The Washington Nationals and Oakland Athletics recently finalized a blockbuster deal that sends left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals in exchange for catcher Derek Norris and pitchers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone. The Nationals will also receive right-handed pitcher Robert Gilliam.
The Athletics received some really nice pieces in this trade, and the Nats got exactly what they wanted in an ace to anchor their rotation. Gonzalez was drawing considerable interest on the market, but it was the Nationals' offer that was the most enticing.
"I told everyone I spoke to, we'd leverage one team against the other," Billy Beane told the AP. "We were giving up a pitcher, and the ability to acquire three very good major league prospects who were pitchers swung it for us."
If there is one thing the offseason has shown, it's that there's a strong market for starting pitching. Two major trades happened this month involving pitchers—Mat Latos to the Reds and Gonzalez to the Nats—and the prospects given up were significant.
Teams around the league are scrambling to improve their rotations, and teams with high-value pitchers are more than willing to listen if they can net top-of-the-line prospects.
Let's take a look at five pitchers teams will be pursuing in trades.