Nationals Trade Top Prospects for Gio Gonzalez; Cardinals Give Carlos Beltran Two Years
The Nationals had been unsuccessful in their efforts to sign free-agent southpaws C. J. Wilson (Angles) and Mark Buehrle (Marlins) so they shifted into trade mode, acquiring A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez and a high-A prospect for three of their top ten prospects (according to Baseball America) and young southpaw Tom Milone. (Milone always will be remembered inside the Beltway for clocking a home run on the first pitch he saw in the Show.) Gonzalez, 26, enjoyed a 16-12 record in 202 innings last season, posting a 8.78 K/9 and 4.05 BB/9, with a 3.12 ERA and 3.73 xFIP.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals signed switch-hitting Carlos Beltran to a two-year, $26 million contract. Eno Sarris of Fangraphs likes the deal on balance and thinks the 35-year-old outfielder can help keep St. Louis relevant A. P. (After Pujols, of course). Beltran put up an impressive .389 wOBA and 22 home runs in 598 plate appearances in a bounce-back 2011.