MLB Trade Rumors: Gio Gonzalez Traded to the Nationals

"Yo, get this guy out. One more thing. Billy just traded you."

The A's continued to blow up their pitching staff today as they traded starter Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals for 4 prospects: pitchers A.J.Cole, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris. The A's are rebuilding with the hopes of having a winning ballclub when they eventually move to a new stadium in San Jose in a few years, but this deal helps the Nationals now.

Actually, this deal could put the Nationals into the wildcard race in the NL in 2012, and I think the NL East could be viewed as the toughest division in baseball in 2012, with the Phillies, Braves and now the Nationals and Marlins all looking like very solid contenders.

More on the fantasy impact in a bit. Are the Nationals done trading? Will they go out and sign a Prince Fielder or get in on the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes?

As a Danny Espinosa owner, I am just glad he was not included in the deal.

For more on this deal, check out MLB Daily Dish and Baseball Nation.

Update: My thoughts on Gonzalez moving to the NL after the jump:

Before I offer my thoughts on the fantasy impact of Gio Gonzalez moving to the National League, make sure you check out John Sickels' scouting reports on the 4 prospects headed to the A's over at Minor League Ball.

Gio Gonzalez went 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA, 3.64 FIP and 3.73 xFIP in 202 innings of work, his second consecutive season where he has thrown over 200 innings. He increased his strikeout rate from 7.67 to 8.78 in 2011, but still walks too many batters, as his 4.05 walk rate indicates. But, there is a sliver of hope in that his walk rate has dropped from 5.11 in 2009 to 4.13 in 2010 to 4.05 last season.

Here are a few other positive signs from his 2011 performance:

  • He maintained an excellent strand rate of 77.1%, a slight drop from 78.1% in 2010
  • Despite a slight drop in his ground ball rate, he still induces ground balls in 47.5% of balls put in play, which is near elite
  • He increased his swinging strike rate from 8.5% to 9.5%
What can we expect from Gio now that he is in the NL pitching in the NL East? I wonder if he can be the Matt Garza of 2012. Garza was traded from the Rays to the Cubs last offseason, where he improved his K rate from 6.60 to 8.95 in 2011. He also cut his HR/9 rate in half, from 1.23/9 to 0.64/9, and increased his swinging strike rate from 7.5% to 11.2%.

I don't expect Gonzalez to show similar increases, but I can see some slight improvements across the board, and can see him improving his walk rate a bit as well. Some might think the move will hurt him, leaving the pitcher friendly O.co Stadium, but I can see the move benefitting him moving out of the AL to the NL.

What do Fake Teams readers think?

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