Nationals To Acquire Gio Gonzalez

The Athletics will trade Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals in a deal that further depletes Oakland's pitching staff and adds to Washington's potentially dominant rotation. The deal sends Gonzalez and minor league right-hander Robert Gilliam to Washington in exchange for four highly-regarded young players, including three of the Nationals' top ten prospects: right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, left-hander Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.'s Keith Law broke the news on Twitter, with Scott Miller of reporting Gilliam's inclusion in the deal.

Gio Gonzalez A's

Gonzalez (pictured) will join Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann atop an impressive-looking Nationals' rotation that also figures to include Chien-Ming Wang and John Lannan. Gonzalez, 26, is under team control through 2015. He has reached the 200-inning plateau in each of the past two seasons without posting an ERA above 3.23.

However, no MLB pitcher has walked more opponents than Gonzalez in the past two seasons and he's about to get expensive through arbitration (projected 2012 salary of $4.2MM). While most teams –the Nationals included — can stomach a $4.2MM salary for an established, young left-handed starter, the A's haven't resolved their stadium situation and operate under a more limited payroll.

Without Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, two of the 40 MLB pitchers to throw 200 innings this past season, Oakland's rotation will look considerably different in 2012. Brandon McCarthy, Guillermo Moscoso, Brett Anderson, Dallas Braden, Tyson Ross and Josh Outman are possible starters for the A's, who entered the offseason with a deeper rotation than most.

Gilliam, 24, was an eighth-round draft pick for the A's in the 2009 draft.  The right-hander has a 4.55 ERA, a 3.07 K/BB ratio and has 270 strikeouts in 287 innings of pro ball, with his highest level of advancement being Class A Stockton last season.

Peacock (#3), Cole (#4) and Norris (#9) all rank among the Nationals' top ten prospects, according to Baseball America's latest rankings. Peacock emerged as "one of the most exciting power arms in the high minors" this year, BA reports. The 23-year-old posted a 2.39 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in the upper minors before getting called up to the Nationals and appearing in three games.

Cole posted a 4.04 ERA with 10.9 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 89 innings at Class A this past season. The 2010 fourth rounder is just 19 years old and stands 6'4". Milone, 24, made his MLB debut this past season, posting a 3.81 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in five starts with the Nationals. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he had a 3.22 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9 in 148 1/3 innings.

Norris, 22, entered the 2011 season as the 72nd best prospect in the game, according to Baseball America. He responded by posting a .210/.367/.446 line in his first stint at Double-A, adding 20 homers and 77 walks.

Though Nationals GM Mike Rizzo would no doubt have preferred to acquire Gonzalez for lesser prospects, it was clear from the beginning of the offseason that Gonzalez would require a substantial return. The Red Sox, Rangers, Marlins, Yankees, Blue Jays, Tigers and Mariners were also linked to Gonzalez this winter. Earlier in the offseason, A's GM Billy Beane obtained minor leaguers Jarrod ParkerCollin Cowgill and Ryan Cook for Cahill and Craig Breslow.

Photo courtesy Icon SMI.

459 Responses to Nationals To Acquire Gio Gonzalez Leave a Reply

  1. People are always talking about how constrained the A’s are financially, so maybe somebody can explain to me why the A’s are pulling down $20M in profits (EBITDA) on average over the past 5 seasons, based on Forbes research on MLB’s finances.  They could have easily afforded to sign a $10-15M player over the past 5 seasons but chose to bring the money down to the bottom line instead.  

    • js_edit 4 years ago

      Lew Wolfe is pleading poverty and deliberately tanking the team so MLB will let him move to San Jose. Anyone who says differently hasn’t been paying attention to Bay Area baseball.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      The A’s *have* offered that much money to players before. In fact, just last year — after finally being free of Eric Chavez’s 6-year, $66M albatross — they offered Adrian Beltre 6-years, $76.8M. And they also offered Lance Berkman 2-years, $16M.

      The year prior to that, Adrian Beltre turned down the A’s guarantee of 3-years, $24M to play with Boston for 1-year, $10M (not that I blame him, but the fact remains that the A’s *did* make him a competitive offer). And Marco Scutaro — who was the best SS on the market — took $4M less than what the A’s guaranteed him, to also sign with Boston that winter. Missing out on those two players is why they went out and spent $10M on Ben Sheets. He was arguably the best free agent left on the market, and they knew they would have to overpay to make sure they got him.

      And the year prior to *that*, Rafael Furcal turned the A’s down for the Dodgers, even though LA’s guarantee was for $8M less than what the A’s offered him.

      These are just a *few* examples of Beane trying to spend what he can to improve the team in recent years. The fact that he’s limited to such a small budget, and that his team is stuck in an antiquated stadium that most players try to avoid is something he has no control over.

      And for the record, MLB makes certain that the A’s spend at least x-amount amount of dollars every year because they’re recipients of revenue sharing.

      At this point, there’s *no point* in the A’s trying to sign a bunch of players to long-term deals like they did with Eric Chavez, Kurt Suzuki, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, et al, and like they tried their *best* to do with Jason Giambi, Rafael Furcal, Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro, Hisashi Iwakuma, et al. Because until they’re at least close to having a new ballpark — and having a better idea of what their budget will look like once they’re in it — there’s no way they can possibly come up with a clear strategy for building a team that will be strong contenders.

      The best thing they can do right now is what they *are* doing. And that’s rebuilding with an eye on 2014/2015, when they will *hopefully* have their new ballpark at least halfway through construction.

  2. OaklandFan22 4 years ago

    Who do you guys think got a better haul A’s for Gio or Padres for Latos

    • Padres…as they should have. Latos is the better pitcher.

      • halofan06 4 years ago

        not really…. gonzalez had better numbers last year in a better division and latos has one of the best divisions for hitter friendly parks.

    • FamousGrouse 4 years ago

      The Padres-Alonso is MLB ready, Grandal is a top prospect . 

      The Reds picks cost the Reds more to draft and develop (two first rounders). The prospects the A’s received were 4th round, 4th round, 41st round, and 10th round so it cost the Nationals system less to draft and develop these players. 

  3. Daniel Han 4 years ago

    Good Job Oakland

  4. NatsTown 4 years ago

    Gotta give up talent to get talent. Go NATS. and Congrats A’s on a great haul.

  5. Wilsonl 4 years ago

    I like this trade for the A’s.

  6. A bit of a surprise that the Nationals made this move…I wonder if they really believe that Josh Outman has found his form again. I like this for the Nationals because Gio Gonzalez is still under team control for 4 more seasons (he’s a Super 2 this year).

  7. Carter2Taylor2Cardenas2Weeks 4 years ago

    Gio was my favorite Oakland A’…it’s such a sad day for me…Just wish we got more offense in the deal…too much pitching for a team in desperate need of offensive talent….Nats fans, you will love Gio…and yes, he is an ace.

    • halofan06 4 years ago

      not the ace when they will have strasburg coming back

  8. Eric Mercado 4 years ago

    is BJ Upton on the Nationals radar??? seems like that’s their next move, instead of going after Prince

    • Guest 4 years ago

      I’m sure they’d love to make a run at him. But it seems pretty unlikely they could put together a good enough package for him now that this trade has happened.

  9. DudasPriest 4 years ago

    Nice Christmas present for A’s fans… Can’t believe what Washington gave up in this deal…

  10. cody2818 4 years ago

    and 100+ walks

  11. 9-15, maybe. Nationals will score some runs, but yeah, Gio will get figured out here soon.

  12. I’ll take the under on that.  Facing the pitcher and a division of middling offenses.

  13. chico65 4 years ago

    I actually broke down and tebowed it wouldn’t happen

  14. Tko11 4 years ago

    Mike Stanton will tee off on him

  15. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    you might be the worst talent evaluator alive

  16. Fifty_Five 4 years ago

    Anyone who who’s anyone knows you can’t pick on Milone because of his velo. He flat out just gets everyone out and he’s like never walked a batter before. And same goes for Norris and his batting average. Both of those guys are ridiculously good at other things that completely drown out their faults. Very good haul

  17. grownice 4 years ago

     Why do you keep posting the same comment to everyone?  once is enough.

  18. rizdak 4 years ago

    If Milone (with one “l”) only throws 85 with a changeup, then how do you explain a 9.7 K/BB ratio and 9.4 K/9 in AAA in 148 IP? Add the Nats’ #3, #4 and #9 prospects and this looks pretty good for Billy Beane.

  19. vtadave 4 years ago

    Ok I’ll bite:

    Milone: Elite control, 85-87 mph fastball, plus cutter, solid change, above average curve. Being left-handed doesn’t hurt either. Gets better as he moves up the chain.

    Peacock: B+ prospect per Sickels. #2/#3 (probably the latter) starter potential. Nice ratios.

    Cole: Very good prospect with 104:28 K:BB in 89 IP in first taste of full-season ball.

    Norris: Avg is a concern, but lots of power and walks. Should be an above avg offensive catcher at least.

  20. kevinfoley46 4 years ago

    Getting guys everyone else thinks are awfully….classic billy beane

  21. jhfdssdaf 4 years ago

    No one ever overpays Oakland.  Trades with Beane are always fair for both sides.

  22. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    will be walked by him*

  23. Mike Stanton tees off on everyone.

  24. chico65 4 years ago


  25. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    I guess you’ve never heard of Harper, Rendon, Goodwin, or Meyer

  26. johnsmith4 4 years ago

    Randy Johnson and Brian Holman traded for Mark Langston?

  27. AndySTL 4 years ago

    Nats have a very large farm…just sold off a little of it

  28. strong rebuttal

  29. i laughed

  30. gmenfan 4 years ago

    Talent evaluation aside, he’s right. No matter how good the haul is, Beane will inevitably flip these guys after their first good season and a half in the majors and be back at square one. Sucks for A’s fans to continuously have this giant revolving door in their lineup.

  31. strong rebuttal as well

  32. MaineSox 4 years ago

    I don’t know that he even hopes it sounds smart.

  33. You’re annoying. I shall ignore the things you say.

  34. Exposfan 4 years ago

    Are you gonna copy/paste the same thing over and over again every time someone gives props to Beane?? Everyone got what they need.

    A’s got pieces to build around through 2014 and the Nats got a legitimate starting pitcher who adds up with power arms already on the rotation to contend for the next 2-3 years. I think Rizzo overpaid but it’s a win-win

  35. Philip Marlowe 4 years ago



  36. Popular_mechanics_for_pitchers 4 years ago

    Jolly saint Nicolas !

  37. AndySTL 4 years ago

    are you a scout?…are you even a coach?…didnt think so…

  38. TheHotCorner 4 years ago

    Now you are getting annoying.  How many times can you post the same thing?  You are starting to prove previous comments by others for them.

  39. sports33 4 years ago

    Never? You NEVER thought your GM would do a good job? 

  40. No one knows what that is from?  I though it was rather straight forward given the massive flood of comments this is going to generate due to the build-up.  Guess not as many people watch Family Guy as I hoped.

  41. It’s funny how you guys insult me but fail to provide evidence as to how it’s a good haul.

    u mad?

  42. “Boom goes the dynamite” isn’t from Family Guy…

  43. MetsEventually 4 years ago

    Dude first of all you didn’t even say it correctly and secondly it didn’t originate from Family Guy.

  44. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i don’t post stats when someone claims stephen strasburg is a scrub either. maybe someone else will help you out, but sometimes the right thing to do is just point and laugh

  45. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    you may be the worst talent evaluator alive or dead?

  46. chico65 4 years ago

    We tend to have some real pessimists up here.  They come out in force when it starts getting dark at 3:30.

  47. notsureifsrs 4 years ago


  48. I like the line on Family Guy that Cleveland said? This is extremely off-topic. But that was the most recent I heard that phrased used. Didn’t realize that people online were so anal.

  49. Joe Desiderio 4 years ago

    There is a Family Guy episode where Cleveland says it several times so I get what John is saying.

  50. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Yeah it is and the Cleveland show as well. 

    -dude who watches too many adult themed cartoons.

  51. Drew Tweedie 4 years ago

    This has me laughing harder than it should.

  52. Thought I was the only one who saw that episode :).

  53. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Welcome to the internet.  You new around here?

  54. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    Milone is easily the most ironic prospect Beane could’ve gotten in this deal.

  55. 0bsessions 4 years ago

    3:30? Are you sure you’re not in Worcester or something? That seems pretty late.

  56. I usually post on forums and people are much nicer :(.

  57. FacelessGeneralManager 4 years ago

    well that doesn’t really matter does it!  I think the Nats love the new playoff system.

  58. TheHotCorner 4 years ago

    You shouldn’t expect anyone else to provide evidence if you don’t.  Your post sounds simply like your opinion.  And opinion are like…well you get my point.   

  59. laughing is the opposite of being mad, homeslice

  60. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    To be perfectly honest the only one that seems mad is you.

  61. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    “hating like a schoolgirl” he says while insisting that other people are mad. this guy’s good

    you didn’t mention norris’ 20% walk-rate between high-A and AA while posting an ISO over .230. you are a cherry picker who looked at batting average without looking at BABIP

    you do not deserve these explanations, but i had to defend norris’ honor

  62. DickHarden 4 years ago

     Iota slap you.

  63. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    that is not what a breakdown is

  64. chico65 4 years ago

    Aaahhh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Aaaahh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


    ha ha ha ha ha ha

  65. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    saying one guy throws 85 mph and the other has 2 pitches is a “breakdown”? 

  66. pirates20 4 years ago

    you my friend are a debbie downer and my man here has every right to defend his stance against you… now back to the loony bin with you

  67. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    No.. just, no.

  68. alxn 4 years ago

    get a grip

  69. I hate when people like you give baseball fans a bad name.

  70. MaineSox 4 years ago

    That comment was a travesty.

  71. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    he is in fact both. that’s why everyone calls him “slouch”

  72. MaineSox 4 years ago

    I don’t know, but the last time it was talked about the As supposedly wanted Middlebrooks.

  73. nm344 4 years ago

    Prospects of some kind.

  74. He’s saying you said boom goes TO the dynamite. That’s the fail. Geez. 

  75. chico65 4 years ago

    Welcome to Worcester.  $1.25

  76. Ah, didn’t catch that.  Could have just said that instead of trying to be a smartass.

  77. theguy17 4 years ago

    To be fair, BABIP shouldn’t be used for anything.  It is a highly flawed stat.

  78. nm344 4 years ago

    Bailey is a stud.  When healthy. 

  79. Peacock is not guaranteed to be at Gio’s level. You are overrating these prospects. After all, they’re just prospects. Most will not work out. 

  80. You are entirely clueless about baseball-related matters. Go back to class and figure out that your opinions are as wrong as wrong can be and every single thing you say is written to badmouth Billy Beane and literally nothing else. I feel dumber for reading your posts. 

  81. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Mad? No.  Laughing? Yes.

  82. This is America!  We don’t like forumers around here!

  83. MLBTR mods, can you ban this cut-and-pasting clown? 

  84. vtadave 4 years ago

    So what do you think of the deal?

  85. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    by itself, agree. you need batted ball data to make anything useful of it

    but if you’re going to look at batting average, you’ve got to acknowledge BABIP

  86. EarlyMorningBoxscore 4 years ago

    a .302 batting average isn’t making enough contact? a .520 slugging and .865 ops isn’t good enough for you?

  87. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i hear you’re the best with directions

  88. I suppose you’re right.  Beginning to think the Yankees symbol in my profile is like a huge target on my back.  No love for the Yankee fans lol.

  89. Let’s just call you the idiot-fanaticBoss88.

  90. DickHarden 4 years ago

    I think it’s a fun homage to old tyme baseball. Like, the M’s would be the Seattle Americans because they play in the American League. At least, that ‘s my take on it. 

  91. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i really might give you middlebrooks for bailey if you take this guy with you

  92. AndySTL 4 years ago

    he is both?…so that means “nicholas” is an associate scout…which means he reports to an actual scout…keep bird dogging nicholas

  93. Who cares about Sickles? One look at these guys K9 and BB9 tells you all you need to know.  These guys are legit

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