Report: Gio Gonzalez traded to the Nats for four top prospects

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There were multiple reports in the past hour or so that the Athletics were moving close to trading Gio Gonzalez, with most suggesting the Nationals as the most likely destination and some random Red Sox speculation.  Now Keith Law reports that a deal has been struck:  Gonzalez to the Nationals for four prospects: A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, and Tom Milone.

This is a huge haul for Gonzalez, it seems to me. According to John Sickels, these guys rank as the Nationals’ third, fourth, sixth and ninth best prospects.  And given how good the Nationals’ number one and number two prospects are — Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon — you could easily move all of those numbers up if they had come from other organizations.

Great move for the A’s to sell high on Gonzalez. If he holds form, fine, it’s a solid addition for Washington too, but I can’t help but think we’ve already seen Gonzalez’ best.  This strikes me as a pretty significant overpay, especially for a team whose competitive window is not just next year, but rather, over the next six or seven years.

Billy Beane’s still got it.

Rougned Odor received two horses as part of his contract extension with Rangers

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Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:

Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.

Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.

Mariners sign Mark Lowe

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The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.

Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.

Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.