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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

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A quick primer on the newest National: Gio Gonzalez

By now you know that the Washington Nationals pulled off a blockbuster trade Thursday afternoon, acquiring left-hander Gio Gonzalez in exchange for four highly-regard prospects. Gonzalez was one of the most sought-after pitchers on the trade market this offseason and the A's made no secret they were trying to move him in return for a slew of prospects in preparation for a projected 2013-2014 return to contention. The price was high, so let's talk a little bit about what the Nationals got in Gonzalez.

Nationals acquire Gio Gonzalez from A's in exchange for Brad Peacock, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole

The Nationals agreed in principle on a five-player trade with the Oakland Athletics Thursday, acquiring talented lefty Gio Gonzalez but giving up a prospect haul, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Right-handed pitchers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole were both sent to the A's in the deal, along with left-hander Tommy Milone and catcher Derek Norris.

Nationals closing in on a deal with utility man Mark DeRosa

The Washington Nationals continued their efforts to re-stock their bench, closing in on a deal with utility man Mark DeRosa late Wednesday night, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. DeRosa, who has missed much of the previous two seasons with a wrist injury, can play both infield and outfield and will serve as a right-handed bat off the bench.

Nationals make official nine minor league signings with spring training invites

The Nationals signed Mike Cameron to a minor league contract with a spring training invite Monday afternoon and Tuesday they announced the official signings of nine other minor leaguers with invitations to big league camp. Joining Cameron and the previously reported signing of Brett Carroll at major league camp will be right-handed pitchers Jeff Fulchino and Waldis Joaquin, catcher Carlos Maldonado, infielders Andres Blanco, Jarrett Hoffpauir and Chad Tracey, and outfielders Jason Michaels and Xavier Paul.

Nationals sign Mike Cameron to a minor league deal

The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a minor league deal with free agent outfielder Mike Cameron Monday afternoon adding him to their mix as a fourth outfielder and a right-handed bat off the bench. Cameron will get an invitation to spring training.

Nationals non-tender left-hander Doug Slaten

Making an expected move official, the Washington Nationals did not tender left-handed reliever Doug Slaten a contract on Monday evening. Slaten was the only one of seven arbitration eligible players Washington did not offer a contract to for the 2012 season.

Former Nationals Latin American ops director Jose Rijo a fugitive in DR

German Miranda, the head of the Dominican Justice Ministry's Anti-laundering Unit, announced Monday that former Nationals Latin American director Jose Rijo, the MVP of the 1990 World Series for the Cincinnati Reds, is officially a fugitive. Rijo will be arrested sometime before Dec. 24, Miranda said, on a charge of contempt of court. Rijo has failed to appear twice for questioning in the investigation of his business dealings with another fugitive, Matia Avelino Castro, who is wanted for the murder of a journalist.

Balester reacts to being traded from the Nationals to the Tigers

I just spoke with Collin Balester, the now former Nationals right-hander who's joined the bullpen of the Detroit Tigers. It's been a crazy afternoon for Balester, who's wife Ashley is expecting the couple's first child and is due today. He was out shopping for a Christmas tree and had left his phone at home when the trade went down. Ashley began receiving phone calls and texts asking about the news and that's when the two learned they'd be taking their soon-to-be-growing family to Detroit next summer, just 45 minutes north of Ashley's home town of Perrysburg, Ohio.