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Gonzalez traded to Padres, roster set

Mar 28, 2011, 9:56 PM EST

Full story on all of today’s roster moves on

VIERA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals have traded infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres for minor-league pitcher Erik Davis and cash, a move that finalizes the club’s Opening Day roster.

The trade of Gonzalez leaves the Nationals’ spring roster at 25 and means veteran Alex Cora has made the club as a reserve infielder.

General manager Mike Rizzo had received interest from several teams in Gonzalez, who hit .377 this spring while playing all four infield positions. Because the 26-year-old was out of options, the Nationals couldn’t have sent him to the minors without first exposing him to waivers.

Club officials had already decided they wanted to keep Cora, a 13-year veteran who hit only .210 last season with the New York Mets and Texas Rangers but hit .359 this spring and took on a leadership role in the clubhouse.

Davis, 24, went 14-3 with a 3.52 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 27 combined starts last season between the Padres’ Class A, AA and AAA affiliates. He was San Diego’s 13th round pick in the 2008 draft out of Stanford, where he was a teammate of Nationals reliever Drew Storen.

  1. JayB - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Stanford seems to be a favorite source of Rizzo or….Bob Boone connection? I like this move a lot. Now lets start winning baseball tradition right now.

  2. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Great move, couldn't keep the guy on the MLB roster so move him. We are already young in the IF with Desmond and Espiano and Zimmerman is still a corner stone. I like the move of getting another successful arm into or minor league system. Keep throwing them against the wall until we get a few to stick. We need at-least 2 pitchers in the minor league ready to move to the MLB in the next 2 years to even matter as a team.

  3. Neato Torpedo - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Ankiel, Cora… at long last, our dreams of winning the 2004 NL East will be realized.

  4. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    Morgan and Gonzalez would have done better to capture the 2011 NL East?

  5. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Did all the STH get the RCR e-mail that went out today at about 5:00? From what I hear, people are already turning in points.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Good move for a pretty good under the radar starting pitching prospect. Probably end up in Harrisburg but could also be in Syracuse.

  7. Wally - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Erik Davis didn't make Sickels top 23 Padre prospects but came in as 'others of note'. I am guessing that means C prospect. Not bad.

  8. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    The owners of the Mets are jealous of the cash we've gotten in these last couple of trades.

  9. JayB - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    I would bet he would have been a C+ and on our top 20……it will be interesting to see what Sue D has to say about this….

  10. DCJohn - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Let's hope that some time soon there will be this eruption of talent, we've been promised.

  11. JayB - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Yea that is odd….here is $50K to make this happen… seems like a filing fee or some kind….not that I would not like $50K but does that really make a deal?

  12. Sec314 - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    I'd rather see Bixler than Cora, myself. What does "leadership role" mean anyway?

  13. Rob Dibble's Ghost - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    And if Cora doesn't work out, the Yankees just released Ronnie Belliard…

  14. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    Rizzo is not wowing me with his ability to craft a roster. Last year he added very little to a simply awful club and asked more than one regular to play a new position. This year we have no lead off man, no Ace, no true CF (think about Ankiel and Hairston are a laughable platoon), no true closer, no 2 hole hitter (such that Werth will be asked to move guys over and take some pitches for the club instead of swinging away to knock guys in like they paid him handsomely to do). The speed, defense and athleticism of Stairs and Nix? The out of options and Rule 5 bull pen pickups that are too good to give back or risk to waivers yet not good enough to play in MLB. All while Mike sits on a huge pile of cash?? He's just not getting it done folks.

  15. Wally - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Davis has a pretty courageous backstory. Hit in the face by a line drive, needed major reconstructive surgery. Fought back through it.

  16. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    "What does "leadership role" mean anyway?"I think it means he makes the younger players turn down the rap music in the clubhouse.

  17. JayB - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Njack…I think you are on to something with the Anon approach……."leadership role"….means everything to this team….it means accountability for playing a team game and doing the right things with your AB's…..Just sit back and watch…it will be fun to see real baseball from the Nats for a change.

  18. Al Roker - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    On another – much wetter – note, it looks like Opening Day is going to be a washout. Ugh.

  19. Ernie - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    @anon 6:13I'm a returning partial plan holder and haven't heard a word or seen an e-mail. I seem to get everything late though, even though I paid in full back in October. It could be that priority goes to full-season subscribers.I'm bummed that Obama isn't coming out this year for the first pitch. I doubt we'll host opening day next year so the only way we probably see him again is if he gets re-elected.I'll miss Gonzo. It's hard not to like the guy, and I hope he gets some serious playing time in SD. No problems with the trade – it's probably best for him and its' nice to see what looks like a real prospect in return.

  20. Padres' Team Store Owner - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    A quick look around the ol' WWW shows that Padres fans are generally less than thrilled with this move. At least they can still wear their "A. Gonzalez" jerseys though.

  21. A DC Wonk - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    "Rizzo is not wowing me with his ability to craft a roster. Last year he added very little to a simply awful club and asked more than one regular to play a new position. This year we have no lead off man, no Ace, no true CF (think about Ankiel and Hairston are a laughable platoon), no true closer, no 2 hole hitter"There are so many things wrong with that it's hard to know where to start.But, primarily, you can just snap your fingers and have a team with no holes. You need to have stuff in order to acquire stuff. (As for free agents, they are certainly spending money for top-notch guys — Werth, tried for Chapman and Grienke, etc.).The fact is that after years of MLB decimating the farm system, and after two consecutive 100+ loss seasons, the Nats improved last year by 11 games, and many expect them to improve about that much this year — which is as much as you can reasonably expect from a team in such circumstances. And, finally, if you still don't like the Roster, simply compare the opening day line ups of each of the past two years and this years. If you don't see a steady improvement, then you're just a troll.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    Hey JayB……started the Anon thing last week when I got sucked in to a Peric mud fest. It actually works pretty good.This is a much more accountable roster than any team in the past. Has plenty of options for roster moves and they all will be made to win now.Glad you are looking forward to the season.

  23. dj in Fl. - Mar 28, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    I like this team. We will have more players willing to take one for the team rather than think of their stats. There will be fewer players thinking a loss is no big deal. As our young guys arrive back in the bigs, they will find a focused big league team. The Nats are no longer AAAA. If you have not seen this group up close, pay the price just once. These are focused, athletic, professionals, ready for the long haul. Wimps no longer need apply at our front office. Some of you are in for a very surprising season. I got my mlb extra innings set up today. This is going to be a heck of a ride this year gang.

  24. bdrube - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    "A quick look around the ol' WWW shows that Padres fans are generally less than thrilled with this move."That's promising. Davis has got good K/9 numbers (much better than Broderick's, I might add), so he may end up being worth something. :)

  25. Anonymous Back at You - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Anonymous said… "Rizzo is not wowing me with his ability to craft a roster."And you're display of impatience is not wowing anybody with your posts.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    A heartfelt background on Erik Davis' recovery from a horrific come-backer to the face in a Cape Cod League game:

  27. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Eh. This trade is a slight negative probably, but not overly awful. Davis is a back-end guy at best. But A-Gonz was in the doghouse so this move had to happen. I don't believe at this stage in their careers Cora is a better player than Gonzalez. I also don't believe the 'leadership' story. That's a spring training theme (like best shape of life, or new approach, etc.) that goes away when the games count. Most people would take production over leadership…. Veterans past their expiration dates don't inspire me either. This roster has talent, but it is no winner, fwiw.

  28. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Talking with JayB is worse than talking with Anonymous. Talking with Anonymous, you might be talking with an idiot. Talking with JayB, you know you're talking with an idiot.

  29. MGG - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    @Anon 7:14 Thank god its not worth anything.Now I believe this trade HAD to happen and I'm glad it did. No more Nyjer and no more Gonzo. Let the jettisoning of all that is not a winner attitude be gone from this team. We didn't get anything from the morgan trade but I think what we got for gonzo is great!

  30. LoveDaNats - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    @dj in FlaFrom your lips (keyboard) to God's ears.

  31. JayB - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    Having a bad run aren't you ABM….maybe it is time your retire form being dope and become a baseball fan…..give it a try.

  32. MicheleS - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    I think it's a good move. Gonzo wanted more playing time.. he wasn't going to get that in DC with Ian/Danny/Ryan in the infield. We get another pitcher – something you can never have enough of!I am sad to see Roger get sent down. I thought he would be a good 4th outfielder.Hopefully opening day won't be a complete washout!

  33. Joe Seamhead - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    HERE,HERE!!! I second what dj in Fla and Love Da Nats said.Anonymous 7:34 why do you resort to personal attacks & name calling? Is it because you have nothing to bring to the table regarding baseball?

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    dj in Fla….. great meeting and chatting with you yesterday. Help spread the word on the positive direction Rizzo has the club headed.Heard the assistant GM for the Brewers on MLB Radio say that the trade for Nyjer Morgan was to shore up their late inning defense. Boy is he in for a suprise!

  35. Theophilus - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    The new, positive JayB is someone who I almost think I'd be willing to spend the season with.

  36. Drew8 - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Constant naysayers come off like predictable cranks. Sure, there is a ways to go, but the Nats have improved. Here's what I like about the roster:When the Nats reach extra innings, they won't send up pinch hitters like Anderson Hernandez, Alex Cintron, Alberto Gonzalez Wily Taveras, or Will "Who?". There are a lot of quality bench bats here — Ramos, Hairston or Ankiel, Nix, Stairs.They also have quality major leaguers in reserve. When guys get hurt or fail to perform, the Nats finally have plausible alternatives — Detwiler, Maya, Bernadina, Brown, Flores, Balester, Kimball. Some might not like the pace or degree of improvement, but this is a better team.

  37. JayB - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Much better team….Alex Cintron……1 for 23 with the game on the line……don't get me started again!

  38. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    Wow we got more than a can of corn for Gonzo, sounds like a sound move!

  39. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Hey JayB……started the Anon thing last week when I got sucked in to a Peric mud fest. It actually works pretty good.@Natsjack,Has anyone told you you are one pathetic sycophant? As I recall erock33 started the "mudslinging" with a personal attack and then claimed foul for precisely his own reprobate behavior. You had nothing to do with it.Pathetic.

  40. masnstinks - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Speaking of the revolving door of infielders – last night on the Mariners broadcast the announcers were calling Adam Kennedy a hot head – they were listing numerous incidents that they didn't like — they didn't have much good to say about him. At least he's not around anymore – Cora has got to be an upgrade.

  41. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Folks, let's not forget that Gonzo had five (5!) RBI's in 185 at-bats last year. I think we can do without AG's, ahem, production.82-80…Double-dose of that Kool-Aid, barkeep!

  42. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    There's no new, positive JayB. Just the same old idiot JayB with his imaginary idiot friend ABM. Just you wait and see.

  43. dj in Fl. - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Sunshine- good point on Gonzo, he was a solid excuse to order another if he was up and a runner on. Your low on your w'sNatsJack- nice to meet you yesterday…looks like a rain tomorrow so I am sure the boys will be heading home asap. Enjoy the opening games and have one at the Tune Inn for me. Like you were looking for an excuse.

  44. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2011 at 2:14 AM

    If Desmond cannot glove enough to play SS, which is at least a 50/50 outcome (he has never been even an average defender at any level to date), the Nats are going to miss having Gonzalez's nice glove around. And if Zim's groin is bawky AND Desmond continues not to be able to catch, are the Nats really going to look to Hairston and Cora to play every day at this stage of their careers? To back up this pitch-to-contact staff? Yikes. No wonder they finish last every year.

  45. Tim - Mar 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    I sort of like sending Roger to Cuse to keep him sharp and let him learn CF. He is available on demand as needed through out the season to cover for morse, if laroche goes on the DL. Gonzo is a +Glove no hit utility guy who seems to think he can play every day. So the fact that they got a pitching prospect for him is decent.

  46. Golfersal - Mar 29, 2011 at 3:30 AM

    Sorry but feel this will be a bad deal for the Nats. Guess time will tell

  47. Anonymous - Mar 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I would have preferred to keep Gonzalez. Ah well. Tim, what makes you think that Bernadina will get any serious CF time in Syracuse? Where do you expect Corey Brown to be?

  48. Rabbit - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Boy, will you guys be suprised when we are the wild-card THIS YEAR!!! We are even going to be in first place for a while.

  49. DFL - Mar 29, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Great move. Trading a 21st Century version of Dal Maxville who had little chance to play much here for a pitcher of promise is forward thinking.





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