Gio Gonzalez Goes To Washington

Sometimes when you really want something, you pay for it. Tonight the Nationals showed everyone in baseball just how much they thought of lefty hurler Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who the Tigers were to be rumored to be in on when he became available about a month ago, was dealt to the Washington Nationals for a pretty pricy package. The Nationals parted with 4 quality prospects to get Gonzalez; including, A.J. Cole, Tom Milone, Brad Peacock, and Derek Norris.

And now, there is one less quality left-handed starter on the market.

I’ve been one of the guys on this site that has been in favor of acquiring Gonzalez. Despite his walk rate, which has been steadily declining, I truly believe that Gonzalez is at the very least a quality #2 type in a big league rotation. Add to that him being a southpaw, and these types of guys just don’t grow on trees. Gonzalez would of rounded out a rotation that 1-5 could have rivaled anybody in the American League.

I wish the Tigers in this case would have been more aggressive, as it seems they were reluctant to part with their top prospects. Seeing the haul the A’s got, I feel like the Tigers could’ve matched this package.

The baseball world is abuzz with most people believing that the A’s got a more than fair haul for Gonzalez. I agree to some extent, but I don’t think there is any harm in what the Nationals paid for Gonzalez. You have to give up talent to get some, and the bottom line is, the prospects the Nationals gave up all have some holes. Peacock is a potential reliever, Norris may not hit at the big league level enough to be an every day player, Milone is a back of the rotation starter that every system has. The jewel of the deal is A.J. Cole, who has front of the rotation potential, but he is at least 3 years away. If I am the Nationals, and I am competing with Atlanta, Miami, and Philadelphia, I do this Gonzalez deal every time. Especially if they can add Roy Oswalt to their rotation.

That is where my disappointment stems from for the Tigers. The Tigers may not have stiff competition in the Central for 2012, but as I’ve discussed before, there is plenty of competition in the A.L East and the West. If the Tigers are going to be in the World Series in 2012, getting Gonzalez was a move that I thought could help them get there.

The off-season still has 3 months left, but with each passing day, the quality players that are available are being gobbled up by franchises being more aggressive than the Tigers. I hope when all is said and done, we aren’t staring at essentially the same team we finished 2011 with.



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Tags: A.J. Cole Brad Peacock Derek Norris Detroit Tigers Gio Gonzalez Tom Milone Washington Nationals

  • funkytime

    Good deal for both clubs. The Nationals farm system is deep enough that they could afford this type of deal. And Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez should give them a great rotation going forward.

    Could the Tigers have matched that offer? Sure, but they would’ve had to have traded their top 3 prospects and completely decimated their farm system. The Nationals were able to swing it while holding onto their best two prospects, and all of their young talent at the pro level. Completely different scenario.

    Plus the Tigers already are very strong and young 1-4 in starting pitching. It just wasn’t a need at all.

    • MCBjohnverburg

      @funkytime To me, it isn’t about need. Did the Phillies really need Cliff Lee last season? The Tigers aren’t in a position to fill need it appears, as the market for the holes they do have isn’t great, or even good. He would’ve provided improvement to the team, that is the bottom line. Gonzalez is a better pitcher than both Porcello and Scherzer. On top of that he is young and inexpensive.

      The question becomes, what are the Tigers saving their prospects for? Sustaining success for a long time? Well, there is no depth in their system, so their success is going to come from the young guys they already have. And do you think adding a guy like Gonzalez can help the Tigers get to a World Series now? I happen to think he could. They need a lefty starter. He was one of the top lefties in the A.L. Pairing him with Verlander and Fister would give the Tigers a really formidable 3 in a playoff scenario.

      This is a good deal for the Nationals, and maybe the A’s. Gonzalez will do well in the N.L. But the prospects the A’s got aren’t sure things. Peacock could end up relieving. Norris could easily not hit enough to be a major leaguer, he has tremendous holes in his swing. Milone is a pedestrian lefty that every system has, and Cole is the jewel but furthest away.

      • funkytime

        @MCBjohnverburg Honestly the Phillies probably needed Lee more than we needed Gonzalez. They didn’t have 4 starting pitchers with high upside 27 or younger before they signed Lee. And hell, if Turner and Smyly are ready we could have 6 of them!

        Personally I think if you’re going to empty out your entire farm system you do it to get a great player at a position of need or to get an absolute stud. Cabrera was both of those, and therefore was easily worth it, even without hindsight. Gio is neither.

        • MCBjohnverburg

          @funkytime That’s cool. I don’t have an issue with that position. It makes sense. I just tend to believe, improvement is improvement, no matter what position it is, or if it is a specific need. I think it’s obvious that I think more highly of Gonzalez than most that write here or come here. And that’s alright.

        • funkytime

          @MCBjohnverburg Even if it was an improvement (which in as little as 3 years it very well may not be), you have to consider if we could do even better. If we offered the Marlins Turner, Castellanos, and Smyly for Hanley Ramirez would they really turn it down?

          That’s a trade I could get behind much easier doing the same for Gio Gonzelez.

  • woodnick

    I feel like the Tigers could have easily matched this package, probably exceeded it and kept 2 of our top 3 prospects. I think a package of Turner, Brantly, Oliver, and Wilk is pretty close to Cole, Norris, Peacock, and Milone. Most people rank the Nats’ latter 3 higher than the 3 Tigers I’m mentioning, but Turner is generally considered much higher than Cole and a top prospect like him would probably make up the difference n the rest of the package.

    I’m generally not in favor of trading Turner, but with this package we could have kept Smyly and Castellanos, but maybe DD couldn’t get Beane to lower his initial demands of all 3. I thnk Gio would have been a heck of a addition to our rotation, but oh well, maybe DD can find another great fit for us like he did Fister.

    • garretkc

      @woodnick If they could have pulled off the deal you propose, I would have been in favor of it, even though I rate Gonzalez a bit lower than most.