.. its a guarantee they will never make the major leagues but why trade for a 6th OF they got the dude from TB and signed Reed Johnson they need a 3b who is ready to step up right now and start at 3rd.. the Cubs are desperate for a 3rd baseman..

Vivid_Reality
4 years 7 months ago

No love for Rami? He may have character flaws but he can be one of the best 3B in the league at times. Vitters is still only 21, hasnt been long enough to close the book on him yet. Plus Marwin Gonzalez is showing some promise in winter league. I think were good at 3B for the time being.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

Sorry, but you are not going to get a starting 3B that is going to step right in and be any good for Gorzelanny. Ram is there for now.

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

Except they have that guy who led the team in HR and RBI despite having a down year. Where do you come up with this stuff?

nats2012
4 years 7 months ago

He would get no playing time with us with Werth and Harper. He batted 210 in the AfL, with 1 homerun, he strikeouts out a ton.

4 years 7 months ago

Wow, Burgess was the Nats #6 Prospect last year, nice haul, wonder who else they got.

souldrummer
4 years 7 months ago

Our farm system is not that great. We’ve got a few guys at the top that are legit in Harper and guys with some big league experience. But after Harper, Espinosa, Ramos, and Norris the drop off in the farm system is pretty steep.