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Gonzalez, who is 38-32 with an ERA of 3.93 over his four-year career, is headed to the Nationals for four top prospects: A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, and Tom Milone.
In any deal for Gonzalez, the Red Sox would have likely had to include third baseman and top prospect Will Middlebrooks.
The 26-year-old Gonzalez went 16-12 in 33 starts, setting new career highs in wins, ERA, strikeouts (197), and innings pitched (202.2) in 2011. There are some control issues with Gonzalez though, as he led the majors in walks (91). His walk totals have always been a concern, as are some control issues.
Besides his youth though, Gonzalez’ contract situation is what is most appealing. He would be under control of any team that trades him for the next four years, which is why his asking price is so high.
The high price tag on Gonzalez and other young starters could lead to Boston taking a more conservative route by signing veteran starters to short-term deals.