Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Giants_vs_athletics_0fa4

The Washington Nationals apparently wanted a companion for young aces Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg in their rotation, and ESPN's Keith Law is reporting on Twitter that they've gotten their man: Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland Athletics. The price for Gonzalez is steep, as the Nationals have given up prospects AJ Cole, Derek Norris, Brad Peacock, and Tom Milone. On Mark's ranking of the top ten Nationals prospects, Cole and Norris were in the "outstanding" category, while Peacock was listed as "good". It's a fantastic haul for the A's, and a questionable overpay for the Nationals.

Gonzalez has eclipsed 200 innings in each of the last two years, and had fantastic ERAs in each: 3.23 in 2010 and 3.12 in 2011. Gonzalez upped his strikeout rate from 7.67 in 2010 to 8.78 in 2011, but his walk rate remained relatively consistent, and high: 4.13 in 2010 and 4.05 in 2011. Gonzalez's home run rate also slightly increased, going from 0.67 to 0.76. Gonzalez was more effective in his cozy home park in Oakland in 2011, posting a 2.70 ERA and 0.65 homer rate at home in comparison to a 3.62 ERA and 0.88 homer rate on the road. Nationals Park plays roughly neutral towards hitters and pitchers.

The price seems hefty for Gonzalez, who's career high in fWAR is 3.5. He'll be playing the 2012 season as a 26 year old, and is under team control for four more seasons, entering his first year of arbitration this offseason. 

Now, a brief look at the prospects. AJ Cole spent the 2011 season as a 19 year old with Hagerstown of the Sally League. He was a victim of terrible luck, posting a 4.04 ERA in 89 innings while allowing six home runs, 24 walks, and 108 strikeouts. His 2.46 FIP is much more indicative of his abilities than that ugly ERA. Norris is a 22 year old catcher who spent the year in AA Harrisburg, my hometown team. He was blocked long-term in Washington by Wilson Ramos, and looked to be expendable. In 2011, Norris had just a .210 batting average, but had a .367 OBP and a .446 slugging percentage. He had 20 homers, 77 walks, and 13 stolen bases (just for the hell of it). His arrival could put Kurt Suzuki on the block next offseason. Suzuki is under contract until 2013, with an option for 2014.

Peacock and Milone have lower ceilings than Cole and Norris, but are both pretty decently regarded. Peacock split his year between Harrisburg and AAA Syracuse, while getting a cup of coffee in the majors to close out the season. In the minors for the season, the 23 year old Peacock had a 2.39 ERA in 146 2/3 innings, allowing nine homers, 47 walks, and striking out 177. He could probably slot right into the A's rotation in 2012. Milone is another guy who can probably slot right into Oakland's 2012 rotation, and he spent his 2011 in Syracuse as a 24 year old. Milone showed impeccable control, striking out 155 while walking just 16 hitters in 148 1/3 innings and allowing nine home runs. In a 26 inning stint in the majors to close out the season, Milone walked four and struck out 15 in 26 innings, posting a 3.81 ERA.

I love the deal for the A's. They strengthened their farm system and also added a pair of guys that they can slot right into their 2012 rotation. Meanwhile, they shed Gonzalez and the first year of increased salary he'll earn this year. On Washington's side, I'm not sure if this move is really going to move them into the top half of the rotations in the NL East. Every team but the Mets has a loaded rotation, and while this will help them compete, it won't necessarily make them compete. At least they gave up the haul for four years of control for Gonzalez, instead of just renting him.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is here to compete for a job

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.