Oakland Lands The Right Names For Gio

Early in the off-season, it appeared that Oakland was eyeballing some of the biggest prospect names in the game in exchange for Gio Gonzalez. They quickly realized that getting back a player like the Yankees' Jesus Montero was not going to happen, but what they received from the Nationals on Thursday was the next best thing, as they received a high quality package of prospects.

The Washington Nationals' just made themselves a whole lot better. And, that's something that needs to be noted right off the bat. Pairing Gio Gonzalez with the likes of Stephen Strasburg could make Washington highly formidable at the top of their rotation in 2012, and they have a lot going for them top to bottom on that roster. But, that doesn't mean they didn't pay a hefty price for the talented young southpaw.

The most important part of this trade on the A's end is the depth they acquired. They may not have landed a slam dunk, blue chip prospect for Gonzalez but these names give them a haul of an extremely high grade of prospect. And, the two biggest names involved are Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole. They give Oakland two plus fastball type arms with plus secondary offerings. Peacock could be ready to play a major role for Oakland in 2011, while Cole will need to be advanced slowly at just 19-years-old. But, more importantly they are two pitchers who could eventually pitch near the top of a big league rotation.

Also headed to Oakland are left-hander, Tom Milone and catcher, Derek Norris. Milone's upside is limited, but his feel for pitching, command and secondary offerings should make him a reliable back of the rotation type starter. As for Norris, he's a wildcard in this deal. When he's on his game, as he was in the Arizona Fall League, he looks like an impact type bat. Still just 23-years-old, Norris still has a chance to refine his approach and reach his ceiling at the plate.

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