SEATTLE - AUGUST 03: Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 3, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
You wanted the Washington Nationals to do something big? They might just do it. MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote late last week in an article on the Nats' decision to pass on the posting process involving Yu Darvish entitled, "Nats out on Darvish, likely to stick with rotation", that Washington had talked to Oakland about 26-year-old left-hander Gio Gonzalez, but at that point he wrote that, "The Nats are all but out of the Gio Gonzalez sweepstakes because, according to another source, the Athletics are 'way out of line' in what they want in return."
According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's sources the two teams are still talking, however, as the bow-tied reporter wrote on Twitter tonight (@Ken_Rosenthal) that his sources said the Nationals were, "... pushing hard for Gio. Discussing 4-for-1 trade with #Athletics."
The pursuit of Gonzalez (or another lefty) was Plan B for the Nationals, according to what FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) wrote on Twitter last week when he reported that the, "Nationals also want [Gio] Gonzalez, view #WhiteSox's [John] Danks as Plan B. After missing out on Buehrle, LH starter remains Nats' priority."
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) reported then that Oakland's asking price for Gonzalez was prohibitive for most teams, however. In discussions about a deal for the 26-year-old A's left-hander who finished his fourth MLB season in Oakland with a (16-12) record, 3.12 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 4.05 BB/9 and 8.78 K/9 in 202.0 IP, Mr. Heyman reported that the A's were looking for a, "huge package" when they discussed a potential deal with the New Yok Yankees which included, "([Jesus] Montero, [Manuel] Banuelos, [Dellin] Betances, etc)," the top catcher and left and right-hander, respectively, in the Yankees' organization according to Baseball America's November 2010 list.
As FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal noted in an article entitled, "A's Gonzalez hottest lefty at meetings", Gonzalez's value lies in the fact that the left-hander is, "... in his first year of arbitration eligibility and under club control for four more years." In his report tonight on the talks between the A's and Nats entitled, "Nats working hard to land Gonzalez", FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal speculates that the, "... Nats likely would need to part with at least one of their young starting pitchers, perhaps right-hander Brad Peacock or lefty Ross Detwiler," while noting that, "The team also is deep at catcher."
Peacock/Detwiler, Derek Norris and what else? Supporting Mr. Rosenthal's contention that the Nationals' goal is to add, "... an established lefty to go with their two young right-handed starters, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann," are D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's own comments from a recent Q&A with fans published at the Nationals' official "Curly-W" blog, in which he was asked what the team's top priority was now that they'd missed out on their top target, Mark Buehrle:
Mike Rizzo: "We certainly would like to upgrade our rotation with an arm that could fit in with Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann and give us a real potent top three guys in the rotation – to go along with Chien-Ming Wang, Ross Detwiler, John Lannan, Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone. We like to have great depth and versatility there. So that’s our number one priority."
Is Gio Gonzalez worth it? Will the Nationals make a deal? The Reds did it, will the Nats? Any way they can get it done without including Derek Norris?