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Gonzalez, Nationals agree on 5-year contract

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Associated Press
January 16, 2012
— Gio Gonzalez agreed to a $42 million, five-year contract with the Washington Nationals on Sunday, just three weeks after the left-hander was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

The deal includes options for two more years. It was the largest guaranteed contract for a pitcher


eligible for arbitration for the first time.


The 26-year-old Gonzalez went 16-12 last season—a career high for wins—with a 3.12 ERA in 32 starts and was selected to his first All-Star game. He has reached 200 innings the past two seasons.


Gonzalez was acquired in a six-player deal with Oakland on Dec. 23, giving the Nationals a promising rotation that also includes right-handers Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. After finishing last in the NL East in three consecutive seasons, Washington went 80-81 and wound up in third place in 2011.


Gonzalez, who made $420,000 last season, is


38-32 with a 3.93 ERA in 95 games over four seasons, all with Oakland.


-- The Toronto Blue Jays and center fielder Colby Rasmus have agreed to a one-year, $2.7 million contract, avoiding arbitration.


The Blue Jays acquired the 25-year-old from


St. Louis in a three-team trade that included the White Sox in July. Rasmus hit .225 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs last year, a dropoff after hitting 23 homers for St. Louis in 2010.


-- The Oakland Athletics and free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon have reached agreement on a one-year deal that will bolster the team’s depleted rotation, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Sunday. Colon’s contract is pending a physical.


Colon, 38, a former A’s nemesis during his four-year stint with the AL West rival Angels from 2004-07, went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA last year for the New York Yankees in his 14th big league season.


He won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award.


Last month, the A’s traded away starter Trevor Cahill to the Arizona Diamondbacks and All-Star lefty Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals. Oakland also sent All-Star closer Andrew Bailey to the Boston Red Sox on Dec. 28.


When healthy, the hard-throwing Colon has been impressive in the Oakland Coliseum where he will now pitch regularly. He is 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA and an opposing batting average of .179 in seven appearances in the A’s aging ballpark.



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