Lately, the Gio Gonzalez trade rumors were coming hot and heavy. The Washington Nationals were said to have considerable interest. Then the Boston Red Sox were said to have considerable interest. Then the Red Sox were said to be working on a deal for both Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey. Before anybody could fully wrap their minds around that potential blockbuster, though, Gonzalez has been dealt - and he's been dealt to the Nats.
Susan Slusser confirms that a deal is done, and while there's not yet official word on the return for the A's, Keith Law names A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and Tommy Milone. All of them are prospects - good prospects - and it seems like a sensible package.
For the Nationals, they'll get four years of Gonzalez, and Gonzalez is a good pitcher who will join Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann at the top of what's become a strong rotation. It's not exactly a win-now move, since Gonzalez is theirs for a while, but it's a win-sooner move.
For the A's, it's just another trade for prospects, but this looks like a great haul. Cole's a 19-year-old righty starter who was outstanding last year in his first full season. Peacock's a 23-year-old righty starter who sipped a little coffee last season after excelling in double-A and triple-A. Norris is a 22-year-old catcher with power, walks and an arm. And Milone is a 24-year-old lefty starter who posted impossible numbers last year in triple-A. By which I mean 155 strikeouts and 16 walks. You won't be surprised to learn that he's something of a soft-tosser, but those numbers are those numbers.
It's a big trade. Obviously. And the A's are still free to move Bailey somewhere else for more prospects. It's their cycle, and it's a bittersweet cycle, with emphasis on the bitter, and emphasis on the sweet.