Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 12/23/11
Yesterday, the Nationals gave up four prospects, including three of their top 10 guys, for the right to acquire Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A’s. This follows on the heels of the Mat Latos trade, essentially establishing current market value for a young starting pitcher with four year of team control. However, with Latos, the only nitpicking you can do about his performance to date is that he’s pitched in Petco, because other than that, he’s been pretty fantastic. Gonzalez’s track record is a little more spotty, starting out poorly before turning in two good seasons the last couple of years, but maintaining a walk rate that’s among the very worst in baseball. Even while succeeding, Gonzalez simply hasn’t shown much of an ability to throw strikes on a regular basis, and those command problems have drawn unfavorable comparisons to the likes of Oliver Perez and even my own analogy to Edinson Volquez. However, rather than just continuing to point out the flaw in Gonzalez’s skillset,
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