The Brewers have acquired left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Nationals in exchange for two minor leaguers, the teams announced Friday. The Nationals received infielders KJ Harrison and Gilbert Lara in the swap.
Gonzalez, 32, came off of one of his best seasons with the team in 2018 after posting a 15-9 record in 32 starts with a 2.96 ERA and 3.3 fWAR and earning consideration for the 2017 NL Cy Young Award. This year has been a slightly different story: he’s compiled a 7-11 record in 27 starts and produced a 4.57 ERA, 4.3 BB/9, 7.8 SO/9 and just 1.4 fWAR through 145 2/3 innings so far. Over the last month, he’s been on shaky ground as well, dragging a 7.47 ERA over just 31 1/3 innings as he struggled to make it past the fifth inning in five of seven starts.
Even taking his recent slump into account, the lefty has consistently proven to be an above-average starter for an above-.500 team, and will aim to finish strong as the Brewers make a push for the playoffs next month. He’s still owed $2 million of the $12 million club option that was exercised for 2018 and is scheduled to enter free agency in the fall.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).