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Report: Gio Gonzalez traded to the Nats for four top prospects

Dec 22, 2011, 4:12 PM EDT

Gio Gonzalez AP

There were multiple reports in the past hour or so that the Athletics were moving close to trading Gio Gonzalez, with most suggesting the Nationals as the most likely destination and some random Red Sox speculation.  Now Keith Law reports that a deal has been struck:  Gonzalez to the Nationals for four prospects: A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, and Tom Milone.

This is a huge haul for Gonzalez, it seems to me. According to John Sickels, these guys rank as the Nationals’ third, fourth, sixth and ninth best prospects.  And given how good the Nationals’ number one and number two prospects are — Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon — you could easily move all of those numbers up if they had come from other organizations.

Great move for the A’s to sell high on Gonzalez. If he holds form, fine, it’s a solid addition for Washington too, but I can’t help but think we’ve already seen Gonzalez’ best.  This strikes me as a pretty significant overpay, especially for a team whose competitive window is not just next year, but rather, over the next six or seven years.

Billy Beane’s still got it.

  1. dondada10 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Yikes. This move reeks of desperation on the Nats part.

    • El Bravo - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      At least they kept a level head when signing Werth. Oh wait…

  2. sknut - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    I feel like the Nationals overpayed on this one. Were they frustrated they couldn’t get anyone else and felt desperate to pull the trigger on this move. Gio is good but thats a lot of prospects to give up.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      Frustration, maybe they just overrated him, I dunno…but the Nats rotation is Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gio, Lannan and Detwiler. Pretty good bullpen, they’re a couple position players away still, but this move gives them ‘frisky’ status, right?

      • bozosforall - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        Now they need to make the big move to get Fielder (and maybe one other bat off the bench) and the Nats will be true contenders.

      • sumerduckman - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:16 PM

        Nope. The rotation as of now should be Strasburg, Zimmerman, Gio, Wang, and pick one.

      • brosterik - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

        You definitely have the right starting staff. Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gio, Lannan, and Detwiler. Lannan had a good year last year. He’s a damn good 4th pitcher. Probably a 2 or 3 in most staffs. And give Detwiler a chance. Let him play. Go Nats!

      • baseballisboring - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:36 AM

        Forgot about Wang, but who cares. Realistically they’re gonna need all 6 of em and probably more. The order of the rotation really wasn’t my point.

  3. hittfamily - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Good move for both sides. The nats have young players in the majors as well, so the prospect rankings don’t matter much. If Strasburg, Ramos, and Lombardozi were still in the minors rather than being 1st/2nd year MLBers’s, we’d be talking about the 6th,7th,9th and 12th best prospects in the Nationals system. They are ready to win now, and made a move that shows it.

    • djpostl - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      Gio isn’t going to help them win much of anything. His control is horrible and his splits vs. good teams are horrific. He is the classic bottom feeder

      • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        His control is bad but his stuff is excellent. And every pitcher has worse splits against good offenses. That’s what “good offenses” means.

        I’d agree he’s overrated, but he’s still a #2 pitcher with some upside, youth, and four years of club control.

      • bozosforall - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM

        He will do just fine in the weaker NL.

      • phillyphreak - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM

        Splits vs good teams don’t bother me too much, for the reason Ari said. But I think his home road ERA split is more telling- I think his park in Oakland helped him a bunch.

        I’m not sure how much this says but I found it interesting that his IFFB% home was ~12% vs. a IFFB% of 7 on the road.

        But he’s still a good pitcher, probably just not worth all of those prospects.

      • jwbiii - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM

        “I’m not sure how much this says but I found it interesting that his IFFB% home was ~12% vs. a IFFB% of 7 on the road.”

        What it says is that Oakland-Alameda County Stadium has a lot of foul ground.

    • spudchukar - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      Exactly. And look for more moves, either Fielder, or a Center fielder or both. They have the Laroche/Morse platoon or Morse in the OF, so Fielder is a luxury, but they need a quality Center fielder, and have trade candidates in Stammens, Clippard/Storen, Flores and Desmond.

      • jdd428 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        Lombardozzi is solid but he would not have ranked above any of the four guys Rizzo just traded. Only Stras would have ranked above all four. This is a great haul for Beane.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    So, NL pitching continues to improve as AL hitting continues to improve. Pretty soon it will be 2 different sports entirely.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:59 PM


      The NL gained:

      Gio Gonzalez

      The AL gained:

      Darvish (though not at the NL’s expense)

      The AL obviously has a huge advantage in gaining hitting this year so far, but the NL pitching thefts aren’t THAT much better than the AL ones. What’s more, the remaining good FA pitchers are all NL pitchers (Jackson, Kuroda, and Oswalt). For that matter, the good FA hitters are in the NL too, in Fielder and Beltran.

      And, of course, the NL has gained more of its players by trade, giving the AL a massive influx of young talent.

      So… yeah, not really true.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        I agree with the general premise of your point, but I kind of think the NL getting rid of Derek Lowe is something of a net gain for the league.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:36 PM

        Heh. Could be right on Lowe.

  5. Jonny 5 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    The Braves chance of getting that WC spot just shrank though.

    • dondada10 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      Certainty that the Mets are gonna be in the NL East cellar for a few years is continuing to grow.

    • spudchukar - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      Likewise did Philadelphia”s.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        Because they are going to win the division?

    • El Bravo - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      Braves have the division on lock, son!!!!!

      • phillyphreak - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:40 PM

        Aw shucks…

      • Old Gator - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:26 PM

        “Braves have the division on lock, son!!!!!”

        Yeah, till the last ten games of the season….

  6. shawndc04 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Too much; Nats gave way too much and I’m a Nats fan.

  7. hk62 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Have a hard time with “Proven” being associated with Gio – they could have given up half of that and gotten Wandy – only difference being money. A’s are gonna love this trade in 2 years, Nats – not so much

  8. djpostl - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much to give up for a dude who has worse control than A.J. Burnett.

  9. Kyle - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    The Nats should have just given Edwin Jackson 3 years and saved themselves the trouble. Great haul for Oakland.

  10. amaninwhite - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Nats should have gone after the better pitcher in Cahill instead.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Glad the Yankees didn’t give up their top prospects for him.

    • rambodiaz - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM

      So are the A’s.

      • bozosforall - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        The A’s were dreaming if they ever thought that the Yankees were going to literally give up the farm for Gio. No need to, when they can just get a one-year rental like Oswalt to keep the seat warm for the Killer B’s in 2013.

  12. spudchukar - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    For being so worthless, he sure drew an awful lot of attention. Makes me believe that many organizations treasure him, and see big years ahead.

  13. phillyphreak - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Big overpay here me thinks. Spuds- I think it has more to do with being a young pitcher who will be under team control for a while.

    The love for Gio has baffled me. He had an ERA of almost a run higher on the road last year (3.62 road vs 2.70 home-similar splits for career) and walked 4 batters/9 (which of all qualified starters last year ranked 2nd to last per FG). I think he can be a valuable pitcher but not worth such a haul.

  14. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Not that they’re awfully alike, but this makes the Travis Wood deal look fantastic for the Cubs.

  15. danielwold - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    The A’s are prepping for the move to San Jose. this is sad…

  16. dondada10 - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I wonder if Kurt Suzuki is available.

  17. kinggw - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    For all those saying the Nats overpaid, what did they really give up? They gave up a catcher in Norris who is behind Ramos and Flores. Even with the departure of Cole, Peacock and Milone the Nats still have plenty of young arms in their system. They still have young prospects Lombardozzi, Marrero and Rendon on the way. They got a power pitching left hander who hasnt hit his prime. The biggest knock on him is that he is a little wild. I’d rather Rizzo give up a few promising prospects than give a number 3 pitcher like Buehrle almost $15M per year. Nice job Rizzo.

    • phillyphreak - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      A lot for a pitcher like Gio.

      • kinggw - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM

        Says the guy whose team just gave Papelbon, a severely overrated closer, $50M.

      • phillyphreak - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

        I’m not sure I would call him overrated, being that he’s really good and all.

        But I agree it was an overpay.

        By the way, how’s the Werth deal working out?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:52 PM

        That has to be the lamest comeback I’ve heard in quite some time. We are talking about prospect cost not monetary cost.

  18. phillyphever - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Wonder how long it will be until Beane trades the players he got .

  19. tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Yeah – great trade by Wylie E. Coyote – Genius……I mean Billy Beane.

    Now’s a good time for Vegas to take bets on what kids now in high school is Billy Beane going to take for Peacock, Norris and Milone in three years.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM

      I mean, reading that Billy Beane got a bunch of prospects for a player that he traded for when he was a prospect, is like trying to discuss the latest sexual harassment.charge made by the woman that keeps making them while walking around the office with her cleavage on display.

      This guy doesn’t finish anything he starts.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:31 PM

        Congratulations on your late entry for nomination into the Stupidest Comment of the Year and Most Offensive Comment of the Year categories. Unfortunately, bozosforall, dirtyharry, and halladaysbiceps have those categories locked up.

        Good luck in 2012!

      • bozosforall - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM

        Just as Ari Collins has both the Smallest Pecker and Tiniest Balls categories on lockdown for eternity. Then again, there are many other Boston fans who post here that give him a run for his money in both of those contests.

      • tashkalucy - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM

        Ari Collins

        You really have problems with reality don’t you?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:49 PM

        Hey, leave Bicepts out of it….he isn’t here to defend himself. Well, if we are on the topic of offensive comments, I think purdueman has that category locked up.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        Fair enough, dr… Where did he go? Vacation? Kicked off again?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:04 PM

        He was permanently given the boot by Craig.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        Thought that might be the case. He cleaned up his act a lot after the first boot, but was getting increasingly insulting the last time I saw him on here.

  20. Gonzo - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Nats fans should be giddy. Maybe they overpaid, but prospects don’t win divisions. Gonna give the Phils a run for their money.

  21. buffalomafia - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    With all the pitching help the Yankees need they are letting every good pitcher go to another team?????

    • Gonzo - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      *Plays world’s smallest violin. *

  22. vtorres3 - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    All this love for Billy Beane…let’s check the record for a second. Over the last 5 years Billy Beane’s A’s have a winning percentage of .471…an average of 76 wins a year. Yup, Billy’s still got it.

  23. sisqsage - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    In this deal, it’s a legit lefty starter vs. “prospects” – as in no current major leaguers. How many prospects actually pan out? That’s why they are called prospects: they haven’t done anything yet. This move makes the Nats better now and maybe the A’s might get something out of it later. Two teams going in totally different directions. What hasn’t been said but needs to: The A’s have traded away most of their pitching now and are going to stink next year with that offense in the Mosoleum vs. the vastly improved Angels and superior Rangers. Why get excited about these four prospects anyway? They are just going to get traded again two or three years from now. That’s the way the depressing A’s do biz.

  24. shawnuel - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    I do think it was quite a bit to give up for Gio, but the prospects WA gave up certainly weren’t the same quality of what the Reds gave to get Latos (not sold on Norris at all). Of course, Latos is a better pitcher than Gonzales, so……

  25. aschwartz2011 - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Not that they would trade them, but it kind of makes you wonder what the Rays could get for a guy like Moore or Big H…They both have a lot higher potential than Gio and are under team control for longer…

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