Right-hander Brad Peacock is excited about the new challenge of pitching in the American League with the Oakland A's and is very thankful for his time and experience with the Nationals.
The trade was made official Friday. Gio Gonzalez and one minor league pitcher Robert Gilliam were acquired by the Nationals in exchange for Peacock, Tom Milone, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole.
"I was surprised," Peacock said. "(But) it is definitely a good thing. I know the Nationals wouldn't steer me wrong. They treated me really well. I love the organization. It has just been awesome.
"I was 41st-round pick," Peacock reflected. "They treated me like a first-rounder. I just thank them for all the opportunities they gave me. I probably could not have done that with any other organization. I will miss all the guys that are there. It has been fun, it has been a lot of fun."
Peacock said has never been to California and he is ready to "change it up a little bit". That will also mean fishing in the Pacific Ocean, having grown up angling in the Atlantic his entire life in Florida.
And because it was a four-for-two trade, Peacock heads west with three other very familiar faces.
"That definitely makes it a lot better," Peacock said. "Tommy (Milone) and Derek (Norris) are two of my best friends in the organization. To be able to go with them is awesome."
Peacock made a big splash with the Nationals in September, going 2-0 and allowing just one run in 12 innings of work.
"That was definitely huge to get my feet wet up there," Peacock said. "I know what to expect. That is pretty much it. I just got to throw strikes, that is all there is to it. They (American League) have good hitters too. It is going to be the same thing."
He said he will cherish the friendships he made with Nationals coaches and players, having been his first organization in pro baseball.
"(I will remember) just all the coaches I played for, all of them were awesomw - Paul Menhart, Randy Tomlin, Matt LeCroy, Tony Beasley," he said. "Just being with all those guys. It was fun to play there. I loved all of them."
The next chapter has been set. Peacock is now a member of the Oakland A's.
As he embarks on his first spring training not in Viera, Fla., Peacock had a chance to reflect on how far he has grown since being the kid who played shortstop at Palm Beach Central High School, taking off all the way to the majors with the Nationals.
"It didn't really sink in, even last year," Peacock said. "I can't believe I actually made it to the major leagues. Now this happens. It has been a fun ride so far. I am just going to ride it out as long as I can."