The Washington Nationals appear to be serious in their search for a young left handed starter, at least according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Rosenthal tweeted yesterday that the Nats were proposing a 4-for-1 trade with the Oakland Athletics for LHP Gio Gonzalez.
We discussed this transaction a bit at the end of last week when the story first broke, but it does seem like the team is a bit more serious than many expected at that time. As part of this package, one of two young Nationals pitching prospects would likely need to be moved in the deal, RHP Brad Peacock or LHP Ross Detwiler.
In my opinion, Ross Detwiler won't be enough of a "major piece" in the deal. Detwiler was a first round pick in the 2007 draft, but his career has been mired by injuries and lackluster performances. In 2011, he finally showed some signs of improvement, but it would still be a huge gamble for the A's to lose someone like Gonzalez. In contrast, while Peacock is less experienced, he doesn't have the negatives on his record like Detwiler does with injuries and less-than-stellar MLB stats. I would much rather send Detwiler than Peacock in a deal like this.
In other pitching news, free agent LHP Roy Oswalt said he would consider a one-year contract, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Oswalt was previously looking for a three-year deal. This will surely make the Nats front office take another look at the 34-year-old lefty. This could prove to be an interesting option for the Nationals, as they could pay for a one-year deal with a veteran to eat some innings until the trade market or free agency improve for lefty starters.
Please do not trade Brad Peacock for the likes of Gio Gonzalez. Peacock is the real deal. Gio, though a young pitcher with a good record, has had some control problems. This trade with Peacock and 2 or 3 other prospects would be net gain Oakland, The Nationals need a legit bat more then they need to trade several rising stars for another starting pitcher at this point. As to Roy Oswalt, I'm skeptical of the fact that the Phillies will let him walk rather then pay him. I worry that there's more to his heath issues then meets the eye. and we have a fair amount of RH pitchers.
Oswalt would make more sense for the Nats. Overpaying Oswalt for 1 year would work out well for them. They keep all of their prospects and revisit acquisitions as they near the trade deadline in July, while their AAA pitching prospects Milone and Peacock continue to develop.