Before we check the final ledger, take note of some clues about MLB front offices that come to light by mapping the life cycle of this trade tree. Two things, in particular, stand out:
The same trade partners keep reappearing in these trades. Apparently, the Nats, Cubs, Royals, and A’s do an awful lot of talent swapping. Since lines of communication remain open, start scouring the Royals and A’s rosters for potential future Nats.
It’s pretty shocking how often players are traded back and forth between the same organizations. Tommy Milone, Sam Fuld, AJ Cole, Ryan Buchter, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Tyler Clippard, and Chris Coghlan were all acquired more than once by the same team.
Time to see who won this trade.
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- Derek Norris Branch: 4.8 WAR
- Tommy Milone Branch:
- Brad Peacock Branch
- AJ Cole Branch:
- 2 Active Players (Buchter, Manaea)
- 5 Additional Players (Carter, Stassi, Treinen, Krol, and Fillmyer himself)
- Cash Considerations ($3.25m)
- Gio Gonzalez: 21.4 WAR
- Two Active Players (Harrison, Lara)
So the A’s actually managed to record more WAR overall from this trade, so far. The balance of power shifted, and yet, the winner of this trade is still the Washington Nationals.
Despite losing the WAR battle, Washington comes out on top for one glaring reason. Opportunity cost. Oakland accumulated their 22.2 WAR using twenty players, which means twenty roster spots. Washington only needed one man to earn their 21.4 WAR Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez slotted into the middle of the Washington Nationals’ rotation for seven years of 112 ERA+ while preserving the opportunity to add value with their nineteen other roster spots. It was good while it lasted.
Give the A’s credit. Shrewd Billy Beane took his bag of coal and squeezed until it eventually produced a diamond. Sean Manaea is now leading the A’s playoff charge much, in the same way, the Oakland faithful one day imagined Gonzalez might.
Gio Gonzalez was a fantastic addition to the Washington Nationals franchise. Now the ripples of the trade pieces involved are dying down for the A’s, will KJ Harrison and GIlbert Lara form a new tree? We shall see.