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Rizzo: Gio "brings a presence" to Nats

Dec 23, 2011, 11:56 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Gio Gonzalez and minor-league right-hander Robert Gilliam come from Oakland to D.C.

Updated at 8:35 p.m.

The Nationals' blockbuster trade to acquire Gio Gonzalez is now official. Both the Nationals and Athletics announced the six-player deal this evening, with Gonzalez and minor-league right-hander Robert Gilliam coming to Washington, and minor leaguers Brad Peacock, A.J. Cole, Derek Norris and Tommy Milone going to Oakland.

Gonzalez is 31-21 with a 3.12 ERA and 368 strikeouts over the last two seasons and earned his first All-Star berth this summer. The 26-year-old left-hander immediately joins Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann to form a potent trio of young power arms atop the Nationals' rotation.

"He brings a presence in our rotation," general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call with beat writers. "He's had success. He's been a workhorse … and gives us a young corps of starting pitchers at the major-league level that really is in the realm of something we've never had here before."

Rizzo said talks with A's GM Billy Beane began more than one month ago and picked up some steam two weeks ago at the Winter MeetingsRead more »

  1. LoveDaNats - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Welcome, Gio!

  2. Get Some Players - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:05 AM

    Davey will be having a great Christmas this year.

  3. SonnyG10 - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    Welcome to DC, Gio. Throw strikes!!!

  4. Dave - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    That's a pretty strong pitching rotation.

  5. Just wonderin - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    How about a Princely stocking stuffer to make Davey's Christmas morning even merrier?

  6. gonatsgo - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Much easier to spell than Buerhle….

  7. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Welcome, Gio. Good point, gonatsgo. I like that in a pitcher. ;-)

  8. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Good thing Box goaded them into the deal.

  9. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Boz oops.

  10. Farid @ Idaho - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    I think walks are a relatively meaningless statistic. It's the WHIP (base runners per inning) that tells the story. I mean, it doesn't really matter if a guy gets to first via a walk or a sharp single to left, right (except for the potential RBI it could drive in)?Last season's WHIPs for selected NL East pitchers:Strasburg: 0.708Halladay: 1.040Zimmermann: 1.147Jurrjens: 1.224Wang: 1.283Gio Gonzalez: 1.317Oswalt: 1.338Lannan: 1.462Lowe: 1.508Gonzalez' WHIP is not as good as the superstars but better than / equal to the quality starters in the division.Last year, Gio only gave up 7.8 hits per 9-innings along with his 4.1 walks per nine. Move two of those walks over to the hit column and it would be 9.8 hits per 9 and 2.1 walks–same number of base runners, just counted differently.Most everyone would be impressed with that. I think he'll do just fine.

  11. mickeymantle07 - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:02 AM

    The next move could/should be trading an excess pitcher and other parts to Arizona for Gerrado Parra as our new CF/ and leadoff hitter

  12. DL in VA - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Welcome to Washington, Gio! I'm sure you will enjoy your stay."How about a Princely stocking stuffer to make Davey's Christmas morning even merrier?December 23, 2011 7:25 PM"There's no freakin' way that Prince would fit in a stocking. Really, don't even wrap him. Just put a bow on him and park him in the driveway, and we're good.

  13. sm13 - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:25 AM

    Great move by Rizzo. Our top 3 match any rotation in MLB and we'll have them for many happy years to.come.Save the money on Prince. Sign Ryan Z!

  14. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Meant to add a welcome for Robert as well.

  15. Gonat - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    From MLBTR "Rizzo confirmed that Solis has not yet visited Dr. Yocum about his sore elbow due to strep throat. Once that clears up, he will have his elbow checked out."I find this unacceptable that he still hasn't gone. Its been weeks since we first heard of the elbow pain and since when does strep delay you past a couple of days?

  16. Brett Martinez - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    I absolutely agree that Gerrardo Parra should be the next trade. Perhaps Detwiler and a mid level prospect

  17. m20832 - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Get the Prince and make Ryan Z Happy!!! Then the Nats will be contenders in 2012!Watch the ticket sales go Way up wit the Prince on board!GYFNG!!!

  18. The Fox - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    There is a new write up on Gio on Fangraphs generally pretty favorable. http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/how-good-is-gio-gonzalez/

  19. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Anonymous said…Boz oops.Yes. Yes he did.

  20. mstomper - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    I was just thinking about trading for Parra a couple of days ago. Or maybe we could flip Gio to the Rays for Shields and Upton (just kidding).

  21. Unkyd - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    Ok… So I'm fickle! I now officially love the Gio trade!!! And if we can find a serious LH bat for CF, I'd cool to the Prince, and save $$ to extend the homies…

  22. Tom Boswell - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Anybody that thinks I goaded Rizzo into the Gio signing is a complete fool, but I will take credit for it in a future article.

  23. Anonymous8 - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    This was written a week ago about Gio and may turn your stomach.http://paullebowitz.com.previewyoursite.com/blog/?p=3358

  24. Big Cat - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:56 AM

    Its late August. The Phils come into Washington for a 3 game series. They are one game up in the NL EAST. We roll out Stra, Zimm and Gio. They counter with Halladay, Lee and Cole Hamel. We have come a long way since Matt Chico gingerly patrolled the bumb.

  25. MicheleS - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:04 AM

    Big Cat, the late August series in Philly. But I will take it and maybe we can invade Citzen's Bank. and make it Nats park North

  26. Dave - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    Nat Gio, quoted by Ladson:"Billy Beane was great with what he did for me, sending me to Washington. He thought it was a great idea. He knew how important it was for them over there. I appreciate what Billy did and what the Nationals have done for me now."That's the kind of guy we want on our team.

  27. The Dude Abides - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Goant has become unacceptable.

  28. Sunderland - Dec 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I know I'm a moron, but to me we really have to sign Fielder. It's a rare chance to sign one piece and make yourself a legitimate contender for several years. We need the left handed power bat, big time. LaRoche is a fine piece. Fielder is an elite hitter. We can't be sitting here a year from now with the only left handed power bat belonging to Harper. The NatGio trade makes little difference without ramping up the offense, and Fielder is the biggest up ramp available, by far.

  29. Sunderland - Dec 24, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Sunderland - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Gonat said… From MLBTR "Rizzo confirmed that Solis has not yet visited Dr. Yocum about his sore elbow due to strep throat. Once that clears up, he will have his elbow checked out."****Decent chance the doctor wanted it this way. Take some anti-inflammatories, rest the arm and elbow for a month, then we can get a cleaner picture of things. So the strep delays things a few days. No big.

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    My first thought was, who the heck is Paul Lebowitz and why should I care what he thinks? Found the snippet below on the site. Yeah, I think my initial reaction was sound. Funny title, though. :-)"Paul Lebowitz is the author of the 2001 novel Breaking Balls and his Baseball Preview/Guide published annually since 2007. He graduated from Hunter College with a degree in English; has blogged on various platforms about various subjects (mostly baseball) since 2006, is a Dark Lord of the Sith and emits deadly lightning from his fingertips.He lives in Brooklyn, New York."—Anonymous8 said… This was written a week ago about Gio and may turn your stomach. http://paullebowitz.com.previewyoursite.com/blog/?p=3358

  32. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Also, maybe the kid felt like crap, and they didn't want to send him on a plane trip in that condition (I know I didn't feel like going anywhere when I had a bug featuring a very sore throat earlier in the week). Maybe the doc and his staff didn't want to expose themselves or their other patients to it (he's a surgeon, not a GP, right?). And, oh, yeah, it's the holidays and all.Decent chance the doctor wanted it this way. Take some anti-inflammatories, rest the arm and elbow for a month, then we can get a cleaner picture of things. So the strep delays things a few days. No big.

  33. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    NATS SIGN FIELDER, TRADE MORSE, PROSPECTS FOR MCCUTCHENHow did that feel? Because that's how it would probably have to go, to work. They aren't trading Werth or Harper, and Werth isn't the long-term center fielder. But this is all hypothetical, because THEY AREN'T SIGNING FIELDER.

  35. Roberto - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    I've read several references to Gonzalez having "attitude" issues or being a "head case." I have no reason to credit these assertions but I do have reasons to wonder why this tag is disproportionately placed on Latin players. From what our host has reported, Gonzalez is intense. Most great players (I'm not saying that Gonzalez is great, at least not yet) are intense. We value intensity in athletes. Yet reporters seem to describe that quality differently depending on the ballplayer's background. Let me be clear: I'm not accusing anyone of prejudice, much less the "R" word. I'm simply frustrated by the kind of pseudo-journalism practiced by the "Sith Lord" referenced above who warns people against acquiring a player whom he almost certainly never met on the basis of alleged character faults that have never been documented. It's a sore subject with me for many reasons, not the least of which is that my namesake and countryman, number 21, was labeled a "head case" and a "malingerer" by lazy writers. Hey, I get it: what my mom called "the Spanish people" can be intense and a tad volatile. I know I am. But. we're not all Carlos Zambrano or even anything close. Pardon the personal note.

  36. MicheleS - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Roberto..another article in the SF Chronicle had nothing but glowing things to say about Gio.. At least this is from a reporter from someone who actually asks people questions and not just a blogger who sits in his mother's basement.here is the link:http://blog.sfgate.com/athletics/2011/12/22/gio-gonzalez-is-heading-from-as-to-nationals/Welcome GIO! GYFNG!

  37. Sunderland - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Roberto, I loved your recent posts. It's funny, I don't really know Gio at all, but I've never thought of him as Latino. Giovany? Maybe he is. Maybe like a ton of us, he's a blend of various sorts. The "head case" and "attitude" stuff is near impossible to shed, and it's so easy to throw out there. My impression is Gio is really well liked by his fellow MLB guys. That counts a lot more than a Sith or even Seveth Lord, whatever the heck that is.

  38. Richard - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Right on Roberto — and speaking of pseudo journalism, I think Bowell is clearly off his meds. After his truly bizarre article 2 days ago about how cheap Lerners are, this morning Boswell writes: "On Tuesday and Wednesday, the industry outside the D.C. area was buzzing: When are the Nats going to pull the trigger — on anything?" The only "buzzing" was in Boswell's head, as far as I can tell — and I see and read a re MLB. And then he takes credit for the Gio trade! "[W]ith half the off-season already gone [what!] and a four-for-one trade (with a throw-in minor leaguer from Oakland) probably floundering, precipitated by my column Thursday." Not only is this not a complete sentence, the arrogance and presumption is astounding. He goes on: "When the Gonzalez deal was done the next day, I shook my head. And grinned." UNBELIEVABLE. Wow. I've lost a lot of respect for Boswell this week. Let's credit Rizzo and company the Lerners for their work in building the Nats without the "help" of the Washington Post.

  39. Dave - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Richard, I saw your comment and had to go over to the WaPo site.It's really true. Boswell really and truly is taking credit for this trade happening.As I posted over there, there's been a lot of self-serving writing in newspapers and over the Internet throughout the years, but this one really takes the cake.Tom Boswell: baseball king-maker.Wow.

  40. Mick - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    OK, I am now liking this trade a little more than yesterday and JoeSeamhead appears to be an older geezer than me, lol

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Re: Solis…. and he had just finished The Arizona Fall Season near his home in Phoenix. Everyone (well everyone with knowledge of how these things work in the off season)know that if there was any inflamation, the Dr. would have wanted to wait a couple of weeks before performing tests, So stay home with your family for a bit, then come down with strep which delays the examGonat is Gonuts.

  42. Mick - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Tom Corleone Boswell, lol!

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    That green glove is gonna look terrible with the Nats uniforms!!1! What was Rizzo thinking??

  44. NatsLady - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    My feeling about the Nats FO is they barely tolerate the media, including Boz.A while back a radio reporter rated the local teams regarding access and the Nats ranked last–meaning they granted the LEAST access to players and exercised the MOST control over publicity. In fact, it was remarked here, I believe, that they have a leak-proof front office any White House would envy.The idea that Rizzo, the Lerners and most of all, BILLY BEANE, would interrupt their negotiations to shiver in their boots at a Bozwell article is laughable. It's clear from other articles that the A's lowered their price, and that's when things clicked.The A's wanted a high price for Gio, reportedly they wanted Mike Stanton or LoMo from the Marlins (or both) and the Fish wouldn't go for it–and the Fish didn't have enough prospects to deal.

  45. Gonat - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    Anonymous said… For those crybabies bringing up the "cavernous Oakland Coliseum", here is something you should consider:Cavernous Oakland Coliseum dimensions:Left Field – 330 feet (101 m)Left-Center – 367 feet (112 m)Center Field – 400 feet (122 m)Right-Center – 367 feet (112 m)Right Field – 330 feet (101 m)Backstop – 60 feet (18 m)Cavernous National Park dimensions:Left Field – 337 feet (103 m)Left-Center – 377 feet (115 m)Center Field – 402 feet (123 m)Right-Center – 370 feet (113 m)Right Field – 335 feet (102 m)[8] Nationals Park is even more ”cavernous” than the Oakland Coliseum, which tell me you don’t have a clue of what you are saying. You really believe Rizzo and D. Johnson and the rest of the Nats brain trust did not read the stats? I just wonder, have any of you ever seen a baseball game at Nationals park? Just saying. December 23, 2011 12:44 PM ________________________________Crybabies? Those who call names should look in the mirror! Have you seen the foul territory in Oakland? It has been describes as "cavernous". You did some homework on only dimensions of the playing field but didn't look at all the factors. Pitchers parks are described that way if a pitcher has a distinct advantage and the opposite for a hitters park like Arizona and Colorado or a neutral park like Nats Park.There are parks like in Colorado that are hitters parks because of the elevation.Some parks play better to lefties than righties and vice versa.You also have parks where it is better for base stealers based on dirt compaction and bunters based on height of grass and slope and the dirt.What I haven't figured out is why Gio has a 27% K rate at home vs. 24% on the road.Jordan Zimmermann has the exact same 3.18 ERA on the road and home.Joe Saunders pitches in a pitchers park. He pitches to a .311 BA at home and .230 on the road. I saw Saunders as the best pickup. A true #3 who would have played well in neutral Nats Park and any RF neutral fields and great in tough RH hitters parks. Plus as we know Saunders is a Free Agent with no comp to his previous team meaning the Nats wouldn't have had to trade Cole, Peacock, Norris and Milone.Then you read independent comparisons of Gio's delivery and road stats and there has to be concern.

  46. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    I hope they gave Gonzalez an MRI on his arm and shoulder before finalizing the deal!!

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    " Tom Boswell: baseball king-maker."This is what it looks like when columnists (i.e., not reporters) insert themselves into the story, AKA "calling out" ownership, AKA "accountability." Like it or not, it's common enough in other places. I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss his part in this, either. That "Lerners are chicken" column was obviously unusual, and several folks here commented that it seemed purposeful, maybe planted, and not unlike something Davey would do, if he thought he needed to move the process his direction.

  48. baseballswami - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    I think we all need to remind ourselves regularly that not so long ago we had no idea who would be in our starting rotation at this point in the off-season. John Lannan,(and I am not one of his haters) was our number one. Now – we have 2 guys better or equal to Gio already on our staff. Strassie still has some proving to do but JZ is a stud. John Lannan, who is a very capable and experienced lefty,(imho),has fallen to 4 or 5, not because he has become terrible, but because every one else is good. Things truly have changed in NatsTown – and for the better. GYFNG!!! Santa – bring us a hitter for that stocking with a curly W on it!!

  49. Feel Wood - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    But this is all hypothetical, because THEY AREN'T SIGNING FIELDER.They have to be in on him, despite what anyone says. You say it makes no sense for them to sign Fielder, because they already have a first baseman under contract. You say it will create the kind of logjam that will force them to trade Morse for a top-line center fielder? (Although why you presume an outfield with a raking left fielder and some no-name center fielder is worse than an outfield with an all-star center fielder and some no-name left fielder, I don't know. Seems like a wash to me.)So it makes no sense for them to go after Fielder? Consider this. Three years ago, you could have made the same arguments as to why it made no sense for them to go after Teixeira. They already had a good-hitting first baseman under contract who was coming off an injury in Nick Johnson. Yet they were all in on Teixeira. All in. Offered him a ten year deal, reportedly at bigger dollars than he eventually took from the Yankees. And the upside of signing Teixeira wouldn't have been anything more than increased credibility for the team. Even with Teixeira it would have been several years before they could possibly contend. If they sign Fielder, it will guarantee contention immediately and for years to come.You better believe they're in on Fielder. All in.

  50. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    I've also enjoyed Roberto's recent comments and welcome him to NatsInsider (assuming he hasn't already been posting but with a different moniker or no moniker.Re. the Boz column, he actually said this (cut and pasted from the column):"This familiar pattern, with half the offseason already gone and a four-for-one trade (with a throw-in minor leaguer from Oakland) probably floundering, precipitated my column Thursday."There is a big difference of meaning there (he may still be patting himself on the back, but let's get the words right if we're going to attribute something).

  51. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Oh, and I dropped this ")"

  52. Gonat - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Re: Solis…. and he had just finished The Arizona Fall Season near his home in Phoenix. Everyone (well everyone with knowledge of how these things work in the off season)know that if there was any inflamation, the Dr. would have wanted to wait a couple of weeks before performing tests, So stay home with your family for a bit, then come down with strep which delays the examGonat is Gonuts. December 24, 2011 9:14 AM ____________________________Real mature calling me nuts! The AFL officially ended November 19th and Solis season ended prior to that, almost 6 weeks ago. Its been much more than a couple of weeks and if the main concern was a torn ulnar collateral ligament (Tommy John) which I believe is their main concern, then swelling is not an issue just like it wasn't for Strasburg or Zimmermann as their MRIs and XRays were done within days. A valgus stress test administered by the doctor is more inconclusive when there is a lot of swelling but like I said a magnetic resonance (MRI) scan and x-ray won't be affected by swelling. The doctor could also do the dye (gadolinium) injection like they did for Strasburg which makes it 100% conclusive as to whether there is a true tear to the ulnar collateral ligament making Tommy John surgery needed. Hopefully you will take time to know what you are talking about before calling names just like my post above about "crybabies".

  53. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Perhaps I should also have included the precipitating comment for my post:"[W]ith half the off-season already gone [what!] and a four-for-one trade (with a throw-in minor leaguer from Oakland) probably floundering, precipitated by my column Thursday."

  54. Feel Wood - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss his part in this, either. That "Lerners are chicken" column was obviously unusual, and several folks here commented that it seemed purposeful, maybe planted, and not unlike something Davey would do, if he thought he needed to move the process his direction.So Rizzo and Beane had been working the parameters of a deal for a month, and a column from Boswell in the morning is what finally pushes that deal to completion in the afternoon? I don't think so. This was just another example of how out of touch Boswell is, right up there with his "Joe Gibbs will NOT resign" fiasco. The only difference is now he's being megalomaniacal about it, trying to spin it like he had a part in making things happen.

  55. BinM - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    swami: Well said. I've never fully understood the amount of vitriol that's spat out at Lannan either. He's done what the team asked of him since 2007, serving as a #1-2SP with MOR talent. Maybe we'll see a breakthrough in his numbers this year & the haters will quiet down a little. I could go along with getting a table-setter for the top of the lineup, and a couple of those 'hairy-chested' bench players for DJ to work with before Spring Training. Don't care whether the team finds them internally or signs a couple of FA's – Just so long as they're on the roster when the bell rings.

  56. Roberto - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    "It's funny, I don't really know Gio at all, but I've never thought of him as Latino. Giovany? Maybe he is. Maybe like a ton of us, he's a blend of various sorts."Thanks for the kind words. Gio is a first-generation Cuban American who grew up in Hialeah. Giovany isn't that uncommon in Latin America, e.g., the Cubs' catcher is Giovany Soto. After Spaniards, Italians were the second-largest group to emigrate to the region.

  57. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    natsfan1a should read the column again because it actually says:"….probably floundering, precipitated (NO "BY" HERE!) my column thursday…

  58. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Re. the Boz column, he actually said this (cut and pasted from the column):"This familiar pattern, with half the offseason already gone and a four-for-one trade (with a throw-in minor leaguer from Oakland) probably floundering, precipitated my column Thursday."There is a big difference of meaning there (he may still be patting himself on the back, but let's get the words right if we're going to attribute something).

  59. NatsLady - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    They are signing Fielder (yawn). Remember, next year and in the future they will need a DH way more often than now. I wouldn't be surprised if they keep LaRoche, too, if he gets better, and slot him in as a "late-inning defensive replacement." He's already paid for, so to speak. You never have enough lefty hitters, or pitchers.

  60. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    ^That is what my initial post said. Anon quoted my follow-up post, which quoted Richard's comment.

  61. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    Dang postus interruptus. Anon should read my original post, which I've cut and pasted below (Anon quoted my follow-up post, which quoted Richard's comment):natsfan1a said… Re. the Boz column, he actually said this (cut and pasted from the column): "This familiar pattern, with half the offseason already gone and a four-for-one trade (with a throw-in minor leaguer from Oakland) probably floundering, precipitated my column Thursday." There is a big difference of meaning there (he may still be patting himself on the back, but let's get the words right if we're going to attribute something). December 24, 2011 10:13 AM

  62. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Although I will also grant that my follow-up posting of Richard's quote may have been confusing. :-)

  63. Roberto - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    "Have you seen the foul territory in Oakland? It has been describes as "cavernous". You did some homework on only dimensions of the playing field but didn't look at all the factors. Pitchers parks are described that way if a pitcher has a distinct advantage and the opposite for a hitters park like Arizona and Colorado or a neutral park like Nats Park."I would never dream of calling you anything but "sir" or your name" but I would like to take issue with this statement. Not because it isn't true but because it isn't complete. The Oakland Colosseum is a pitcher's park but it's far from being the most friendly park in MLB. It's "park effect" ranks 20th at 0.947. Nationals Park ranks 18th at 0.955. Neither did Gonzalez benefit, as some people (not you) from Oakland's superior defense: their defense was worse than Washington's.One other myth to bust: it's true that the AL West had three bad-hitting teams. But one of them was Oakland and obviously Gonzalez didn't pitch against his teammate. You know who pitched against all three bad-hitting teams? C.J. Wilson. Something to think about.I don't get the Joe Saunders boomlet. statistically, he an older, softer-tossing, and likely more-expensive version of John Lannan.

  64. Anonymous - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    "Rizzo was asked for an update on minor-league left-hander Sammy Solis, who experienced some elbow pain at the end of the Arizona Fall League season. The GM said Solis' planned visit to California to be examined by orthopedist Lewis Yocum (the doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on Stephen Strasburg) was been delayed because the pitcher has strep throat. Once Solis has recovered from the illness, he's due to be examined by Yocum."Natsjack again has his boxers in a twist and acts like the Tommy John and elbow expert. What medical school did you attend? A shame you always have to be the resident know-it-all. Where's your buddy SteveM, maybe he can bail you out with some mumbo jumbo inside info!Inflamation, swelling, I think you were schooled by GONUT. 6 weeks has gone by and Rizzo came up with a lame answer to the Solis question. I take it as Solis has been nervous about going to Yocum. You go to Yocum for more than elbow infamation.

  65. Wally - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Roberto said …..I don't get the Joe Saunders boomlet. statistically, he an older, softer-tossing, and likely more-expensive version of John Lannan.Ah, welcome my friend! I share the lack of enthusiasm for Saunders, but we are in the minority on the blog.I also agree that Gio's home park effect may not be as severe as I originally worried. The ERA jumps out at you, but a little more digging shows that the advanced stats aren't as split, so maybe there was some randomness to it. His career FIP and xFIP are actually better AWAY than HOME, for instance.Fangraphs wrote two fairly positive takes on Gio since the trade, and are worth a read.

  66. Funkyalligator - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Hmm so the starting rotation will be:Stras-R-PowerGio-L-powerZim-R-PowerDetweiler-L-powerWang-R-ground ball.@MarkZuckerman does Lannan still have an option left so he can start at Syracuse?

  67. Dave - Dec 24, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    I stand corrected on the Bos quote. Thank you, 1a. I blush sheepishly. I believe I read a misreading of the sentence in question, which in turn put me in a mode of misreading.Nevertheless, This Week in Boswell was an interesting experience, to say the least: a chat in which he basically boosts the Nats' approach, followed by a column on Tuesday that excoriated them for not acting, followed by today's piece in which he does seem to claim some kind of karmic credit for being on the same wavelength as Rizzo.At best, it's really difficult to keep up with Tom's mood swings.

  68. Exposremains - Dec 24, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    Can anybody stop the Lannan to AAA madness? It makes no baseball or business or employee moral sense. You don't send a guy that's been a regular starter for 4 years making close to 5M to AAA. You either trade him or release him if you can't find a spot for him.I do find it interesting to think that if you combine the salaries of Wang, Maya and projected salaries of Gorz and Lannan you are in the 15M range. So your back end starter, mop up and AAA starter will probably make more than Oswalt and others this year. I know you can't substitute those 4 for 1, I just find it interesting.

  69. Funkyalligator - Dec 24, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Why shouldn't the Nats send Lannan to AAA if he doesn't make the cut in ST? If the option is there and he doesn't make the cut….let himr get the starts down in AAA to build his arm..

  70. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    You're welcome, Dave. There's much more potential for misreads or misquotes in the age of the Interwebz, imo. Agreed that This Week in Boz (AKA The Many Moods of Boswell) has been interesting!

  71. Richard - Dec 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Natsfan1a, thanks for the catch re my inadvertent insertion of the word "by" into the Boz quote. Ditto what Dave said. And apologies to Dave for leading him astray. … I still assert the main point, though, that Boz comes off arrogant and presumptuous. Obviously it's IMO.

  72. natsfan1a - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    You're welcome, Richard. I would agree that Boz doesn't come off well either way (also imo).

  73. rogieshan - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Nats fans going back to the Expos days may see this trade as eerily similar to the one made nearly a decade ago when Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips,Cliff Lee and Lee Stevens were dealt for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. I'm hopeful the outcome will be different here. The system is in a stronger place then it's been in years and the parent team has enough core players to absorb the significant loss of prospects. The key is for Gonzales not to exert any extra pressure on himself to justify the cost made to acquire him (much like Werth did this past year). Would fans consider 15 wins by him a success? I think if it gets us into the playoffs – yes.

  74. Anonymous - Dec 26, 2011 at 5:24 AM

    rogieshan,I too was an Expos fan turned Nats fan. Although, I agree there are similarities in the package we gave up, this trade is much different. The Expos acquired Colon back then to make a run at the postseason, which never materialized, but at the time of the deal, Colon had said he wasn't going to re-sign with the Expos. Hence, back then we gave up a HUGE package for a very much short-term goal. Although, Gonzalez can help us out more in the short-term than the guys we traded, he is a guy Rizzo believes in and his contract will be under the team's control for 4 years, making this a very different deal than the Colon deal.

Archives

FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 96 66 --
ATLANTA 79 83 17.0
NEW YORK 79 83 17.0
MIAMI 77 85 19.0
PHILADELPHIA 73 89 23.0

NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

NL WILD CARD GAME
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)

NLDS
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
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