The Nationals had to give up four players for the ace. Catcher Derek Norris, right-handed pitchers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, and left handed pitcher Tommy Milone were all traded to the A's in order to complete the deal.
The four players that the Nationals gave up to get Gonzalez were considered by many to be cornerstones of the Nationals farm system. In 3 appearances (2 starts), Peacock totaled a .75 ERA and Cole finished the season 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA for Class A Hagerstown. Milone finished the season 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA and a 155-16 strikeout to walk ratio at Class AAA Syracuse.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has finally found that ace that they have been looking for to go along with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. What makes this even sweeter is that these three will be around for at least 4 years since Zimmermann will not be eligible for free agency until 2016 and Strasburg until 2017.
Gonzalez, 26, brings a solid first or second starter in the rotation. Over the past two seasons, Gonzalez has gone 31-21 with a 3.17 ERA and averaging 184 strikeouts per season. He was also in 2011.
The coming seasons look solid for the Nationals. With Gonzalez, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Wang, and Lannan looking as though they could be the rotation, the Nationals are poised to rise to the top in terms of pitching.