OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s acquired right-handed pitchers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, left-handed pitcher Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris from the Washington Nationals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez and right-handed pitcher Rob Gilliam, the club announced today.
The A’s acquired three of the Nationals top nine prospects, according to Baseball America. Peacock was ranked number three this year after he was slotted number 10 prior to the 2011 season. Cole has been ranked fourth in each of the last two seasons and Norris was ranked ninth this year after back-to-back seasons as the Nationals number two prospect.
Cole was 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 20 games, 18 starts, for Single-A Hagerstown last year. He struck out 108 batters and walked just 24 in 89.0 innings. The 19-year-old right-hander yielded just six home runs. Cole was selected by Washington in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Oviedo High School in Florida.
Milone made his Major League debut with Washington last September, logging a 1-0 record and a 3.81 ERA in five starts. He spent the balance of the season with Triple-A Syracuse, where he went 12-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts. The 24-year-old left-hander ranked second in the International League in strikeouts (155), tied for third in wins and sixth in ERA. He walked just 16 batters for a league-low 0.97 walks per nine innings. Milone also fashioned a strikeout to walk ratio of 9.75 and has a mark of 5.53 strikeouts per walk in his career. The native of Saugus, Calif. was the Nationals 10th round pick in the 2008 draft out of the University of Southern California.
Norris batted .210 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI in 104 games with Double-A Harrisburg last year. He ranked third in the Eastern League with 77 walks and his average of 16.70 at bats per home run was the best mark in the league. The 22-year-old also threw out 39 of 97 (40.2%) attempted base stealers, which was the highest figure among EL catchers. Norris was originally drafted by Washington in fourth round in 2007. He is a .249 hitter in 431 career minor league games, but has walked 344 times for a .403 on-base percentage.
Peacock also made his Major League debut in 2011, posting a 2-0 record and a 0.75 ERA in three games, two starts, during a September call-up with the Nationals. He also combined for a 15-3 record and a 2.39 ERA in 25 games, 23 starts, with Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse. The Palm Beach, Fla. native tied for second in all of minor league baseball in wins and ranked seventh in strikeouts (177). Peacock also had the 11th best ERA among pitchers in full season leagues. The 23-year-old right-hander was originally selected by the Nationals in the 41st round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Palm Beach Central High School.
Gonzalez registered a 16-12 record and 3.12 ERA in logging 202.0 innings over 32 starts last season, earning him a spot on the 2011 American League All-Star team. He tied for fourth in the AL in wins, ranked ninth in strikeouts (197) and opponents batting average (.230), and 10th in ERA. The 26-year-old left-hander has posted a 31-21 record and 3.17 ERA in 65 starts with Oakland during the past two seasons. He owns a Major League career mark of 38-32 with a 3.93 ERA in 95 games, including 89 starts, since making his debut with the A’s in 2008. Gonzalez was acquired by the A’s prior to the 2008 season in a four-player trade with Chicago in which Oakland sent Nick Swisher to the White Sox.
Gilliam was 12-7 with a 5.04 ERA in 28 starts for Single-A Stockton last year. He fanned 156 in 164.1 innings and allowed a .263 opponents batting average. The 24-year-old right-hander was originally selected by the A’s in the eighth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
The complete 2011 and career statistics for the six players involved in today’s trade: