There were rumors of interest in Gio Gonzalez on the Milwaukee Brewers’ part at the non-waiver deadline, and with the waiver deadline approaching tonight, the NL Central’s third place team has reportedly acquired the left-hander from the Washington Nationals as the two teams begin a three-game set in the nation’s capital.
Gonzalez, 32, is playing out the final year of a 5-year/$42M extension with the Nationals which he signed after they acquired him from the Oakland A’s in late 2011.
That deal included a club option for $12M in 2018 that vested when the lefty reached 180 IP last season.
He was unlikely to receive a qualifying offer after an up-and-down season in D.C., so was thought likely to be traded so the Nationals receive something in return.
In 27 starts and 145 2⁄3 innings on the mound this season, the southpaw has put up a 4.57 ERA, a 4.25 FIP, 70 walks (4.32 BB/9), 126 Ks (7.78 K/9), and a .267/.350/.419 line against.
Gonzalez told reporters recently he was determined to show that he can still pitch in the big leagues after he’s struggled to provide the Nats with consistent outings in his 11th season in the majors.
“I want to pitch,” Gonzalez said recently, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.“I want to show that I can continue to pitch. I believe I can pitch up here, and I believe I can pitch against the best. I want to play as long as I can. It’s one of those things where I know I can pitch better than I’m pitching right now.”
Gonzalez’s best campaign in a Nationals uniform was his first, in 2012, when the left-hander went (21-8) in 32 starts with a 2.89 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 76 walks (3.43 BB/9), 207 Ks (9.35 K/9), and a .201/.283/.299 line against, over which he was worth 5.0 fWAR.
Overall, he went (86-65) with a 3.62 ERA and a 3.45 FIP in 213 starts over his seven seasons in Washington.
Multiple sources have confirmed the trade will happen at some point tonight, though there’s no word on the return right now outside of MLB.com’s Jamal Collier’s report it will be two minor leaguers coming to the Nationals when it’s done:
#Brewers get Gio Gonzalez, sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2018
Nats have traded Gio Gonzalez to the Brewers for two Minor Leaguers, a source confirms @Ken_Rosenthal's report.— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) August 31, 2018
Brewers get their starter, Gio Gonzalez. Trade done.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 31, 2018
UPDATE: Via Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, here’s the reported return for Gonzalez:
The Washington #Nats will receive minor league infielder Gilbert Lara and minor league catcher KJ Harrison from the #Nats in the Gio Gonzalez trade— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 1, 2018
[ed. note - “I think Mr. Nightengale made a mistake at the end of the tweet there, and the #Nationals will receive prospects from the #Brewers not the #Nats in the trade.”]