Um, wow. As you can see, Keith Law reports the A’s finally pulled the trigger on the Gio Gonzalez deal. And not a moment too soon, considering this haul. The Nats give up a massive package of prospects in exchange for the highly-sought after Oakland lefty. Wow.

That sound you hear is the prospect bubble is bursting as we speak.

This package represents four of the top ten prospects on Minor League Balls’ best Nationals prospects list. The A’s land A.J. Cole, a fourth round pick from the 2010 draft. Cole is a right-handed started selected out of high school who posted big time strikeout numbers in his first season in the South Atlantic (Sally) league.

Right-hander Brad Peacock made his big league debut in 2011, making two strong starts during September garbage time. Strong in that he didn’t give up many runs but he managed to avoid strikeouts like the plague.

Tom Milone appears to be a major part of the deal, as some reports claim Oakland wouldn’t make the trade without Milone in it. He’s another control specialist who made his debut in the show this summer. A fly ball pitcher who keeps baserunners to a minimum will really enjoy playing in Oakland, I’m sure.

The crown jewel of this trade for the A’s has to be catcher Derek Norris. John Sickels ranks him sixth in the Nats system while Keith Law held him in a much higher regard ahead of 2011. According to Law, Norris ranks second in the Nats system and thirty-third in all of baseball. He has patience and power, drawing 77 walks and clouting 20 home runs in just 104 games during his first stint at Double-A. Concerns about his defense are overblown, claims Law ($), and his bat easily plays at the position.

In Gonzalez, the Nats get one of the pitching prizes of the 2011 off-season, a pitcher with great strikeout numbers but questionable control. Moving to the National League certainly won’t hurt his numbers but cutting down his walks is essential if his career is to avoid the Jonathan Sanchez/Oliver Perez spiral of sadness.

A rotation of Strasburg/Zimmerman/Gonzalez is nice to look at indeed. With Bryce Harper coming and Wilson Ramos home safe, the Nationals think they can really compete in the tough NL East in 2012 and beyond.

The A’s do what the A’s do: they trade a player at the absolute peak of his value, getting major league-ready players and well-regarded players still a few years away. Two of these players (Norris & Cole) might end up as legit pieces while Peacock and Milone are fringey outside the comfy confines of whatever the hell they’re calling the Coliseum these days (opinions are very mixed on Peacock). Billy Beane has still got it, gall-darn it. At no point should we ever doubt Brad Pitt, he’s just too damn handsome.

Comments (36)

  1. Good thing for Gio’s sake he’s not in the AL East.

  2. Peacock? Didn’t Rasmus just shoot one of those?

    I’m glad the Jays didn’t get Gio.

  3. I like this deal for both teams. Gio will put up good numbers and is a nice compliment to Strasburg and Zimmerman, plus that core will still be around when Rendon and Harper are mashing in the big leagues.

  4. can’t believe the heat Gio’s been taking. He’s only 26, has improved his numbers each of the last 3 years, throws a K/IP and has one the best left handed curveballs in the MLB. He’s no ace but a pretty good 2/3, with some upside. Would still prefer Latos or Garza, but you could do a lot worse than Gio in the middle of your rotation.

  5. Got to hand it to AA. He got a good closer for a single, decent prospect before that bubble burst and GMs realized that they were overvaluing prospects as a class.

    • oh shutup, sergio santos ain’t nothing special.

      you act like anthouplos is psychic and can see things ahead of time or he’s the smartest man to ever grace the earth.

      reply to this message when you get off his hog.

      • Whatever you think of Sergio Santos, he is certainly “more” Nestor Molina is now and will be for the next couple years.

        It doesn’t take a “psychic” to notice trends in the marketplace.

  6. The A’s stole this deal…it’s not even close.

    Thankfully, the Jays didn’t get Gio. Forget Garza he’s garbage. Get Wade Davis or Jeff Niemann.

  7. If AA wants to go down in GM history he will magically pry Madison Bumgarner away…

  8. I can’t believe they traded a major league player for some guy in the Sally League.


  9. Glad Jays did not get him. Pitching in AL East ballparks he’d be far more Brett Cecil than David Price. Washington may well be a much better fit for him.

  10. just happy he’s not coming to the jays

  11. This does not bode well for a GM in search of a quality starting pitcher. At this point, I think I’d rather see a short contract thrown Roy Oswalt’s way instead of trading the farm for Garza (or similar).

    ps -> Full posts are back via RSS – yay!

  12. roy oswalt may not be a bad veteran option for them, he could help mentor some of the young guys, and if/ when the jays are out of it, they could flip him come trade deadline time or just hang on to him

  13. I would still prefer Garza, who has proven that he can pitch in the AL. Considering what the A’s got for Gio I am worried what the Cubs asking price would be for Garza?

  14. Edwin Jackson anyone?

  15. Good pass …. Garza to me is best case but can’t see how it’ll fly w/ the market set as it is. I’d be even happier if they landed EJ but have to think it’s even less likely.

  16. Hopefully there are plenty of other discussions under way. I can’t imagine that AA ever puts all his eggs in one basket.

    Garza and Marmol from the Cubs would both be very nice….
    Yes I want Marmol too. 3 years for 20Mil is a high price but it’s not insanely high. And Marmol + Santos in the 8th and 9th inning sounds pretty awesome (I don’t care who gets which, let Farrell decide.

    Garza is better than Gio (I think) and has more of a track record than Latos (though I really like Latos and he’s probably the better pitcher)

    Edwin Jackson makes some sense to me too.

  17. Edwin Jackson makes less sense to me after reading this from MLBTR:

    •Edwin Jackson and John Danks have comparable numbers over the last three years, which is why Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog thinks Scott Boras will use Danks’ recent extension with the White Sox as a model for Jackson in free agency. “Now I know hearing five years and $65M+ for Jackson is a little wacky, just because he [doesn't] come off as the type of pitcher deserving of that kind of commitment…but I refuse to bet against Boras,” Axisa writes.

    WAY too much money.

  18. “That sound you hear is the prospect bubble bursting as we speak.”…

    Damn it. If AA cannot find enough “efficient” opportunities in the near future, we are going to have to recycle Bautista. The casual fan will love that…

    • Fortunately, I’m not certain Bautista will be worth any less in 12 months time.

      • Every player is worth less when they are one year older and, when the contract is reasonable or better, offer one fewer year of team control. Also, he can lose value by performing any less than last year; but he can barely add value since you cannot do much better than he has and consistency will be weighed against age.

        You’re right not to be certain that he will be worth less, but it remains the wisest bet.

  19. how do you do that thing with the twitter embed?

    • It’s a thing with “new twitter.” Another new twitter. The newest twitter, it’s right there in the “details” section, if you go directly to the tweet by clicking on the timestamp.

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