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A's left-hander Gio Gonzalez has burst onto the scene the last two years.
Gonzalez's name has surfaced in the last 24 hours as a hot trade target of several clubs after word got out the A's might be willing to deal the 26-year-old lefty. The Nationals inquired about his availability, according to a source familiar with the discussions, but talks never progressed.
Even if the A's were willing to deal Gonzalez, general manager Billy Beane is seeking a significant haul in return, perhaps three or four top prospects. The Nationals probably wouldn't meet that kind of hefty demand, despite the attractiveness of a pitcher like Gonzalez.
In only two seasons as a full-time, big-league starter, Gonzalez has established himself as a frontline pitcher. He boasts a 31-21 record, 3.17 ERA and 368 strikeouts over the last two years and this season earned his first All-Star nod.
Impressive numbers aside, the Nationals' priority remains acquiring a veteran starting pitcher who has a track record for 200-inning seasons and can serve as a mentor to Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann, which is why 32-year-old lefty Mark Buehrle continues to top their wish list.