Gio Gonzalez got bounced around a lot early in his career before eventually winding up with a home in Washington.
Constantly involved in trades between playoff contenders, Gonzalez was grateful when Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo acquired him from Oakland and then signed him to a five-year, $42 million contract before last season.
He hopes some of that gratitude showed Thursday when he picked up the Warren Spahn Award as baseball's top left-handed pitcher.
''When he picked me up and traded for me, he didn't question anything I had - none of my abilities. He just said, `Let's get him a contract. Let's keep him here. We want him.' That to me meant all the world to me,'' Gonzalez said.
''It felt like I needed to prove something not to him, but to represent him very proudly. This is my way of saying, `Thank you' and proving to whoever doubted the situation or any of my abilities.''
Gonzalez finished the season with a 21-8 record, a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts to win the award...