Keith Law shot out a tweet a few minutes ago indicating the Washington Nationals have come to terms on a trade with the Oakland Athletics for starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. According to Law, the A's acquired RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Brad Peacock, C Derek Norris and SP Tom Milone.
If the deal does in fact go through, it would provide incredible depth to the A's pitching. MLB.com rates Peacock, Cole and Norris as three of the Nationals top five prospects. Milone is not a high profile talent, but even without significant velocity on his fastball, he somehow manages to strike people out and avoid walks. It isn't high profile, but it gets the job done.
The A's have loaded up on pitching with their recent deals, but Derek Norris brings an intriguing positional option. Norris is a catcher who spent last season in the Eastern League. John Sickels described him as follows: "Loads of power, walks, and scouting reports on his defense are getting more positive each year. Ranking may seem high for such a low batting average, but I see him as a Mike Napoli/Mickey Tettleton type who can be productive even with a low average." MLB.com had the following to say:
After having a big year in his first taste of full-season ball, Norris didn't put up the same numbers with a move to the Carolina League the following season. Though injuries played a part in that, he did show the power stroke that had impressed people when he went to the Arizona Fall League. A top catching prospect, Norris is an on-base machine, almost to his detriment. He has a good arm behind the plate, and he's continuing to work on the other aspects of catching. He moved up to Double-A in 2011 and returned to the AFL, where he was selected for the Rising Stars game.
The A's are going to be incredibly young in 2012, but the influx of young talent could make them an intriguing team to watch. We'll have more as this deal becomes official.