The Oakland Athletics have traded starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals for four prospects. In exchange for Gonzalez, the A’s will receive starting pitchers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock and Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.
The A’s have been shopping Gonzalez for weeks, and many around the game believed it was only a matter of time before Oakland dealt its young starting pitcher. Earlier this week it was reported that the Nationals were making a strong push for Gonzalez, and the team was finally able to land their left-handed starter last night.
In his four seasons with the A’s, Gonzalez has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 3.93 and 1.410 to go with his SO/9 of 8.6 and BB/9 of 4.4. Last year for Oakland, Gonzalez made 32 starts spanning 202 innings with an ERA of 3.12 to go with his 1.317 WHIP.
Gonzalez is getting ready to enter his first year of arbitration as a Super 2 player, and the left-hander figures to become quite costly going forward. However, Gonzalez is 26-years-old and is only projected to hit the free agent market in 2016.
According to Baseball America, the Nationals surrendered three of their top ten prospects for Gonzalez; Peacock (3), Cole (4) and Norris (9).
Peacock was dominant last season while splitting time between the Nationals Double and Triple-A affiliates. Over his 146 2/3 innings pitched, the 23-year-old maintained an ERA and WHIP of 2.39 and 0.989. Peacock compiled impressive strikeout numbers, managing a SO/9 of 10.9 to go with his BB/9 of 2.9.
Cole was taken by the Nationals in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. In his first full season in 2011, Cole made 18 starts for the Nationals Low-A club, holding an ERA and WHIP of 4.04 and 1.247. The 19-year-old also posted solid peripherals, with a SO/9 of 10.9 and BB/9 of 2.4 in 2011.
While not as highly touted as the other pitching prospects, Milone has put up impressive numbers while making his way through the Nationals system. Over his minor league career, Milone has an ERA of 3.05 to go with his 1.140 WHIP, 8.1 SO/9 and 1.5 BB/9.
Milone had another strong minor league season in 2011, and the 24-year-old was rewarded by getting a call to the bigs late in the year. The left-hander made five starts for the Nationals, maintaining an ERA of 3.81 over his 26 innings pitched.
Norris, the only position player in the deal, entered the 2011 season as one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects. The 22-year-old went on to hit at a clip of .210/.367/.446 for the Nationals Double-A affiliate with 20 home runs and 46 RBI’s over his 104 games played. Norris sports a career line of .249/.403/.458 over his five seasons in the minors.