It takes years to build a farm system similar to what the Washington Nationals put together over the past couple of years through the draft. But sometimes, it takes only one trade, like the one the Oakland Athletics pulled off by trading their southpaw Gio Gonzalez. Let's take a look at reactions around the league:
- ESPN's Keith Law (Insider Required) isn't high on Gio Gonzalez, citing the pitcher will be an above-average pitcher (2-2.5 WAR) as he moves to a less pitcher-friendly ballpark. Meanwhile, Law takes a look at the prospects heading to Oakland: "Oakland gets a future ace, a starting catcher, a strong reliever who might be a back-end starter, and an up-and-down arm."
- SB Nation's Nationals blog, Federal Baseball, takes a look at quotes from Gio Gonzalez, but more interestingly, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo's philosophy regarding prospects, trades, and proven talent.
- John Sickels of SB Nation's Minor League Ball broke down the prospects heading to Oakland, too.
- Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks really likes this deal for the A's, as they returned several quality prospects in exchange for Gonzalez.
- Baseball America's Ben Badler offers some perspective, saying it is doubtful any of the prospects Washington traded will be as good as Gonzalez.
These are just a few reactions from people who I believe can evaluate talent. Personally, I'm siding with Ben Badler's take - I like what the Nationals did. The Nationals are looking to compete now, rightfully so, and traded high-risk prospects and still have a pretty good farm system to boast. What do you think?