Skip to content

Nats get Gio for Peacock, Norris, Cole, Milone

Dec 22, 2011, 9:57 PM EST

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has spent the last two winters desperately seeking to add another front-line starter to pitch alongside Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann in his rotation. Today, Rizzo finally got his man, but the price to acquire him was steep.

Washington has agreed to acquire left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for catcher Derek Norris, right-handers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole and left-hander Tommy Milone, a source familiar with the deal confirmed this afternoon. ESPN’s Keith Law was first to report the trade.

Gonzalez, 26, blossomed into one of the American League’s better pitchers over the last two years, going a combined 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA while averaging 184 strikeouts per season. A first-time All-Star in 2011, he has also led the majors with 183 total walks over the last two seasons.

The Miami native and 2004 first-round draft pick instantly gives the Nationals a formidable trio of young power pitchers, all of them under
Read more

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. UNTERP - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM


  2. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Maybe Boz will shut up now.

  3. Rafael - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    This is why you build your farm system, to make trades like this. Stras/Zimm/Gio all under control for the next 4 years. The idea that the farm system is depleted irks me. Meyer, Solis, Purke? All in the top 10.

  4. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    But who is going to hit the ball and score runs? Better teach this guy to bunt- he has been in the al,you know?

  5. bgib - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM


  6. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Seriously, the captcha was MORSE!!

  7. UNTERP - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    You gotta give up something to get something more than something.I like the trade. A bird in hand is worth 4 in the bush. They might have a dominant 1-2-3. Now we wait and see on Milone, Peacock, and Cole…

  8. psdfx - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Too much. I'd have been ok with Norris, Milone and EITHER Cole OR Peacock, but all I can say is Gio had better be good. Plus we have 6 starters, with Detwiler out of options.Fascinating. For all you impatient people out there, Merry Christmas! Actually, Merry Christmas to the rest of us, too. :)

  9. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    Reposting:natsfan1a said… I don't pretend to have the know-how to be a GM, even of the armchair variety, but my initial tendency is to agree with those who have noted that these guys are prospects. We can't know with certainty how they'll pan out in the long term, imo. Of course, I suppose one could say the same for Gio (GiGo?), but he's ours now and I'm fixing to root for him. December 22, 2011 4:55 PM

  10. NatsNut - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Billy Beane is laughing. He took Rizzo last year with Willingham and is laughing harder now. Derrek Norris is a future DH, 1st baseman, catcher for them and Peacock and Milone will compete for the starting rotation this season for them and AJ Cole will be a High A starter and future stud for them.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Doesn't this leave Rizzo a whole lot of $$$ to spend on hitting? I mean, the cost in prospects was high, but he didn't have to spend a dime to get his pitcher…

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    My guess is Beane was balking over Milhone versus one of the younger arms Ray or Solis.This is why system development is so important.

  13. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    At least when we let our babies go we won't have to face them in the future.

  14. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    It seems like quite a lot to give up. I don't pretend to have good opinions on the value of the prospects, but here are some things to consider:- there may be a "bubble" in prospects these days: milone and peacock have more value to other teams than to the nats because the nats don't have room in the rotation- same with norris, who's blocked

  15. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    The idea that the farm system is depleted irks me. Meyer, Solis, Purke? All in the top 10.Solis could end up out of a year or so with Tommy Johns. Meyer is unknown who is very tall … still growing adjusting to his height.Purke recovering from an arm ailment this past year. Still anunknown.

  16. Rafael - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Not mistaken but Willingham got traded for H-Rod who has nasty stuff. The guy was lights out out of the bullpen.And the Nats finished a game under .500 with Zimmermann not pitching the last few weeks of the year while Oakland finished in…last?

  17. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    I don't get the immediate backlash on this trade. Could Gio have been gotten for a bag of balls? No way, so you have to give something. Cole seems to be the biggest prize but he's not going to contribute next year, maybe in '13. Peacock was above his expectations last year, but may only be a long reliever this year. Norris wasn't going to break ahead of the guys in front of him and Milone, though good with strikeout to walks, throws 10mph lower than the average. (Although as a left with control, he may be the prize of this trade.)If all 4 make impacts in the bigs in 2 years, this one is bad for the Nats. But they solidify their rotation for the next 4 years! and don't give any big bats away, which they need more than pitching these days.Can't say it's great trade, but you can't say it's horrible either. Time truly will tell on this one. The cards where just laid on the table, boys.

  18. DL in VA - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    I wish there were a way to "like" comments on here. Anon at 5:11 is astute to note that we didn't spend any money (on Buhrle or Oswalt) and now can afford a bat.

  19. Rudolph - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    @ NatsNut: Perhaps, but none of his know for sure what kind of players those guys are going to be at the ML level. Gio on the other hand is a 2011 All-Star, a power lefty and has put together back to back 200 inning seasons. We now have the top 3 spots in our rotation set for the next 4 years with 3 All-Star quality young pitchers. Good trade in my book.

  20. Wally - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…My guess is Beane was balking over Milhone versus one of the younger arms Ray or Solis.This is why system development is so importantThat was the rumor I saw (that he was holding out for Milone as the last piece). Does this qualify as your 'didn't see it coming' deal?I would like to see them go all the way now, Fielder or at least Beltran (although I haven't heard them connected to Beltran)

  21. TimDz - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Rafael…I agree 100% with your comment…If McCatty can help him with the control issues, this kid could be special and DC can have a 1-2-3 punch of young talent for the next four years…

  22. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Peacock AND Cole stings. And then Millone also? Ouch.But I still can't criticize Rizzo for making the deal. Gio is a proven commodity and young, so you don't need as many pitching prospects going forward.

  23. Chris in VA - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    From the previous thread, it's clear that many people feel Rizzo got fleeced in this deal. I admit that this was my first reaction. But I think its because I've developed a strong attachment to our prospects. This is what all those losing seasons did to me, made me look to the future. And wham! Just like that, we lose four of our favorites. If I allow myself to be objective, though, this was a great trade for us. Anyways, time will tell. Welcome Gio; Go Nats!

  24. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Fielder or at least Beltran (although I haven't heard them connected to Beltran)If they can trade LaRoche maybe both. And I think they need Oswalt otherwise they had better hope the Yankees return Bradley Meyers in spring training. It sure looks to me like they will need him!

  25. Alan_A - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Anon @5:03 p.m. -Boz' column was part of getting the deal done. It works like this. Rizzo puts the deal together. Ownership balks. Rizzo or somebody else in the front office leaks to Boz. Boz writes the column to pressure the Lerners. The Lerners blink and the deal gets done. It's not just sportwriting – it's DC sportswriting.

  26. Glomp - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Now, either Detwiler or Lannan is going to get moved, probably for CF/SS help.

  27. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    How did Beane "take" Rizzo on the Willingham deal? The Nats got 2 players who are still with them, including their presumable 7th inning guy and a potential center fielder. And the A's got about 130 games of Willingham, who's now off to greener pastures.

  28. Alan_A - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Re: prospects, especially pitching prospects – I was a lifelong Mets fan before I moved here. I remember the days when the future of the Mets' rotation was Pulsipher, Isringhausen and Wilson. How's that work out?Let the prospects go…

  29. MGG - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Now that we did this can we please get fielder? PLEASE!

  30. Juat Sayin' - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    If its of any comfort, a guy who has been following the Nats farm system from the beginning through his web site Nats Farm Authority likes the deal:NFA_BRIAN: Like the GG deal, Strasburg, Gonzalez, & Zimmermann is very good young 1-2-3 for the next four years.

  31. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Chris – I have a feeling that things will look different after a cooling off period. We all love our guys, especially the special young ones and we get attached to them. It will take some time to get used to the idea of losing them. Then you start getting excited about what you are getting.Tomorrow's comments will probably be very different. I wish the young guys well and I am glad that they will be together. Good Luck to them!!

  32. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    Rizzo is an idiot – or a genius, I'll decide later. Oh, and then I'll change my mind after that. He got played – or this was a really good trade. I'll decide in a couple years, and then I'll change my mind about that one too.

  33. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Buster Olney reporting that the Marlins are pursuing JOE SAUNDERS. Just getting sicker by the minute.

  34. Big Cat - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    I can't believe you people that don't like the trade. We are getting an All Star lefthanded power pitcher in his prime!! You pencil him in the either 2 spot or 3 spot in your rotation. On a normal staff he is a number one! Only time will tell, but bring on the season baby!

  35. DannyEllinosa - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Time will tell. Any trade a gamble. Glad our boys went to AL and they get chance to play for A's. We get proven guy and hope for the best. Welcome Gio! GYFNG!

  36. Ztown17 - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Everyone can say now that getting rid of Peacock, Milone, and Cole stings but I think this was a big trade for the nats. This is the reason you have farm systems, like someone said earlier, to make trades like this. The fact of the matter is, Norris would never be a catcher for us with Ramos and Flores here, and as good as Milone and Peacock were (especially Peacock), there was no room for them in the rotation next year. We still have Detwiler if we need him, and Cole is only about 19 and there's no telling if he will pan out or not. I think losing Peacock was the biggest lost, but now we have a very good 26 year old LH pitcher with experience, success, and great stuff. This is better than getting Buhrle in some ways, since Gio will be an anchor in this staff for years to come. Knowing our 1 2 3 is Stras, Zim, and Gio followed by Lannan and Wang (with peacock knocking on the door) is a great feeling. That's a very good rotation that we benefit from in a trade like this

  37. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Dam, Way too much….NatsFan05

  38. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Nats now have 35 spots on the 40-man roster.

  39. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Why would the owners balk on this deal? It is music to the ears because the Lerners don't have to part with any money.

  40. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    My brother-in-law is a huge A's fan. Just emailed my that this is the last straw for him. He's moving his allegiance across the Bay to San Francisco, because he's tired of Billy Beane giving up all of the A's great young players for a bunch of middling prospects.Meanwhile, everyone in Nats Town is grousing about how Rizzo gave up 3-4 future All-Stars for a low-end No.3 starter who gives up way too many walks.Guess we all overvalue "our" guys.

  41. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    Beane gave Rizzo a freebie because he felt bad for him. Some scrub named Robert Gilliam

  42. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Knowing our 1 2 3 is Stras, Zim, and Gio followed by Lannan and Wang (with peacock knocking on the door) is a great feeling.Peacock is gone. Now it's Ross Detwiler, John Lannan, Craig Stammen and Yunesky Maya fighting for the last slot if Wang is the #4. Lannan is a very expensive #5 especially when Gorzelanny is less than 1/2 the price, left-handed and capable of handling it. Detwiler is the cheapest lefty and out of options. If they are lucky they get Bradley Meyers back from the Yankees to join Maya and Stammen in Syracuse giving them decent depth. Maya will now be over 30 so … he looks like a AAA farmhand from here on out.After that its a watch on the two injured lefties Solis and Purke.

  43. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    OK, so Gio walks people. That's why we have Clip, to clean it up!! I'm SO ready for spring. Go Nats.

  44. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    acomack via scotMCBSSports: re Nats also getting mi. lg RHP Robert Gilliam in deal. 24 yr. old who spent 2011 in High-A. 8th rd. pick in 2009.

  45. Big Cat - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    Opposing player:"Well, we go to Washington for 3 days tomorrow. Who they got throwin against us?""Strasburg, Gonzalez and Zimmerman.""Man o man"

  46. SCNatsFan - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    I agree, the loss of Peacock and Cole is tough to take, but you look at our big 3 now and with Harper and Rendon in the wings you see the plan coming together. I like the deal if you are the A's because you potentially fill up 3/5 of the rotation, but you can see this is a piece the team needed to be special.If Wang truly has bounced back – remember how light out he used to be – this has the makings of one sick rotation.And I agree with the thoughts above that say we value our prospects more then we should… but damn we did give up a ton.

  47. jd - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Well; upon reflection I guess I can see why Rizzo did this. My 1st instinct was that we gave up too much by a lot and there is risk that we did just that especially if Norris and Cole pan out. To me Peacock and Milone are nice players but are really replaceable parts. One of the reasons to build a great farm system is to create the ability to trade for top notch talent. There are still enough arms on the farm to refute the argument that the cupboards are empty and we did hold on to Destin Hood who to me is a sleeper prospect. 2012 is shaping up like a fun year especially if we can add a certain prince to the parade. Go Nats,

  48. JaneB - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    Beane wins this round. Peacock AND Milone is too much to lose, and then we lose Cole too. Norris has a better path the bigs in this deal, and I'm happy for him. But we will miss Milone along about June, I'm predicting. Gio better be all that and more, because this seems like we got the raw end of the deal. AT least Boswell will be happy. Er.

  49. MurrayTheRed - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    I am cautiously optimistic.Now – who is our center fielder in 2012? Cameron, Werth, or some deal not yet made?So is Gonzalez ahead or behind Zimmermann?

  50. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Gio slots in between Strasburg and Z'mnn, making both that much tougher in a three game set. None of the prospects would do that. Rizzo doesn't need Boswell to do his work. This is strong enough to make Fielder start to look attractive even if it does create budget issues downstream and maroon Morse in left field.

  51. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Remember when the Braves had Glavine and Smoltz and then they went out and got Maddux? Just sayin…

  52. Rafael - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Another thing, it gives Rizzo 4 years to rebuild whatever pitching he "lost" in this deal. Their top 10 prospects are probably hitter heavy now, but still have 3 pitchers in the top 10.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    So, what do you suppose Seattle would want, now, for Felix Hernandez?? "You couldn't afford it."

  54. The Fox - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    This trade makes sense for the Nationals. They now have control of their top 3 pitchers for the next 4 years at a reasonable price. I hope Gio continues to improve and he could, but leaving the Oakland coliseum which is a lot like RFK is cause for concern. Don't worry if you like any of the players traded Beane will trade them back to you in 3 or 4 years for more prospects.

  55. Alan_A - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Anon @ 5:39 said –"Rizzo doesn't need Boswell to do his work."_______________________Yeah? You ever deal with an intractable ownership?When you're trying to push a deal through you do what you need to – collaborating with Boswell included.

  56. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    More to the point, what would Pittsburgh want for McCutchen? They said they'd have to be blown away to even consider it. Morse plus 3 plus cash?captcha: essogas Hmmm. there's a message there…

  57. Friend of all the World - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    To everyone is worried about giving up too much I recommend taking a look at an article by Rany Jazayerli over at Grantland.

  58. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I'm in the minority, I'm sure, but I think it's great. Rizzo's best deal since he got Mickey Morse for Ryan Langershlang. A legitimate ace to go along with Jesus and Z'mmnn. This staff is built to take on the Phillies, Marlins, Braves, ace for ace. I really like it. Five years from now, after we've raised the flag, and if Milone et al strike it rich, you can say I was wrong.Rizzo 1, Moneyball 0.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    "Put A Tiger in Your Tank" was the old Esso slogan. I think it's trying to tell us to do that deal!OTOH, the captcha here is "fulamist" so maybe not…

  60. Jim Kurtzke - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Sets up next trade move…because it's hard to see the Nats keeping both Lannan and Detwiller (out of options)…unless Detwiller becomes the swing man. Personally, I hope they keep Lannan.

  61. gonatsgo - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Just saw video of Gio's curveball on tv — ok, so Brad who? Bring it on. The pitching in the nl east just continues to get stronger. And the al east is still considered the strongest division? really?

  62. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Ben Badler of Baseball American weighs in with the same perspective as NFA Brian:Ben BadlerNationals did well trading for Gio Gonzalez. Gave up some interesting guys, but doubtful any of them will be as good as Gio.Keith Law thinks Oakland won.

  63. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    The club did what it had to do. It was going to cost a lot to get a high qulality SP under control. Having seller's remorse over the guys they gave away, most of whom might not ever be anything in the bigs worth noting simply on the numerical odds, is a little much when you consider that the Nats got something they needed very much, and something of huge economic value.I think that we may see another deal over the next few days. Flores, Detwiler, Desmond, Lannan, maybe Gorz, could be moved for something else we need in order to be relevant. I am hoping that today's trade is a step in the process of the club finally delivering an Opening Day roster that has a chance to play in October. Kudos to Rizzo.dfh21

  64. Tomorrow's Headlines Today - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    THE WASHINGTON POSTNats Trade for Gio, Boswell Eats Crow (No, Not Aaron)

  65. DC Tom - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    TINSTAAPPThere is no such thing as a pitching prospect.Do Millone and Peacock project to be anything close to Gio's level in foreseeable future? No.Could Cole possible develop into a Gio-quality All Star one day? Perhaps. But balance that of the certainty of having an All Star pitcher in his prime for four years.Do you trust your ability to find similar quality like prospects in the next four years? Yes. Why wouldn't you?For those that believe the Billy Beane/Moneyball hype, you should feel happy that we're developing the type of players that Beane would want to fleece!Now let's go get a big bat for the line-up and wait for the weather to turn!

  66. Tomorrow's Headlines Today - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICWelcoming a New National Gio to Town

  67. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Go DCTom!dfh21

  68. Constant Reader - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Jumping in after being on kid duty all afternoon …Gio is a left hander to slot between Jeezus and JZimm who has put together back-to-back seasons better than any starter in a Nats uni ever had and is controllable for four years.Trading away our top three starters shows that Rizzo, et al, have tremendous faith on Solis, Purke, and Meyer. By acquiring Gio at a much cheaper contract price than Buerhle, that frees up $$$'s for RZim, CF, or LaRoche replacement if necessary.Finally, it frees up $$$'s to go after Cain, Greinke or Hamels as CMW's replacement.If Gio pitches to form, CMW is representative and we have Lannan is our #5, we are a legit contender. If Gio tanks and Peacock is RoY, we'll all be disappointed and Rizzo will be unemployed. That's why he makes the big bucks. I'll keep my hopes up for the former.

  69. Section 222 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    I just commented that I hope we didn't have to give up both Cole or Peacock, since in a few years, one of them could be our number 3, but after hearing the news and reading the comments, I'm persuaded this was a trade worth making. Remember years ago when we had all this great young pitching in the minors — Stammen, Martin, Martis, Mock, Balestar. I don't know if we were ever offered anything decent for any of them, but we kept them in the system and they never amounted to anything. Now I expect that Peacock and Cole will be decent major leaguers, but it's a crap shoot whether either of them will ever be as good as Gio has already proven he is. And there were real questions whehter Norris would ever be able to field his position well enough to be a starting catcher. At a certain point, you have to try to win, not always be building for the future. Whether this turns out to be a good trade for us totally turns on how well Gio does, not whether our prospects blossom in Oakland. If they do, good for them and for Oakland, but if Gio gives us four years of solid 3.30 ERA and 200 innings per year, then he's a star and we are lucky to have him. Our rotation just got pretty darn scary for opponents. Can't wait to hear what the MLB Network guys say tonight.Now use all the money you saved by not signing Buerhle, Wilson, or Oswalt and go get Prince! Sorry, couldn't resist.

  70. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Just watched Gio on youtube. 95mph with a vicious curve.

  71. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Trading away our top three starters shows that Rizzo, et al, have tremendous faith on Solis, Purke, and Meyer. Solis is developing a history of injury problems and Meyer could be a long-term project due to his height. Purke might surprise everyone by jumping into AA ball. We'll have to see but Purke and Solis are left-handers.Cole basically was the top right-hander after Bradley Meyers. Let's hope Wirkin Estevez continues to look better than expected.

  72. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    I don't see any problem paying 14-20 million to Oswalt to anchor and mentor this young rotation. That would push Wang to the bullpen. My take is that Detwiler, the other left-handed power pitcher will get to start.

  73. rmoore446 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Well, I was already excited and now I'm totally amped. I can't wait to see them take the field. We very much needed a lefty ace to add to the rotation now we need a lefty power bat to add to the lineup. Go Nats!!!

  74. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    This package would have netted Alex Gordon. Too much for Gio. Good player with upside and down-side risk.Time will tell how it works out. I gave my opinion earlier on including AJ Cole in the same deal as Peacock. I think Rizzo isn't a good trader and that's where Kasten's worth would be felt. He'd tell Beane to shove it and Beane would have settled for Peacock, Milone, Norris and Cutter Dykstra.

  75. DC Tom - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    dfh21, while I suppose Rizzo is likely to shop Lannan, Detweiler or Gorzy right now, I could see him waiting a bit before dealing any of them. Even, perhaps to Spring Training. Wang is still a question mark for me.

  76. Young Pitchers - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    MASN promo slogan when he starts:"You're watching NatGioWild!"

  77. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    Gonat said… Buster Olney reporting that the Marlins are pursuing JOE SAUNDERS. Just getting sicker by the minute. December 22, 2011 5:25 PM No question, short-term gain is on the Nats side. Long-term gain is to Oakland.I still felt that Joe Saunders was a much better move to save the prospects for a possible July 31st trade. Like Gonat said, if you take out home stats, Saunders road stats blew away Gio.Whats done is done so I have to get over my upset stomach right now.Everyone have a great night.Nats on the MLB level much better today than this morning and Boz hopefully loses some sleep tonight and takes his medicine.

  78. The Fox - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:27 PM

    The National's site states"According to another source, the Nationals were going to trade pitcher Cole Kimball as part of the deal. Instead, Cole was added to the package."I wonder if Billy Beane wanted A.J Cole or Cole Kimball more? It doesn't state why the change was made?

  79. Wally - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Jim Kurtzke said…Sets up next trade move…because it's hard to see the Nats keeping both Lannan and Detwiller (out of options)…unless Detwiller becomes the swing man. Personally, I hope they keep Lannan.I thought this at first, but I am not so sure any longer. They need to plan for at least 7-8 starters, especially with Stras on an innings limit and Wang's durability a concern. And they are now down a net two possible starters, with losing Meyers in the Rule 5 and Peacock and Milone, and adding back the Human Gio-nome. I think that, unless they sign one of the bargain guys to a minor league deal, they keep 3 lefties in the 'pen and start with Lannan in the rotation.

  80. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Fox, good ole Bill Ladson trying to show he has some insight. Of course Rizzo gives up Cole Kimball before AJ Cole. Beane was asking for as much as he could take. It was taking and the A's long-term come way out ahead as it looks today. Beane was asking for Espi and Desmond also. Why not, you ask until the other side says NO.Notice how Cherington of the Red Sox dropped out.Rizzo literally gave up the Farm.

  81. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Wally, you are exactly right. They lose the 2 MLB starters in AAA and only have Stammen now. Gorzo will work out of the 'pen and maybe they dangle Detwiler for a trade. As bad as Rizzo is at making trades, maybe he gets Cutter Dykstra's brother for Detwiler.

  82. SilverSpring8 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    I'm sad to see Peacock and Milone go, but I'm excited to get a power LHP.Time will tell whether this is a good deal for the home club. The rest is just noise.

  83. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Gio always asked the A's faithful to wear their yellow jerseys when he pitched. Wonder what he'll do in DC?

  84. DC Tom - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Let's work with the assumption that Rizzo's not a total idiot. Which he isn't.We just traded for an all-star lefty starter in his prime who is under club control for four years, with two years of 200+ innings and an ERA in the low-3's…for four players that have combined played 8 games in the major leagues.The fact that that package was better than whatever the Red Sox or Blue Jays — teams more desperate for starting pitching than us — says a *lot* about the quality of our player development system.In a way, I don't care if Rizzo was fleeced. The owner of a Kashmir goat doesn't think wistfully about the pretty cashmere sweaters that he could have had for himself if only he keeps all the wool. He sells the wool and grows some more.

  85. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Gio has better raw talent than Saunders. Let's see what McCatty can do. If Cat can't work his magic, Gio will be a walk-a-thon and frustrate as all more than Lannan.

  86. SilverSpring8 - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    "You're watching NatGioWild!"—–Personally, I prefer NatGioExcellentControl.

  87. The Fox - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Steve M. you are probably right but this trade could workout for both teams. I don't think you should underestimate the cost control issue. The Nationals now have more flexibility financially if they want to use it. I still don't have a good idea as to what an average team salary will be when the Nats have a mature club. Cole is the possible prize in this but he is in no way a guarantee. I think they traded Norris when his value was low but they were probably going to have to trade him sometime in the future. The Nationals can either take risks with money or risk with trading prospects. Gio would not have been my first choice but I can see an upside to him too.

  88. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    DC Tom, he was the All Star because every team gets one representative.

  89. David - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Robert Gilliam is interesting… he's a high K rate guy, low WHIP, but with a high ERA. maybe an advanced stat guy can explain how that ERA is so high? He's a little old for high A. Lets put him straight into AA and see if we can work the same magic we pulled with Peacock a couple years ago.

  90. whatsanattau - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    So my take … which I know you have been waiting for … the trade was necessary and good. I am a believer in WHIP as an effective measure of performance, and Gonzalez does not score well there, but he is an effective pitcher, he should be more so in the NL, and he is young. Of the prospects given up, I am most remorseful of losing Cole, but you have to give to get. He DID NOT give up the farm. He raised a crop and took it to market. Good work Rizzo!

  91. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    Robert Gilliam is a throw in. A 24 year old in High A where he will come up on Rule 5 issues next year.If he was worth anything it would have been a 3 for 1 trade.No issues with trading Peacock and Norris. Putting in Milone and AJ Cole just pushed it over the edge.Keep in mind that Milone and Peacock would be starting for the Nats in 2012 if there was open space. Peacock will do very well for the A's in that stadium.

  92. Steve M. - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    By the way, most of us aren't now talking in hindsight, I stated this yesterday and today that you can't trade Peacock and AJ Cole in the same trade unless you know you are getting a true #1.I worried about Rizzo as a poker player which trading is and also stated that before. 3 starting pitchers and a DH for a #3 starter just was too much. I wish it was Cole Kimball instead of AJ Cole and I would be happy now.I also thought Joe Saunders was the signing to make as he costs you $4 million more than what you pay for Gio and no prospects which you save for July 31st.If the Marlins get Saunders I may really lose all restraint of anger I am holding in.

  93. blovy8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    I think they gave up too much, but it was clear they were in the tank for a quality lefty, and I can't really fault the logic of getting a guy like this to have your top three set for a few years. As much as I like Milone and Peacock, you can't count on results like Gio's, nor would those guys really get the opportunity before Detwiler this year given the minor options. Oakland made a really good haul though, because blocked as he might be here, I think it could be Norris that has the big impace. It's really tough to come up with a legitimate catching prospect who has his combination of batting eye and power.

  94. Steve M. - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    Section 222 said… Remember years ago when we had all this great young pitching in the minors — Stammen, Martin, Martis, Mock, Balestar.This is obviously a joke, right? There wasn't anyone at Baseball America, ESPN or Sickels that saw these guys as anything more than #5 pitchers or relievers.

  95. Wally - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    Ok, I am done griping about the trade. I can't rationalize my way to liking it, but I am a Nats fan, so I am going to move on and root for NatGio. ( I keep trying out nicknames – I like the Human Gio-nome, but it is too long to spell out so I am moving on from that, too). Hopefully Cat works some magic around his command and control issues.But I am really rooting for the Nats to keep going, spend some coin and bring in some offense. Free agents, no more trading prospects, for now. Probably only room for 1 big hitter, and still hoping for Fielder or Beltran. Either would be pretty exciting. Also hoping for something better for the bench – I loved De Rosa a few years ago, but at his age and two injury- filled years, I wonder how much is left in the tank. Cody Ross would look great at 2/$10m to fill in around the OF for the next couple of years, especially if we don't get a full time CF. maybe Wilson Betemit to back up the corners.Bring on Philly.

  96. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Even if the trade does not work out well, Rizzo did the right thing. Rizzo moved prospects (Norris and Peacock essentially blocked, no spot for Millone on the 25 man roster and Cole so far from contributing) for a proven young, under control MLB talent that fills a big need for his club to win now and for years to come. This is the Rizzo's best move to date. dfh21

  97. ehay2k - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    Let's hope there's never a "Gio's Gone Wild" videoAs much as I liked Peacock and Milone, the truth is they only pitched a few MLB games in September. Really can't tell much from that. Maybe they have 'tells, or can't handle the workload. Gio is a known MLB quantity. Norris was soooo blocked, it made no sense NOT to deal him.So, we shall see, but right now, it doesn't look bad to me. I like having 3 young quality starters. Perhaps mostly because this is a first in Nationals history. This is a good time of year to be happy for what you have. :-)

  98. BinM - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Wow, this trade stings a little. It will take 2-3 years to really see the final value though; The Nationals get a young LHSP with MLB experience & a seemingly durable arm in GG, while Oakland gets two SP's on the verge of being MLB-ready (Milone & Peacock), an OBP machine who plays behind the plate (Norris), and a highly-rated prospect arm (Cole). It's a little tough to swallow right now, having watched three of them move up through the system, but it could be a good trade for both sides. Gio should give DJohnson a solid 1 – 3 front-end through 2016, and Oakland gets a quartet of highly rated 'maybes' in return. This is one of those deals where time will truly tell.

  99. blovy8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Latos is better than Gonzalez, it would stand to reason that Cincy would have to give up more. I could be wrong, but it seems like Milone will thrive in that big Oakland ballpark with all the foul territory. Seems like he works inside quite a bit and is going to get some pop-ups that would be in the stands here.

  100. Steve M. - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    BinM, you are right as 2 years we will have a good idea but AJ Cole won't be known for 3 years and will be 22 then.

  101. BinM - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:35 AM

    dfh: Just wondering… If this trade doesn't work, should we all show up to egg your house at the end of the season?

  102. Avar - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Aside from the deal itself, which I this is solid. The big issue is this significantly crowds the rotation. Now they are paying Wang $4m and Detwiler is out of options. Only one can be the 5th starter but basically both must be on it. Could move one to the pen and have them start again if someone struggles or is hurt and then take Stras' innings at end of year when he is shut down. I vote for Detwiler to pen as Wang seems more likely to perform at higher level.

  103. Anonymous8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Watching Hot Stove on MLB Network. Larry Bowa says he loves Peacock and says once he gets his changeup going well he can be a #2 or #3.

  104. Tim - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    A few thoughts…Peacock and Milone surprised us this year and sort of came out of nowhere. The bird in the hand argument is a good one.As Mark mentioned, Gio was 1st in Base on Balls this past year (Lannan was 13th) in all of MLB. Get used to seeing men on base. Remember the feeling when Chad Cordero closed for us? We'll all have less hair and fingernails after this season (and the next four, for that matter).All in all, I'm excited.

  105. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:50 AM

    Beltran to the Cardinals

  106. Golfersal - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    I am sick to my stomach over this.Not that we got Gonzalez, he is a great young pitcher with a lot of upside.What is making me sick is the fact that by two favorite guys from September were Brad Peacock and lefty Tom Milone. They showed a lot and I was looking forward to them at spring training in March. That is the problem with this trade, Rizzo gave up two pitchers that could of been starting in 2012, he gave up to pitchers that showed a lot of heart and soul in September. Then after we get over the shock of losing Peacock and Milone, we have to get over the fact of losing A.J. Cole, and catching prospect Derek Norris. Sorry but in my mind Rizzo gave up 2 great guys and 2 promising guys for one person that is above average. Only bad stat that Gonzalez walked more people than any other starting pitcher in 2012.So yes it's exciting getting Gonzalez but I think that again BIlly Beane got that best out of Rizzo just like he did last year when he trade Josh Willingham to the A's for Rodriguez, who is close to showing some promise but for 2011 Willingham had a better year.What pressure Rizzo will have on him if Gonzalez turns into a bust or below par with Peacock and Malone playing great. That's the thing, the A's traded a starting pitcher and got two guys that will start for them in 2011. Again, Rizzo I think you blew this one.

  107. natsfan1a - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Dang, Anon beat me to the punch.

  108. Waddu eye no - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Hope oakland tv shows milone's first at bat on tonight's sports. Best to all involved. Especially the natsGYFNG!

  109. Joe Seamhead - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    BinM — no! No egging my house! It is one thing to love a trade and another to be responsible for it. I am essentially saying that even if it does not work out well, I am not egging Rizzo's house for having done the right thing. I am not guaranteeing the trade, thus stay away with the eggs. But, as we all know, I'll be ready with eggs in hand if they try to put Ian Desmond and his 4 K's/BB at lead off, so if you're aching to toss some ovals come with.dfh21

  111. Avar - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    Oh yeah. Not sure how many have said this but this pretty clearly adds wins in '12. Extremely likely that Gonzalez puts up higher WAR than Peacock/Millone/Detwiler would have.

  112. Gonat - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Carlos Beltran to the Cardinals……

  113. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Bowa also said he loved the trade for Washington.

  114. Farid - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    Back in the summer of 2008, the Milwaukee Brewers traded four players to the Cleveland Indians for star pitcher C.C. Sabathia. "Too much!" they yelled.They gave up Zach Jackson (4-5, 5.81 in the majors), Rob Bryson (2-1, 2.29 in 30 minor league games), Matt LaPorta (.247-11-53 for Cleveland last year) and Micahael Brantley (.266-7-46 with the Tribe).None of those four have made any real impact for Cleveland, and I doubt any of them will. And back in 1993, the Braves got Fred McGriff from the Padres for three "can't miss prospects," Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott and Mel Nieves. McGriff ended his career with 493 home runs and the three prospects, well, the fact that you've probably never heard of them makes my point.My guess is that either Peacock or Cole will breakthrough and become a solid major leaguer, Milone will be Lannanesque, and Norris will become a decent DH, a .250-20-80 guy with a .385 OBP.All I know is that the Nationals' 2012 rotation is as good as anyone's in the NL. I don't know if they are really going to make the playoffs next year, but 2013 is looking pretty good right about now.

  115. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    For the most part, the "experts" like the trade for Washington (unlike the Reds trade for Latos). More proof that the trade is good – Law doesn't.

  116. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Man, I was hoping for Beltran too. Juan Pierre on a 1 year deal to play left, Morse to RF and Werth in CF? Trade Desi, Espi to SS and Lombo leads off at 2B?? Package some shint stuff for Span???I really don;t want to egg Rizzo's house.dfh21

  117. Will - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    This trade is awful. Just straight up awful.We just acquired the wildest SP in baseball.He has 13 more BBs than any other pitcher in baseball over the past 2 years. THE MOST.And now we're expected to give away 4 quality prospects for a #3 pitcher? Get the hell out of here….This is a downright awful trade, and it won't take 2-3 years to see how awful it really is. Peacock, Milone and Norris will be in the big leagues by the beginning of next season. In 2-3 years they will all be at least good major leaguers (with the exception of Cole, who by all accounts is a top #40 prospect).By every account, Mat Latos is an exponentially superior pitcher than Gio Gonzalez. At the time of his trade, the entire baseball community was criticizing the Reds for giving up too much. Now, the Nats go out and give up even MORE for a statistically inferior player. It's absurd. Rizzo is an idiot. Gio Gonzalez isn't half of Zack Grienke, Mat Latos, or other good, young starters. Gonzalez has piss-poor control, and its what separates him from being good and being very good.A merely good pitcher doesn't cost 4 of your best prospects. Rizzo overpaid. Big time.

  118. NatStat - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Rizzo just got Beaned!

  119. Will - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Farid,And how did that work out for the Brewers?They acquired Sabathia for 17 games, and then lost him (and all those players they gave up) for what? One playoff series?In other words. They got 130 IP from Sabathia and Kentrail Davis (compensatory pick) for (at the time) 3 top quality prospects.Cole, Milone, Norris and Peacock could end up the same way (all busts), but that still wouldn't necessarily leave the Nats in a good situation.

  120. Friend of all the World - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    I am curious to see what additional moves are made. One thing I am now worried about is our starting pitching depth, in case of injuries or ineffectiveness (Wang), who is next in line? Gorzo? Detwiler (if they stash him in the pen)? I would love it if the picked up Oswalt too.

  121. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    i dont like it

  122. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    Come on. The Reds got Latos FIRST, the market was only going to tighten from there. And Gio's a top 15 lefty SP right now and he's got a solid chance to tighten his control and be even more dominant. Get over your someday hopefuls. Gio is here.

  123. Rob Wilong - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:39 AM

    It's all fine and well to say that Peacock and Milone may be big league starters this year for Oakland and that this will make the trade a bad one for the Nats if Gio is not Cy Young reincarnated, but as our first several years in DC demonstrated, starting games in the majors does not make someone a legit big league starter. Barring multiple injuries, Peacock and Milone were not going to be Nat regulars. The fact that they might be for the A's does not mean Rizzo misjudged them. It might just mean we've got a better starting staff than do the A's.

  124. Feel Wood - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    He has 13 more BBs than any other pitcher in baseball over the past 2 years. THE MOST.He's also pitched 200 innings/year over the past two years. So normalize those numbers if you want to make a point. How does his BB/9 look over the past two years? I haven't looked, but I bet it's nowhere near the worst in baseball.

  125. Andrew - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    The 4 guys the Nats traded are also high character good guys which makes it difficult from a personal level. I had never met Norris but had spent time with the other 3 and Peacock and Milone are off the charts good guys. That all is great and doesn't make much difference in a trade so from a trade standpoint Milone is a #4 or #5 pitcher and Norris fit better in the AL.AJ Cole is high ceiling and Peacock has shown that he has MLB quality pitches and could be a top pitcher if he develops his off-speed. I think Milone's game will play well to the A's. The bad news for all those pitchers is each start against the Angels will face Albert Pujols.

  126. SonnyG10 - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    I was so angry when I first heard about this trade I wanted to go out and kill something. Major League baseball gutted our minor league teams and now Rizzo has done the same thing in one fell swoop. I knew I would be disappointed at some point when Rizzo would trade a favorite player, but I figured that would be the cost of building a winner and I would just have to trust Rizzo to do the right thing. But to give away the store, I just couldn't handle that. Now, after reading a lot of the comments here, both pro and con, I have settled down somewhat. I still think he gave away the store, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. I will be rooting for me to be wrong. I especially take comfort in NatsJack's comments because he always seems to have a good perspective in matters regarding baseball. I sure hope this works out.

  127. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    Feel Wood: Nope, Gonzalez's 4.09 walks per nine innings over the last two years are the most among all qualifying big-league starting pitchers.

  128. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    I really don;t want to egg Rizzo's house.dfh21Maybe one of those prized prospects will do? The one they didn't give up:Stephen Lombardozzi. He like Beltran has a platoon bat.They've got lead-off covered. And CF for that matter with it only a matter of a good ST between Bryce Harper and RF? And you want Juan Pierre? Why? So that he can hit below the Mendoza?They do need Fielder. The heart of the order lacks left-handed power in a big way and that is far and away more important than the elusive CF that could end up as :1. Brian Goodwin2. Destin Hood3. Eury Perez4. Michael Taylor5. Corey BrownGive it a rest will ya?

  129. LoveDaNats - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    I was so hoping they would bring in Gio, but I almost choked on my Outback steak when I saw Peacock, Milone AND Cole were gone. Norris made sense for us in the trade. Gio better be worth it (and not werth it).

  130. Feel Wood - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:47 AM

    As I recall, Debbi Taylor was rather enamored with both Peacock and Milone when she interviewed them after their big games last September. Any chance she got sent to Oakland as a throw-in in the trade?

  131. Dale - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    This is the Rizzo's best move to date. dfh21 Oh my, you can't be serious. Better than Langerhans for Morse? Better than Capps for Ramos? Rizzo had become completely unhinged on this trade, when one more year of patience would have vetted our rising pitchers.

  132. Tim - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Gio: please throw strikes to Reyes. Don't y'all think that this could further entice other free agents?Why not go for Prince? Imagine the ballpark.

  133. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Feel Wood: Nope, Gonzalez's 4.09 walks per nine innings over the last two years are the most among all qualifying big-league starting pitchers.But, no starter on the Nats staff has a better LOB%. His is 77.8%. That means he may walk them but he also trends to strand them so-to-speak. No Nats starter has pitched as many innings either. That means he pitches deep into games with an xIP over 200. He's a solid #3 with a 3.6 WAR and an 8.8 pRAA. He is young enough that if he cuts down on the walks he could end up being a #1/#2. He may have had the advantage of the large park and defense. But the Nats defense is pretty good AND he faces the pitcher not a DH in the NL.

  134. Joe Seamhead - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  135. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    So far 2 old guys and a left handed pitcher,plus some minor league signings. Busy week in Natstown.

  136. Just sayin' - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    Feel Wood said…As I recall, Debbi Taylor was rather enamored with both Peacock and Milone when she interviewed them after their big games last September. Any chance she got sent to Oakland as a throw-in in the trade?December 22, 2011 8:47 PM********************************************Nope. Bill Beane is way too smart to take on that kind of a liability.

  137. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    It's a little tough to swallow right now, having watched three of them move up through the system, but it could be a good trade for both sides.There is still Danny Rosenbaum [LHSP] who should be making his way through Harrisburg to Syracuse in 2012. We may get Brad Meyers [RHSP] from the Yankees to fill in as needed depth in Syracuse. Bet he gets a chance to start over Yuniesky Maya [RHSP]. Purke and Solis have injury problems but Wirkin Estevez looked good. Cameron Selik and Nate Karns may come through or not … Robbie Ray might improve … Matt Grace and Alex Meyer who might be another 100+ mph FB starter. Plus there's Kylin Turnbull.

  138. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:10 AM

    My take on this trade? I already bought season tix. If I had not done that, I would not have.You can still ask for your money back.

  139. DL in VA - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    Gio's WAR was 5.0 last year. About the same as Prince Fielder's, whom you all (and I) have been pushing we get. What was Peacock's? Of course, I'm just trying to make a point. But if your only knock on him is his walk rate, we are winners if these walks don't make it back to the dish.Back to WAR: So we just added 5 wins, right? (Gorzo, God love him, had a WAR of 0.7.) Add those to Strasburg's and Zimmermann's extra wins we should expect having him back, and whoa! Are we topping 90 wins? Could be.

  140. Sunderland - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    From the perspective of the A's fans, they got 2 SP's were not going to open camp with our big league club, a guy who batted .235 in A ball in 2010 and hit .210 in AA in 2011, and a 19 year old SP who pitched in low A last year, 4 – 7 with a 4.04 ERA.And they gave up a really good MLB proven LHSP with 4 years of team control.I doubt they are giddy.

  141. rogieshan - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Consider Rizzo almost traded Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa for Greinke last year, this looks like a more team-friendly package to give up. And Gonzales is under control for four more years, so…

  142. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:16 AM

    In the end Rizzo and Clark go back to drafting and signing pitchers in 2012 … something they have become quite adept at. That's their strength. As long as the Lerners are willing to pay the a reasonable luxury tax for going above the bonus cap for draftees in lieu of a 100 million payroll.

  143. Gonat - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    DL in VA, Gio walked 6 batters in the 9 spot and that is where the NL will help him.Gio is excellent against the #1 batter. He seems to pitch around some batters like Lannan. Clearly his overall ERA is good.Just trying to look at some positives

  144. Section 222 - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    Oh man. Classic conversation between Mitch Williams and Larry Bowa on MLB Network about sabermetrics after a graphic about the top fielding CFs based on UZR/150 over the past two years. Anyone see it? Mitch: "As soon as I get to a word that I can't spell and it has to do with baseball, I don't put much stock in it…. sabermetrics: I don't get it. I don't understand where it's a part of the game. Whatever happened to looking at a guy, Bo (Bowa), and saying, he can play!? " Bowa: I'm all for the sabermetrics to a certain extent, but.. I like to use my judgment. I think I've been in baseball a long time. I'm sitting behind homeplate, and I see the ball hit and I see the jump a guy gets and I don't need to put that in a computer to say "that's an unbelievable jump." Whoa. These guys are from the Joe Morgan School of Neandrathals Baseball Analysts.

  145. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    And they gave up a really good MLB proven LHSP with 4 years of team control. I doubt they are giddy.Actually, they are pretty happy. They are pretty knowledgeable and they have learned to accept their current predicament. Team likely moving to San Jose? They know what they are getting … and Milone and Peacock should fit right into the starting rotation. Norris needs another year in AAA to pickup the defensive aspects of his game. AJ Cole will be added to their system. The general consensus was they didn't have much of a farm system now they do.

  146. at least I can spell - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:26 AM


  147. Gonat - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Anonymous said… Feel Wood: Nope, Gonzalez's 4.09 walks per nine innings over the last two years are the most among all qualifying big-league starting pitchers.But, no starter on the Nats staff has a better LOB%. His is 77.8%. That means he may walk them but he also trends to strand them so-to-speak. No Nats starter has pitched as many innings either. That means he pitches deep into games with an xIP over 200. He's a solid #3 with a 3.6 WAR and an 8.8 pRAA. He is young enough that if he cuts down on the walks he could end up being a #1/#2. He may have had the advantage of the large park and defense. But the Nats defense is pretty good AND he faces the pitcher not a DH in the NL. December 22, 2011 8:56 PM _________________________________________He is now a Nat so I am hoping for that type of optimistic look. His best performance of the year on the road was in NY against the Mets.

  148. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    The Nats could still go for Grienke or Cain next year and should. The payroll looks to go even lower at this point …

  149. Dougie3 - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:36 AM

    A horrible, horrible trade.

  150. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    And to all those people who think Rizzo got fleeced, I have one question:When was the last time Billy Beane won a World Series?

  151. DL in VA - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Gonat, Baseball reference lists him as a **5.0** WAR pitcher, not a 3.6. Unless I'm reading this thing wrong…, here's the question: knowing that, if we lost Peacock, Milone, Norris, and Cole and got Prince Fielder back, would everyone still be complaining?

  152. Drew8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:55 AM

    Farid 8:14As usual you make some fair points. Sometimes blue chippers never blossom (or mix their metaphors) — see Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin et al for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.Then again, you might have Apocalypse Now — see Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis.The horror. The horror.Time will tell. For now, GYFNG.

  153. Anonymous8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Keith Law doesn't like the trade on the Nats end. Everyone has an opinion. Short term the Nats clearly have the advantage. Long term, who knows.Wouldn't be surprised to see Rizzo trade Detwiler straight up for BJ Upton now.

  154. baseballswami - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    When I look at what we gave up, it is a little hard to fathom, but I guess that's why you stockpile young pitching. We have been talking for a long while about how much extra we have. But man, have you seen that new guy's curveball – it's a thing of beauty and I am looking forward to seeing it regularly. Now , Mr. Rizzo – may I have some more please? What does the rotation look like? You know, we still have extra guys. This will be fun to see how things shake out. But — I still keep coming back to our offense. Do we just pray that our guys all just do better this next season? All the pitching in the world can't overcome zero offense. Just ask the Phillies about what went wrong with them at the end of the season.

  155. sjm308 - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Seamhead – name me ANY Nationals pitcher who has won 31 games in two consecutive seasons! I don't care how many people he walks, I care how many of those score. His era is under 3.25 for the last 2 years. He is an All-Star and the verbage you used to describe him made me feel like we had resigned LoDuca. This is truly great trade. We gave up 4 really nice young players who have a total of 8 games of mlb experience for an All-Star who is under control with our other two aces for 4 more years. This is truly a tough crowd.

  156. baseballswami - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    sjm308 – oh, sure , he can pitch. But can he hit a home run on his first major league pitch? Can he bunt? Does he have epic facial hair or 10 letters in his last name? Did he go to Stanford or vulture a win at the asg? Yes, this surely is a tough crowd. If he wants to join the Nats pitching staff he will have to measure up.

  157. sjm308 - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    OK, as faux GM I just lost Beltran. I still have Fielder out there with my 3/4 year offer and I can now trade for BJ Upton with either LannEn or Detwiler as the centerpiece and if I want to stay egg free include Desmond. (I really am risking the egging and want to keep Desmond as my leadoff). I am also working to sign Oswalt to that one year deal I mentioned earlier and now that he sees our #s 1-3 he is excited about joining us and will be huge in the playoffs when SS is shut down. Can't believe how much work there is left to do and have stopped trying to please all the good folk at Nats Insider.

  158. sjm308 - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    Swami: but he does have a great first name!

  159. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:28 AM

    When was the last time Billy Beane won a World Series?When was the last time they made a movie about Mike Rizzo?

  160. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Dale: "Oh my, you can't be serious. Better than Langerhans for Morse? Better than Capps for Ramos?"Hell yes, I am serios that the Gio trade is Rizzo's best move. Langerhans for Morse was a nothing ventured nothing lost trade of scenery move for both guys, and the Nats lucked out. In hindsight it looks great, but at the time, the move meant nothing. There was no expectation that either guy was going to be a difference maker.Capps for Ramos is a push. People love this trade so much but the Twins got an All Star caliber closer that helped them get to the playoffs and who was under control for a 2nd year for an extra catcher in their system. Does anyone think that maybe the Nats could have or should have gotten something else for Capps? Ramos is a nice player, but he's not Johnny Bench and no one thought he was when the trade went down. He's a quality young catcher, as is Jesus Flores whom we already had coming back from injry at about the same time.This move for Gio is serious. Rizzo went for it. He got the guy he actually needed. The lefty 200 inning strike out SP with no injury drama and under control forever. How folks in here see this as not worth the haul for this club is beyond me. One or more years of patience would have vetted more losing seasons.The club is moving in the right direction and at the right pace, for the first time ever. On on!dfh21

  161. Drew8 - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:41 AM

    "Langerhans for Morse was a nothing ventured nothing lost trade of scenery move for both guys, and the Nats lucked out."That's unfair. You need to credit Rizzo and his scouts for spotting something in Morse.Don't you have to credit the Cardinals for prying Lou Brock from the Cubs?Don't the Cubs deserve credit for netting Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg in deals with the Phillies?Don't you tip your cap to the Braves for exacting John Smoltz from the Tigers?Of course, I'm not equating Michael Morse with those Hall of Famers, but in each of those deals someone spotted a player with potential and went and got him. The team that goes and gets those guys deserves credit.There's a reason that Billy Beane took A.J. Cole and not Cole Kimball — and it's not luck.

  162. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    If we sign Fielder, this team will be tough for ANYONE to beat.NatsFanCorky

  163. Tom in AR - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:52 AM

    My opinion, FWIW, I was shocked to see all four players included. I was really impressed with Peacock last year and was excited about Milone. Cole is a very high ceiling prospect, and I would have liked to keep Norris over Flores, but I figured that catcher was a position we would be trading from (very happy with Ramos, so hopefully he plays the majority of games over the next 5 or 6 years). Who wouldn't prefer us to give up one less of that bunch? But all things considered, this makes us a better team next year. I don't get all the comments that Gonzalez is a #3 starter. He had a 3.12 ERA last year, which is top-20 in MLB (2 spots ahead of Jordan Zimmermann). And one would assume that moving to the NL it ticks down. I know, ERA is not an advanced metric. How about top 10 in the AL for WAR and ERA+? That seems like a #1 to me. (but my metrics are still probably not advance enough).Any trade is a crap shoot. Maybe he blows his arm the first day of Spring training. Or maybe the 4 guys we sent to the A's never start a game for them. Bottom line is, from where we stand, I think this team with this rotation will be in the mix for the wild card. If we manage to get a high OBP center fielder (or a high OBP Prince Fielder) I think we can compete for the NL east.

  164. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 3:54 AM

    Anon 8:46 — I am just catching up with some posts, but you said:"They've got lead-off covered. . . . And you want Juan Pierre? Why? So that he can hit below the Mendoza?"Lombo is not looking to make the Opening Day roster, so he's not exactly inked in the leadoff spot. Even if he does make the club Espi and Desi will be the middle infield as things stand now. And Juan Pierre is a career .296 hitter and has led the league in hits a time or two, and who happens to have stolen a few bases in his time (68 in 2010). He's not ideal, I get it, but he does not suck and he has never been at the Mendosa line — he's never hit worse than .275.dfh21

  165. whatsanattau - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    He does walk quite a few, but he doesn't give up that many hits. A 1.32 WHIP over 200+ innings is within a normal range. Don't get carried away with the potential of the other players. It was just potential, not performance. Also, a 3.12 ERA is pretty good no matter how many pitches you throw or walks you issue. Starting pitchers with 200 innings thrown:K/9 innings – Nat Gio better than CC, King Felix, Doc Halladay, Hammels, and CainBABIP – beter than CC, Doc, King FelixERA – better than King Felix, Haren, Hudson, PriceBAA – better than all but 11 pitchers in baseballSLG – better than all but 5 pitchers in baseballFolks, this is a quality starting pitcher with a track record of superior performance. This is a very good pitcher.

  166. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:01 AM

    Drew8 — I am not trying to pry credit away from the club for spotting talent, but the reality is that the Nats took a shot in the dark that maybe Morse would turn into something. It is great that they were right. They deserve credit. I was not trying to belittle the move, but compared to getting something close to an Ace at the time they needed somrething close to an Ace, it just does not compare. Getting Gio is Rizzo's best move to date. The Nats with Gio are edging on legit for the first time ever.dfh21

  167. Section 222 - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    Norris was never going to start in Natstown. Milone and Peacock weren't going to be in the rotation this year, and possibly not next year either if Wang and/or Detwiler live up to expectations. That doesn't mean they aren't going to be very good players, but this team has reached a point where it has more talent at certain positions than it can fit on the 25 man roster. So I'm all for using our riches (be they players or money) to get the pieces we need to contend. Now!The one I'm really sad about losing is Cole. But there's no guarantee with him of course. And we've still got Purke and Robbie Ray to hopefully develop into starters. With the top three spots in the rotation assured for the next four years, I think we're in very good shape.SteveM and Joe Seamhead — I hope you guys will come around when Gio performs well this year.

  168. Constant Reader - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    I'll take another angle defending the deal. Since some of us (probably me as much or more than anyone) spent the morning fretting over Boz's column, let's consider the $$$ side of this.Gio will cost us about $30M less than the Fish will spend on Buerhle over the next four years. We just acquired a better #3 than our initial target and will spend less on him.That leaves us more $$$'s to re-sign RZimm, solve CF, replace LaRoche if necessary or acquire another starter (Cain, Greinke or Hamels) to replace CMW before the '13 season.I know, I know, that last one I said earlier.One last place to go. If RZimm needs to see a commitment to winning to re-sign, seems to me we just showed him that without spending money that might help us re-sign him (see Pujols, Albert and the StL Cardinals).

  169. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:15 AM

    I like the idea of moving Lannan or Detweiler to pick up BJ Upton and sign Oswalt for one year. Rizzo should offer Fielder 7years and then we are ready to win in 2012-2016!!!

  170. NatsLady - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    Honestly, I don't get the people on the list who don't get the trade. All this whining about when are the Nats going to make the big trade for contention in 2012-2013, Rizzo makes a big trade and now it's "how could we trade away the future?"Folks, the future is now! I'm really liking it. Rizzo said he wanted a top of the line SP, and he got one. Now let's see if he spends some cash for offense.Swami–bringing the funny tonight!

  171. rfabs - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:27 AM

    The Nats got an established major leaguer (an All Star, in fact) for four guys who may or may not become good players. Odds are that a couple of them become good contributors and a couple become fringe players or flops. But all of the contributions the A's may get from Cole, Peacock, et al. are in the FUTURE. The Nats got a guy who will contribute in a big way THIS YEAR and NEXT YEAR, when we all expect that they will contend for the playoffs.It's a good trade. And I wouldn't be surprised if Roy Oswalt says that he wants to be part of that action. How about helping to pitch a perennial cellar-dweller into the playoffs: that's a pretty good resume builder. Gio makes that more likely.

  172. The Fox - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    Thank you NatsLady I was waiting for your thoughtful and well reasoned input. I think most people got used to always waiting until next year. Most teams fans barely know their minor league players but since the Nats were mainly being built through the draft I think the fans were getting conditioned to thinking this was how the team was going to be built. Its always tough losing your own talent but wait until Rizzo starts trading players the Nats developed and are everyday players at the major league level then you will truly see the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Gio is not a guaranteed top notch pitcher yet but I think you can make the case that he has still has not reached his ceiling and if that happens most people will look back and be happy about this trade. One last point, one team does not have to lose and the other gain in a trade, it is possible for this to be a good trade for both teams. I for one hope that the players traded do well in Oakland unless they are playing us in the World Series.

  173. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    If you're passing out credit, Morse was Riggleman's idea as much as anybody's, even if he didn't play him. You guys. You see that big thing way over yonder? That's "the point."Close up, it looks like this: If Gio does for the next four years what he has done for the last two, Rizzo wins, I don't care what the guys he traded do for the A's margin.Two things: They need to win, now. This should help that. But even if Gio is the next Brian Lawrence , this isn't the sort of trade that cripples a franchise for years if it blows up (like, say, signing Prince would do, if that blew up).Look at it this way: If Bartolo Colon *had* pitched them to a Series win, and they were contracted the next year, would that have been a bad trade? No. Seamhead, where are those seats? I may be looking to move up.

  174. Farid @ Idaho - Dec 23, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    Section 222 ….Thanks for mentioning Ross Detwiler. Though many believe he has not/will not live up to his potential, his last two seasons have been pretty impressive. In 20 combined starts, he has a 3.39 ERA along with a 9.1/3.0/5.5 slash line. His batting average/on-base average/slugging percent against was .268/.325/.409.On a good team (as the Nationals are now), those kind of stats would probably be good enough for a 12-8 record, give or take.The team still has enough depth at pitcher, both ready now and down the road.

  175. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:00 AM

    Why do some fans say silly stuff lke if the Nats Sign Fielder etc. THEY ARE NOT SIGNING FIELDER PEOPLE. That would cost money.

  176. lesatcsc - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    I'm feeling a little ill. So much for building up the minors. Gonzalez better win the Cy Young next year.So, there was a plan, and we threw it away for the bright lights. I really, really hope this works out because Rizzo is all-in on this one. If it fails, his career as a baseball executive is done! He traded the future for the present. That's okay if Gonzalez delivers. Now he better go out and get a bat, because his job depends on this team making the playoffs NOW, and that will require more offence than this team put up last year.

  177. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Lesatcsc gives the rationale for why they may get Fielder, Anonymous 12:00. Read it carefully, and be less inclined to call something that is possible "silly."NatsFanCorky

  178. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    @lesatcsc – this is consistent with the plan, the Nats have stockpiled prospects, and in particular pitching prospects, to position themselves to make this kind of deal.Yes, the price was high, but we filled an identified need by trading what we had in quantity (minor league pitching and catching prospects).However, it did not cost us any hitters (Morse, Harper, Rendon) which we can't afford to give up, which is a good thing, because like you said, they are going to need more offense!

  179. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    Few years ago I took a course on the art of negotiation. The one thing I learned that stood with me is that a deal good for both sides is the goal of all negotiation. This is a good deal for the Nats, since they will satisfy an immediate need. If they will compete with Philly, Atlanta and the Fish, hey need that other pitcher that give them a chance to win every time he goes to the mound. Of course now they have three. A group of nice prospect went to the A's? Well good for them. The A’s get to develop these kids and take their chances that at least one of them will fulfill its promise. Come on folks, none of those kids was going to make it to the big leagues any time soon. Chances are that with any luck they will all become serviceable big leaguers. As far as a dominant pitcher, something that Gonzales can be, well that is not so clear. You folks want to trade for a number one pitcher, and yes Gonzales is that good, and give a couple of bushels of crabs? Be realistic. And as far as those there that feel quite entitle to give away the Learner’s money to, well, every Joe, Jack and Prince, remember this: is not your money! Not yours to give. This group in DC, running the Nats have done quite well. The body of Rizzo’s work is quite impressive. Not every deal pans out, not every prospect develops to be a star. But Rizzo has done well. Is a good thing he does not take marching orders nor instructions form us here in this blog. That would be unfortunate.

  180. NatsLady - Dec 23, 2011 at 5:56 AM

    Anon @12:33– that is the point I was going to make, thanks. It's pitchers and one blocked catcher. No position players were harmed in the making of this deal… The A's are in a tough situation, with the proposed move to San Jose. They don't have a good revenue stream, so they have to trade away their good players in the hope that "next year" they can have a reasonable team. We are in our next year–after a long, long wait. It's fun.

  181. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 23, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    Again with the Fielder [stuff]! Look, Prince Fielder can hit, but he'd block Prince Oppo-Boppo, unless you want to trade Morse. And neither one of those things is happening. N-O-T H-A-P-P-E-N-I-N-G.

  182. Joe Seamhead - Dec 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    Ok, I got home from a tough day and was shell shocked by the trade and went on a tirade based on a knee jerk reaction, with "jerk" being the operative word. So now I've a had a couple of hours to digest it. Let's just say that I've gone from angry, shocked, and dismayed to skeptical, and to hoping that my initial reaction and fears are wrong. I have no problem with giving up Norris, as we had a log jam building at catcher, and I'd rather see him go then Flores. We have two better defensive catchers, though do see him as a ML player in the near future and wish him luck.Cole is a lot of potential, on paper, that I've never seen pitch, but had high hopes for. Milone? I saw him as a guy that was more then a little bit better then the likes of Mock, Patterson, or a host of others that have come through. Peacock,however is a guy that I see as being a steady 15 to 18 game winner, with very good control and a great worth ethic. He had quickly become one of my favorites that I hate to see go. Gio Gonzalez is someone that I see as so far being a pitcher with decent, but not great, stats that has pitched in a much weaker division then the NL East. I just hope that he's as good as many of you and Rizzo think that he is.

  183. Will - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Gio Gonzalez career at the cavernous Oakland Coliseum: 3.56 ERA, 1.355 WHIPGio Gonzalez career away: 4.36 ERA, 1.468 WHIP.Oh, but you just want to use only his last two seasons to illustrate how he's a different pitcher now?2010 Home: 2.56 ERA2010 Away: 3.92 ERA2011 Home: 2.70 ERA2011 Away: 3.62 ERAGio Gonzalez is a product of pitching in an extremely pitcher-friendly park (even Chad Gaudin flourished there!). Billy Beane knows this, which is why he's been so keen on selling off his best pitchers.So how "good" is Gonzalez when he's really much more of a 3.75 ERA-type pitcher? A #4 pitcher? (see John Lannan- 3.70 ERA last season). Glad to see it took Cole, Peacock, Milone AND Norris to get that type of player….

  184. Anonymous - Dec 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Gio had better live up to expectations… I liked Tommy Milone.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter