Washington Nationals deal Gio Gonzalez to the Milwaukee Brewers
By Blake Finney
In their second trade of the day, the Washington Nationals dealt Gio Gonzalez to the Milwaukee Brewers, and he’ll now be in the opposite dugout today.
Another day, another couple of trade for the Washington Nationals. This time, Gio Gonzalez was traded to their opposition this weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers.
That now beings the team’s notable departure’s list since July 31st up to six with Brandon Kintzler, Shawn Kelley, Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams and Ryan Madson already sent packing from Nats Park.
This had been coming for a while with his recent poor performances for the team, and plenty of teams out there looking for a left-handed starter. So far this season, he has a 4.57 ERA, but this does echo his performance level given he also has a 4.25 FIP.
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Trading him now allows the front office to get a longer look at young arms like Erick Fedde, Jefry Rodriguez and Joe Ross down the stretch without Gonzalez taking up a roster spot.
Despite the poor performances this season, Gonzalez has long been a fan favorite for the Nationals since they acquired him. In his six and a half seasons with the team, he went 86-65, with a 3.62 ERA, and finished in the top six of the NL Cy Young voting twice.
Not long after Friday’s game finished, the Nationals confirmed the trade, and they will receive Single-A infield prospects Gilbert Lara and KJ Harrison. They were scratched from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers lineup earlier in the day, and now they’ll head to the Nats organization.
Harrison ranked was the 29th best prospect in Brewers’ system by MLB.com, and is a former third-round pick. He’s a catcher turned first baseman, and has hit .252 with 22 homers, 84 RBI, and a .760 OPS in 163 professional games since being drafted last year.
Lara got $3.2M signing bonus as an international free agent in 2014 and was ranked the fourth best international prospect by MLB.com back then. However, since then, he’s failed to hit at the professional level with a .237 average and .598 OPS in four pro seasons.
While Harrison seems like the main get in the trade, Lara is a nice high-upside pickup in case he can find his form with the Nats. Interestingly, after the game, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported that the Brewers were covering the rest of Gonzalez’s salary. So as it turns out, the Nats did pretty well, gaining a couple nice prospects and didn’t have to eat any salary.
While it’s sad to see Gio Gonzalez leave the Washington Nationals, it feels like a necessary move. The team is much better served to give their young starters some run in September to evaluate them for 2019 and beyond.