A's make it official -- Gio to Nationals

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A's make it official -- Gio to Nationals

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Billy Beane and the A's will host a conference call Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. Listen in as we stream the call live on CSNCalifornia.com!

News broke Thursday that the A's traded all-star pitcher Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals for four prospects.

NEWS: A's deal Gonzalez to Nats for four prospects

The A's and Nationals made the news official Friday, when they sent out the press release. Below is the text included:

OAKLAND -- The Oakland As acquired right-handed pitchers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, left-handed pitcher Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris from the Washington Nationals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez and right-handed pitcher Rob Gilliam, the club announced today.

The As acquired three of the Nationals top nine prospects, according to Baseball America. Peacock was ranked number three this year after he was slotted number 10 prior to the 2011 season. Cole has been ranked fourth in each of the last two seasons and Norris was ranked ninth this year after back-to-back seasons as the Nationals number two prospect.

Cole was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 20 games, 18 starts, for Single-A Hagerstown last year. He struck out 108 batters and walked just 24 in 89.0 innings. The 19-year-old right-hander yielded just six home runs. Cole was selected by Washington in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Oviedo High School in Florida.

Milone made his Major League debut with Washington last September, logging a 1-0 record and a 3.81 ERA in five starts. He spent the balance of the season with Triple-A Syracuse, where he went 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts. The 24-year-old left-hander ranked second in the International League in strikeouts (155), tied for third in wins and sixth in ERA. He walked just 16 batters for a league-low 0.97 walks per nine innings. Milone also fashioned a strikeout to walk ratio of 9.75 and has a mark of 5.53 strikeouts per walk in his career. The native of Saugus, Calif. was the Nationals 10th round pick in the 2008 draft out of the University of Southern California.

Norris batted .210 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI in 104 games with Double-A Harrisburg last year. He ranked third in the Eastern League with 77 walks and his average of 16.70 at bats per home run was the best mark in the league. The 22-year-old also threw out 39 of 97 (40.2) attempted base stealers, which was the highest figure among EL catchers. Norris was originally drafted by Washington in fourth round in 2007. He is a .249 hitter in 431 career minor league games, but has walked 344 times for a .403 on-base percentage.

Peacock also made his Major League debut in 2011, posting a 2-0 record and a 0.75 ERA in three games, two starts, during a September call-up with the Nationals. He also combined for a 15-3 record and a 2.39 ERA in 25 games, 23 starts, with Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. The Palm Beach, Fla. native tied for second in all of minor league baseball in wins and ranked seventh in strikeouts (177). Peacock also had the 11th best ERA among pitchers in full season leagues. The 23-year-old right-hander was originally selected by the Nationals in the 41st round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Palm Beach Central High School.

Gonzalez registered a 16-12 record and 3.12 ERA in logging 202.0 innings over 32 starts last season, earning him a spot on the 2011 American League All-Star team. He tied for fourth in the AL in wins, ranked ninth in strikeouts (197) and opponents batting average (.230), and 10th in ERA. The 26-year-old left-hander has posted a 31-21 record and 3.17 ERA in 65 starts with Oakland during the past two seasons. He owns a Major League career mark of 38-32 with a 3.93 ERA in 95 games, including 89 starts, since making his debut with the As in 2008. Gonzalez was acquired by the As prior to the 2008 season in a four-player trade with Chicago in which Oakland sent Nick Swisher to the White Sox.

Gilliam was 12-7 with a 5.04 ERA in 28 starts for Single-A Stockton last year. He fanned 156 in 164.1 innings and allowed a .263 opponents batting average. The 24-year-old right-hander was originally selected by the As in the eighth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Courtesy Oakland A's media services

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A’s general manager David Forst flies home Thursday afternoon, and unless there’s a drastic change in the final stages of the winter meetings, he’ll still be searching for a center fielder.

Wednesday’s events included some discussion between Oakland and other parties, but no concrete progress toward landing a center fielder. That’s despite the late-breaking news Tuesday that the A’s and Royals were talking trade for fleet-footed Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

“It’s a two-way street with a free agent or a team, a function of the other side’s pace,” Forst said. “It’s unlikely (they complete a deal at the meetings), and not for lack of conversations or lack of ideas. Just things move at different speeds.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean the chance of landing Dyson is done. Forst pointed out talks which transpire at the winter meetings sometimes materialize into a deal down the road. But it’s also worth noting that the Baltimore Orioles are pursuing Dyson too. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that Baltimore and Kansas City have discussed him.

Therefore, consider the A’s as players in the free agent as well as trade markets.

“We’ve cast a wide net,” Forst said.

Two free agent center fielders came off the board Wednesday as the Rockies agreed to a five-year $70 million contract with Ian Desmond and the Rangers re-signed Carlos Gomez to a one-year $11.5 million deal. Desmond was assumed to be out of the A’s price range, but Gomez was thought to be a realistic target. He opted to return to Texas, which needed to do some outfield re-stocking after losing Desmond and Carlos Beltran, who like Gomez was an in-season acquisition for the Rangers in 2016.

The three most enticing free agents left now at the position appear to be Dexter Fowler — like Desmond, expected to command a pricey multi-year deal — former Athletic Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson.

As for other needs, the A’s would add a veteran starting pitcher at the right price and could look to upgrade at second base, though neither of those is as high a priority as landing someone to anchor the middle of their outfield.

**

Manager Bob Melvin addressed reporters at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Though A’s top baseball official Billy Beane said Tuesday the organizational focus was on the future, aiming for a strong team to be in place by the time the A’s potentially move into a new ballpark, Melvin’s attention is solely on the upcoming season.

“In 2012, we had I don't know how many rookies on that team. It was all rookie starters, and we ended up winning the division,” Melvin said. “Once you start the season, the focus is all about winning.”

**

Should the A’s not bring in a center fielder who can also lead off, the first in-house candidate Melvin mentioned as perhaps hitting atop the order was Joey Wendle. He gave a nice showing of himself in a September call-up and hit leadoff for a stretch, but there’s no guarantee that Wendle even starts at second base next season, especially if veteran Jed Lowrie is healthy after foot surgery.

**

Former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale has rejoined Oakland’s staff as Melvin’s third-base coach, and Melvin has plenty of confidence that Hale will capably fill Ron Washington’s shoes as the infield instructor. Washington was popular with A’s infielders and had particular success working with shortstop Marcus Semien.

Hale served as Melvin’s bench coach before getting hired by Arizona before the 2015 season.

“Obviously we've talked a lot about Wash and what he's meant to some of these younger guys,” Melvin said. “We feel like if anybody can replace Wash, it's Chip Hale.”

**

Forst said John Axford will pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Fellow reliever Liam Hendriks has not yet committed to Team Australia.

**

Right-hander Chris Bassitt, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May, was examined by A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta on Wednesday and his recovery is going very well. He’s between throwing programs right now. Forst added that lefty Felix Doubront is also coming back well from the same procedure.

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Matt Holliday spent the first half of the 2009 season in Oakland.

Apparently, he has no desire to return.

In his one-year, $13 million contract with the Yankees that was finalized on Wednesday, Holliday has a limited no-trade clause that protects him from being traded to only the A's, according to SB Nation.

Holliday was acquired by the A's following the 2008 season for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith.

But he only played in 93 games with the A's before they dealt him to St. Louis for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson.

The 37-year-old spent the last seven full seasons with the Cardinals.