Washington Nationals Reportedly Acquire Oakland A's Lefty Gio Gonzalez. [Updated]

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Detroit Tiger during an MLB baseball game at O.co Coliseum on September 17, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

• Confirmation 4:50 pm EST: via FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal): "Confirmed: #Nationals acquire Gio from #Athletics for C Norris, RHPs Cole and Peacock and LHP Milone. @keithlaw first to report. #MLB

• 4:15 pm EST: From ESPN.com's Keith Law: (@keithlaw): Gio to Nats for Cole, Norris, Peacock, and Milone. Love this for Oakland.

• Update 4:20 pm EST: via Susan Slusser (@SusanSlusser) of the San Francisco Chronicle: "I have confirmation from the #Nationals side that the deal is done. Gio to Washington. #Athletics

3:15 pm EST: If reports this afternoon are to be believed, the Oakland A's are very close to dealing 26-year-old left-hander Gio Gonzalez. The word coming from Twitter this afternoon is that it's down to a two-team race with the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox both attempting to put together the right package that will pry the one-time Chicago White Sox' draft pick away from Oakland. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) started the excitement this afternoon, tweeting that, "Word is, trade talk 'progressing' with gio. lhp, 26, popular beyond belief. Nats [are] definitely still in, not sure who else." Mr. Heyman followed up on the initial message by adding that the Red Sox were believed to still be involved, though he offered the opinion that the, "Nats have prospect ammunition for Gio. [Derek] Norris, [Brad] Peacock, [A.J.] Cole, {Eury] Perez, [Destin] Hood," and he wondered,"... could [Ian] Desmond or [Danny] Espinosa be in play, too?"

Former D.C. GM Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenESPNxm) shared his own thoughts via Twitter, speculating that, "If Gio Gonzalez is traded to Washington...I expect the deal to look something like: A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Destin Hood and Derek Norris." Peter Gammons (@PGammo) said the deal was likely going to go down today, writing on Twiiter that the Red Sox might pursue a separate deal for reliever Andrew Bailey.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) speculated that the Sox could be going for both available A's, writing on Twitter that his sources were telling him, "Sources: #RedSox trying to get G. Gonzalez, Bailey in 'monster' deal. #Rangers, #Rays also on Bailey. #Nationals team to beat on Gio." Oakland's left-hander finished the 2011 season (his fourth MLB campaign) with a (16-12) record, 3.12 ERA, 3.64 FIP, a league-leading 91 walks (4.05 BB/9) and 197 K's (8.78 K/9) in 32 starts and 202.0 IP.

Gonzalez emerged as a target for the Nationals after Washington missed out on their top target, Mark Buehrle, who signed for more money and a year more than the Nats were willing to offer. After talking to Oakland at the Winter Meetings, however, the Nationals

MLB.com's Bill Ladson's sources told him recently, as quoted in his article entitled, "Nats out on Darvish, likely to stick with rotation", that though Washington had inquired about A's left-hander Gio Gonzalez's availability, 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." Three days ago, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported on Twitter that the Nationals and A's were talking again, reporting on Twitter (@Ken_Rosenthal) that his sources said the Nats were, "... pushing hard for Gio. Discussing 4-for-1 trade with #Athletics."

• What the Nationals Are Giving Up For Gio:

Brad Peacock, 23, the top pitcher on Baseball America's post-2011 Washington Nationals Top 10 prospect list, was (10-2) with a 2.01 ERA, 1.87 FIP, 11.77 K/9 and 2.10 BB/9 in 16 games (13 starts) and 98.2 IP at Double-A Harrisburg in 2011 before moving to Triple-A Syracuse where he went (5-1) with a 3.19 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 9.00 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9 in nine starts before he made his MLB debut in September. Peacock was (2-0) in two starts, one relief appearance and 12.0 IP with the Nats in which he gave up just one earned run and six walks while recording four K's.

Derek Norris, 22, an '07 4th Round pick, made his second trip to the Arizona Fall League this year, finishing the AFL season with two doubles, two HR's, 12 walks, 14 K's, four stolen bases and a .276/.367/.382 slash in 21 games and 76 at bats. The top catcher in the Nats' system (and 9th prospect overall on BA's list) put up a .210/.367/.446 line and hit 17 doubles and 20 HR's in 104 games and 423 plate appearances at Double-A Harrisburg this season. D.C. GM Mike RIzzo told reporters earlier this winter that though Norris' .210 AVG this season, "...raised some eyebrows... his other peripherals were good. His power was as good as we've ever seen it, and again, his catch and throw skills have dramatically improved."

Tommy Milone, 24. Milone, an '08 10th Round pick, made his MLB debut in September 2011 after a full season at Triple-A Syracuse, where the left-hander was (12-6) with a 3.22 ERA and a 2.24 FIP in 24 starts and 148.1 IP over which he walked just 16 (0.97 BB/9) and struck out 155 (9.40 K/9). In five starts with the Nats in late 2011, Milone was (1-0) with a 3.81 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 5.19 K/9 and 1.38 BB/9).

A.J. Cole, 19, is the Nats' 2010 4th Round pick, a 6'4'' right-handed high schooler out of Florida the Nats gave a well-above slot deal since he had signability concerns over a commitment to the University of Miami. In his first full season at Class-A Hagerstown in the Nats' system, Cole was (4-7) with a 4.04 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 24 BB (2.43 BB/9) and 108 K's (10.92 K/9). In a recent interview on MLB Network Radio, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo singled Cole out for praise, describing the right-hander as, "... a special talent. He's a 6'5'' right-hander pitcher who's a high school projection draft. The velocity has come, he was 95-97[mph] at the end of the season last year and really you could see him developing as a prospect."

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