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.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.