Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 12/23/11

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The Red Sox were involved in trade talks with the Oakland A's for lefty starter Gio Gonzalez right until the end -- when the A's opted for the Washington Nationals' package of three pitching prospects (plus a position player) over the Red Sox' offer, which was more titled toward position players, an industry source confirmed.

Gonzalez, 25, was sent to Washington in exchange for pitchers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.

A deal with the Red Sox, meanwhile, would have required the Sox to part with four prospects -- each a high-level prospect, the source indicated.

It's believed that Oakland was asking for names such as third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Ryan Kalish -- among others -- to get a deal done with Boston.

CSNNE - Sox unsuccessful in landing starter Gonzalez

I didn't even know the Sox still had four 'high-level' prospects left on the farm.  I kid.  I kid.

I like Gio Gonzalez.  When it was announced that the A's were putting him on the block and that the Sox were interested, I became slightly excited.  You can't have too many young, left-handed potential aces in your rotation. 

But now that the deal is finalized, I'm relieved we didn't complete the trade.  The Nationals gave up a lot to get Gio.  Two of the players they traded are ranked as their top-five prospects, with another ranked ninth.  The A's were asking Boston to part with their number one prospect, Middlebrooks, who just happens to be the heir to the Youkilis throne.  And a seat we're going to have to fill sooner rather than later. 

We obviously need pitching, but you can't derail your team's roadmap unless you're getting a truly special player.  Gio is good.  And maybe he becomes that caliber of player some day.  But he's not now.  So I'm more than happy to let someone else empty their shelves, hoping he does reach that level.

Of course, this still leaves us with some giant holes in our pitching staff.  Cherington is clearly sitting back, waiting for the pitchers to come to him, asking for a job.  And maybe that plan will work out.  As the winter progresses, price tags lower.  I just hope he doesn't wait too long.

Rest of the links:

Herald - Sox stay patient as SP goes Gonzo again | Cardinals land Carlos Beltran | Globe -  An early look at JetBlue Park at Fenway South | Valentine a big hit with the kids in Allston | WEEI - Depth charge: How Red Sox starting depth is shaping up | Red Sox hit with $3.4M luxury tax bill | ESPN - Red Sox saving bullets for another deal?

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