The Washington Nationals acquired catcher/first baseman KJ Harrison and infielder Gilbert Lara from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez and international slot value on Friday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Harrison, 22, was a third round pick in the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon State University. In his first full professional season in 2018, he hit .228 with 29 doubles, 12 homers, 51 RBI, 39 walks, and 45 runs scored in 115 games for Single-A Wisconsin. He entered the season rated by Baseball America as the No. 16 prospect and by MLB.com as the No. 29 prospect in Milwaukee’s Minor League system.
In 2017, the Kailua, HI native hit .308 with 14 doubles, 10 homers, 33 RBI, 23 walks and 38 runs scored in 48 games for Rookie-level Helena.
The six-foot, 208-pound right-hander has appeared at both first base (54 G) and catcher (43 G) in two Minor League seasons.
Lara, 20, hit .249 with 26 doubles, two triples, five homers, 46 RBI, 18 walks and 45 runs scored in 115 games for Single-A Wisconsin in 2018.
A native of Bani, Dominican Republic, Lara was signed by Milwaukee at the age of 16 as a non-drafted free agent on July 10, 2014. He has appeared at shortstop (215 G) and third base (85 G) while hitting .237 with 49 doubles, eight triples, 11 homers, 127 RBI, 53 walks and 124 runs scored in his four professional seasons.
Gonzalez, 32, went 86-65 with a 3.62 ERA in 213 starts for the Washington Nationals after being acquired prior to the 2012 season. He ranks on Washington’s all-time (2005-pres.) list in starts (1st, 213), innings pitched (1st, 1,253.1), strikeouts (2nd, 1,215) and wins (2nd, 86).
Since joining the Nationals in 2012, Gonzalez ranks fifth in Major League Baseball with 213 starts and ranked among Major League left-handed pitchers in home runs per 9.0 IP (2nd, 0.71), opp. slugging percentage (5th, .363), opp. batting average (5th, .239), strikeouts per 9.0 IP (6th, 8.72), strikeouts (7th, 1,215) and ERA (9th, .3.62).