A year later, a look at the Gio Gonzalez trade

Just a little over a year after being shipped out to Oakland as part of the Gio Gonzalez trade, Brad Peacock finds himself switching organizations yet again.

Peacock, the former Nationals right-hander who was a key piece in the Gonzalez deal last January, was traded to the Astros last night in a five-player deal that will send infielder Jed Lowrie to the Athletics.

The trade threw a minor wrench into Peacock’s plans to make a cross-country drive from West Palm Beach, Fla. to Phoenix, where the Athletics hold spring training. According to this report, Peacock was 600-plus miles into his journey when he learned he’d been traded and would need to be reporting to Astros camp.

Where do the Astros hold spring training? Kissimmee, Fla., which happens to be just 150 miles from where Peacock started, in West Palm Beach.

Hope Peacock doesn’t mind the few hundred extra miles he’ll be putting on his ride.

Peacock will reunite with former Nationals third base coach and current Astros manager Bo Porter, and he’ll hope to crack Porter’s rotation in Houston. The righty will need to bounce back from a rough 2012 season at Triple-A Sacramento, however, where he posted a 6.01 ERA in 134 2/3 innings.

Two of the four prospects the Nats sent to the A’s in the Gonzalez deal have now been shipped away by Athletics GM Billy Beane; Peacock goes to the Astros and A.J. Cole finds himself back with the Nats after being sent over in the Michael Morse trade.

That leaves just Tommy Milone and Derek Norris as the two former Nats prospects in the Gonzalez deal who remain in Oakland. Milone won 13 games for the A’s last season and Norris is expected to, at the very least, split the catching duties with John Jaso.

It often takes years to get the proper perspective on how a trade worked out for the teams involved, especially when you’re dealing with fairly young prospects who still have years to develop and realize their potential. But it’s interesting to see how the Gonzalez trade has already worked out for both the Nationals and Athletics, just 13 months after the deal went down.

Cole was considered the top prospect the Nats gave up to acquire Gonzalez, and after a bit of a rough 2012 season in the minors, he’s now back with the organization that drafted him. The A’s got Jaso - a part-time catcher who reaches base at a solid clip - in the three-team deal which landed Cole in D.C. and Morse in Seattle.

They also now add Lowrie - an oft-injured middle infielder - and reliever Fernando Rodriguez in return for Peacock and two other young players.

Milone and Norris have promise and could turn into cornerstone players for the A’s, although it’s still a little early to say with much confidence that they’ll find consistent big league success.

On the Nationals’ side, the future is a little uncertain for Gonzalez, after the 2012 National League Cy Young award finalist was linked to Biogenesis, the Miami-area anti-aging clinic which was found to be dealing performance-enhancing drugs. But even if Gonzalez does end up getting suspended for his involvement with Biogenesis (which is still very uncertain), the Nats have the talented lefty under contract for at least four more years.

This isn’t to say I’m declaring either the Nats or the A’s the winner in last winter’s deal. It’s just interesting to see how the teams have gone about their business since the trade went down.

The A’s have already used two of the prospects they acquired for Gonzalez to fill holes at the major league level. The Nats signed Gonzalez to a long-term deal and hope to have him anchoring their rotation for years to come.

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