The Washington Nationals appear to be one of the biggest suitors for Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez these days. According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Nationals are actively pursuing Gonzalez in a five-player deal that would send Gio to Washington and four young players to Oakland. Ladson adds that it is believed that the A's will deal Gonzalez soon.
For now, it's unclear how close the Nationals might be to a deal. Ladson notes that the Athletics have been looking at two of Washington's top prospects, catcher Derek Norris and pitcher Brad Peacock, as possible pieces to a deal. The Nationals aren't the only team still actively in the mix, though, as Ladson identifies the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays as teams that are still showing heavy interest in acquiring Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, 26, has emerged as one of the top young starters in the AL over the past two seasons. In 2010, he posted a 3.23 ERA over 200 innings with the A's, and he followed that up by posting a 3.12 ERA in 202 innings with Oakland in 2011. His command is shaky and he certainly benefitted from Oakland's pitching-friendly confines, but he's young, he misses tons of bats and he has a track record of success.