Reaction To The Gio Gonzalez Trade

The Nationals were the winners of the Gio Gonzalez sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander from the A's today for a package of four well-regarded prospects: A.J. Cole, Tom Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock.  Here's a look at some of the reaction and analysis of this blockbuster trade…

  • The Nats didn't want to give up both Peacock and Milone but eventually acquiesced, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  Comak points out that the Nats have found themselves with a left-handed starter who is younger and less expensive than their first target this offseason, Mark Buehrle.
  • Washington's recent strong drafts gave the team enough prospect depth to make this deal possible, notes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  The Nationals "improved their rotation to the point where they may be a contender," Heyman writes.  
  • "I don’t know how Oakland could have done better,” a scout tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  “They got the right set of names….Quality and depth.”
  • A rival evaluator tells ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter) that Peacock reminds him of former Twins starter Brad Radke.  "I'm not sure that in two years, Peacock will [be] better than Gio," the evaluator said.
  • The A's have made two "brilliant hauls" in their trades of Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, opines MLB.com's Tom Singer (Twitter link).  The A's received Jarrod Parker, Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Cahill and Craig Breslow two weeks ago.
  • ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required) is not overly impressed with Gonzalez, believing his success to have been at least in part due to the pitcher-friendly Oakland ballpark and the Athletics' defense.  It seems as if Law considers the trade a win for the A's, calling their return haul "a substantial reward" and praising Cole as the new top prospect in Oakland's system. 


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220 Comments on "Reaction To The Gio Gonzalez Trade"


Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

I somewhat agree with Law on this one.  Put him and his walks in another ballpark that isn’t as pitcher friendly, and I think he won’t be nearly as good as he was.  Only time will tell though, and I do like the stuff he has.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

The saving grace for Gio may be moving to the NL.  I think a move to another team in the AL would have been terrible for him, but moving to the Nats (who still have a somewhat pitcher friendly park, and play against less potent offenses) and the NL may help him keep up relatively solid numbers.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

I agree and would love to see him excel, but another ballpark won’t cut down on that walk rate.  Unless he can connect with the Nat’s pitching coach and make adjustments.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

No, you’re right, the walk rate would be an issue no matter where he went.

Member
PieroB
3 years 6 months ago

That has to be the hope in Washington for Rizzo. And his pitching coach is none other than ex Athletics ace Steve McCatty. And Davey Johnson will certainly be involved as well.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

I’m not familiar with him as a coach.  Is he a good pitching coach?

Member
WolandJR
3 years 6 months ago

Nondescript but not bad. He really got the most out of Jordan Zimmerman and has overseen a pitching staff that has seen their ERAs drop rapidly, but there has also be a significant influx of talent recently, so that might have something to do with it as well…

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Its really incredible to me how low MLBTR commentators rate Gio. He has excellent stuff and is hardly the first SP with nasty stuff who had control problems early on. Its just bizarre to me how lowly he’s rated by certain people just because of the walks, and the thought process that he will never ever improve his game. 

Gio in Boston would NOT have been “a disaster” like so many predicted, his youth and experience can only lead me to believe that he spends all his time figuring how to improve. His last 2 months in Oakland he had a walk rate of about 3.2/9, he definitely calmed it down. I guess I’m more open minded about players who are under 30 than others. Players have “figured things out” at various times in their career many times, too many times to discount entirely like so many MLBTR posters refuse to take into account.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

That’s a pretty small sample size.  You really can’t judge whether or not he lowered his walk rate for good by two months.  I didn’t say he can’t get better.  What I’m saying is he will only get worse moving to a less pitcher friendly ballpark until he controls his walks better.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Well it was pretty well reported early on in 2011 that he had problems with walks, and then he worked on it with the coaching staff, and then got results. Its very difficult pill for the overanalyzing statheads to swallow, but in Gio’s case, his career numbers aren’t really going to be a good indicator of his results going forward.

My point is Randy Johnson’s walk rate at age 28 was 6.2, and then at 29 he figured it out and dropped it back to a decent number, he’s obviously an extreme case, but Gio has already shown after putting in effort to figure it out too, and long before he’s 28.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

No way can you compare Gio to the Big Unit.  Gio’s stuff (pitching-wise) is no where near what Randy Johnson had going for him.  And the over-analyzing stat-heads are right when they say SSS.

Member
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

don’t get so offended he isnt comparing them, just making a point.  And Gio’s stuff aint sliced meat either

Member
Lunchbox45
3 years 6 months ago

no its not, but its not randy johnson’s either

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

2 months isn’t a sufficient sample size to dismiss 4 years + worth of sample no matter what qualifier you put with it.

Member
vtadave
3 years 6 months ago

I’m not comparing them as wholes, but look how Kershaw’s BB/9 rate dipped over the last couple years. He went from wild, to average control, to very, very good control in the span of a couple years. It can be done.

Member
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Exactly.

Member
Lunchbox45
3 years 6 months ago

kershaw’s a lot younger. it makes more sense for a pitcher to show improvement from his 21 year old season, to his 22 year old season than going from 25 to 26 . 

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

He could suddenly figure it out at 27yo, but expecting him to is a very dangerous proposition.  Predicting anything based off of a 2 month sample (in which is BB rate still wasn’t great) isn’t a smart thing to do either.

It’s also not just because of the walks.  Sure they are part of it (maybe a big part of it), but the fact that his success coincided with his having ERAs half a run to a run lower than his peripheral stats, below average HR rates, and below average BABIPs (league average as well as his own career average) despite getting the same GB-LD-FB numbers as he always has, all pointed to regression before his move to a less pitcher friendly park.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Very well said.

Member
55saveslives
3 years 6 months ago

I hoped Jonathan Sanchez would figure it out, but he’s now 29…. 

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

and Gio is 26 is 2012 and absolutely not even close to being a comp for Sanchez, despite the naysayers on here who refuse to take age into consideration when comping.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Besides a tiny two months, he has done nothing to show he will gain control of his pitches.  That’s that.  You can’t argue with that.

Member
ejs1111
3 years 6 months ago

Looking at Fangraphs…  his walk rate has improved every year since his MLB callup in 2008.

2008  6.62 BB/9
2009  5.11 BB/9
2010  4.13 BB/9
2011  4.05 BB/9

He is ONLY 26…  why is it crazy to think his walk rate will continue to improve?  I fully expect him to continue to improve… 
… I can see his walk rate ‘settling’ around 3.5 BB/9 ultimately.

and mid 3’s is league average.

Member
cody2818
3 years 6 months ago

i thought the a’s wanted outfielders… they got 3 pitchers and a catcher?

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

not only want, but need, i personally would’ve liked to have seen hood included over milone, i like hood’s ceiling.

however, i think this haul is better than if they had included hood rather than milone. Milone’s already been tested in the majors, and hood has one really solid year in the minors at high-a

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

I look at Milone’s stats and my mouth keeps watering.  As a Rangers fan, I can only hope he doesn’t pan out, haha.  Good haul A’s.  Glad to see them taking the steps to compete sometime in the years ahead.

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

He throws 87 MPH. The package would have been better with Hood over Milone. Milone 5th starter at best.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

when you have his accuracy, the defense as good as the a’s, and a ballpark as big as the a’s, velocity ends up not being a big factor

Member
J.j. Miller
3 years 6 months ago

so what? and he has elite control, with 2 plus breaking pitches. put him in oakland’s pitcher friendly park and he’ll continue to do well

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Absolutely agreed, he is a control freak…who cares about his stuff, he just knows how to get outs. He could end up a front line pitcher for a few years. 

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

Ok I was writing Hood over Milone because thats what every A’s fan was saying they wanted outfielders.

Member
melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

In trades, take BPA. The A’s just traded a bunch of their pitchers. 

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

You seem bitter about something.  You shouldn’t be.  The Nat’s are on the cusp of contending, with some of the best prospects (not just one but multiple) in baseball.  I would be happy to be a Nat’s fan coming into next season.

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

I am happy about the Nats but I think the As should have added an outfielder, Hood was perfect for them. That’s what a’s fans say they needed.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

i agree, and i agree that a package with hood would’ve been better than the one we got with milone

however, that would’ve been more of a risk, especially with hood only having one good year in the minors under his belt. with milone we got a (for the most part) proven pitcher that could be dealt later for a player like hood

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

Good point. You guys did well, I was just going by As fans on mlb. com and they wanted offense. For me I liked the package, we have Ramos so he kinda blocked Norris and we have pretty good pitching depth.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I’m sure they will get plenty of OFers for Andrew Bailey, Brett Anderson and Ross/Braden/McCarthy etc.

Member
kräftig. entschieden
3 years 6 months ago

So does Mark Buehrle.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

Velocity isn’t everything; sometimes a guy with ++ command/control can be successful with below average velocity.

Not in any way trying to say that Milone will be Cliff Lee, but Lee gets by on a 90mph fastball (average) with ++ command; Milone was only 2mph slower (87.8mph average in a very small SSS) this year, and also has very good command.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

being nitpicky, i think you meant 87.8

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

uh, yeah… He definitely wasn’t throwing 98mph…  thanks, fixed it.

Member
Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 6 months ago

As a Nats fan, I can tell you that this was an absolute coup for the As.  Cole AND Peacock alone would’ve been worth it IMO but throw in Norris and Tommy and it’s just not even close.  I really hope Rizzo didn’t just pull a Minaya-esque trade here and Gio pans out.

Member
MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

In all likelihood they don’t need anything specific at this point.  Once they get closer to contending they can trade some of their surplus of pitching for outfielders if they need to.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Exactly. They could even sign McCarthy and Braden long term and trade one of these recently acquired guys for a young impact bat, like how the Rangers got Hamilton for Volquez.

Member
melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

Beane really should NOT sign McCarthy and Braden to long term deals. Injury prone pitchers are best dealt with year to year. McCarthy’s almost definitely trade bait at the deadline to a contender (when he’ll fetch more than if he were traded now). 

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

i dunno, i say trade McCarthy while he’s healthy, there’s absolutely no guarantee he’ll be healthy at the deadline. Now is probably the safest time to trade him

Member
melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

True. Very true. 

In which case, at least wait until he’s the best option available (AKA Kuroda’s off the market)

Member
Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Just thinking outside the box here… I certainly agree that McCarthy could make nice trade bait this summer if he stays healthy. But a long-term deal (and by “long-term,” I mean around 3 years) might actually make sense if he was willing to sign for a low base salary, and incentives that will reward him very nicely if he can equal, outdo, or at least come close to his 2011 performance.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Agreed, Milone slots right into the rotation, replacing Gio. Hood is whatever, he might be good he might flame out like so many. Cole & Peacock were rated higher anyway. Cant hate on it. 

Member
PieroB
3 years 6 months ago

Unlike guys like Lannan and Gonzalez Milone throws strikes. He doesn’t walk hitters. Soft-tosser doesn’t exceed 89mph FB. He is Mark Buehrle and maybe the better pitcher. That’s what Oakland got.
Peacock should also slide right into the major league rotation along with your true ace Brandon McCarthy plus Moscoso. Milone replaces Gonzalez and Peacock replaces the less than effective Cahill. What’s not to like Oakland won on this deal.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

I hope by true ace you mean best pitcher on the team (which is still debatable with Brett Anderson, if he can stay healthy for once) and not an actual ace.  Brandon is far from that.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

like i’ve said, hood has a higher ceiling than milone, but milone being mostly proven, has a higher floor than hood, so it’s kind of a wash between the two

Member
OaklandFan22
3 years 6 months ago

i thought so too

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

you go with the best players offered, not what you need.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

the thing is, milone’s floor is higher than hood’s, but hood’s ceiling is higher than milone

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

So its nbd that they got Milone and not Hood.

BTW totally expecting more trades from Beane. Bailey is already an elite reliever but add Outman, Ross or Moscoso to the mix, or heaven forbid, McCarthy, Beane can add even more prospects, and they might even be position players.

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

plus the a’s definitely need to get a good haul in this year’s draft, with five picks in the first two rounds

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

I thought the A’s would go after some offense. So glad they didnt ask for Espinosa, Rendon, Ramos, Storen, Hood or Goodwin.

Member
Amos Posner
3 years 6 months ago

Rendon can’t be traded yet. Ramos wouldn’t be traded. Storen is over-valued because of save stats.

Member
PieroB
3 years 6 months ago

Dude, you can’t ask for Rendon or Goodwin. They were just drafted. Rizzo stated clearly that he wasn’t trading any major leaguer (negating Sept. callups) so Storen is out. They discussed Hood but being the smart man that he is Billy Bean asked for the best prospect pitchers and got them. Plus the top catcher in the system.

Member
FacelessGeneralManager
3 years 6 months ago

Everyone understands that players can’t be traded this soon after drafting. Been said so many times by now.

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah and Law loves the trade for Reds getting Latos, but I guess San Diego isnt a pitcher’s ballpark.

Member
Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

Latos pitches better on the road than Gio does.

2011
Gio Home:
2.70 ERA
1.20 WHIP

Gio Away
3.62 ERA
1.42 WHIP

Latos’s numbers are very similar home/away, his basic stats. I think the Advanced Stats show a greater separation between the home/road splits, which is Law’s beef.

In Latos’s breakout year in 2010, his ERA at home was 2.59 and 3.14 on the road. He’s also 24. The numbers overall were pretty average this year: (3.24 ERA at home 3.62 ERA away).

Member
Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

Latos doesnt walk 90+ batters either

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

He might walk a lot, but he does get to 6 or 7 innings most of the time. That’s more than you can say about most of the Rotation for the O’s in 2011 

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

Latos has a 3.47 ERA, Gio 3.12.

Member
nats2012
3 years 6 months ago

And that division doesnt hit to well either. NL West.

Member
Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

The AL West was pretty bad though last year. The only good team offensively was Texas.

In the NL West last year you had Colorado and Arizona. It’s essentially a wash though.

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Matt Latos –

FIP – 3.16
xFIP – 3.52

Gio Gonzalez –

FIP – 3.64
xFIP – 3.73

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Those are both very good though. 

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

They are, but you can’t say Gio is better than Latos.  I know you didn’t say that but the person I was responding to did.  Not only is Latos younger, he’s been better than Gio with good control.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah no argument here, Latos is younger and has had more success. But both are so young their careers could go in any direction.

Member
FacelessGeneralManager
3 years 6 months ago

WTF is FIP? Who cares. How good did he actually do? ERA

Member
Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

FIP shows what they’re more likely to do or at least its supposed to. I’m not big on it personally.

What they’ve done though?

Latos Career 3.37 ERA
Gio Gonzalez 3.93 ERA Career

His WHIP’s higher, their K/9 is almost identical, H/9 almost identical, etc. Gio’s BB/9 is worrisome.

Member
Lunchbox45
3 years 6 months ago

era has a lot to do with defense.

ERA is the pitcher+ defense’s ability to keep runs from scoring

Member
MB923
3 years 6 months ago

I find it interesting that people who like FIP say that it shows how a pitcher does without defense.

That is 100% untrue. Innings Pitch is a stat used in FIP. Defensive outs adds to innings pitched, so therefore defense is still factored in FIP. 

Member
Phillies_Aces35
3 years 6 months ago

2011
Mat Latos WHIP 1.18
Gio Gonzalez WHIP 1.32

Mat Latos K/9 8.6
Gio Gonzalez k/9 8.8

Latos BB/9 2.9
Gonzalez BB/9 4.1

Latos H/9 7.8
Gonzalez H/9 7.8

Opponents Batting Average
Latos .233
Gonzalez .230

… and like I said, Latos is 24.
______________________________
Latos Career ERA 3.37
Gio Career ERA 3.93

Member
John McFadin
3 years 6 months ago

Matt Latos is a better pitcher with good control and is also two years younger.  While it’s true he might not have the same stats as he did in Petco, there’s less worry.

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

I would say Parker is better than Cole

Member
Snoochies8
3 years 6 months ago

sonny gray too, but still, all three have really high upsides