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Everything must go!

Department stores aren’t the only places having great Christmas sales.

Billy Beane and the A’s are offering everything in their shop at huge discounts. They are restocking the storage room, but they aren’t refilling the racks in the store. Soon enough, their fans will see a completely empty store, leaving no reason to even bother to show up.

In case you were finishing your Christmas shopping and missed the news, the A’s traded Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals last night. They got four prospects in return, including the prospect they really wanted, Brad Peacock. The #3 prospect in the Nats system according to Baseball America, Peacock will probably compete for an A’s rotation spot in Spring Training.

But the rest of the package is a mixed bag.

A.J. Cole, Washington’s #4 prospect according to Baseball America, has possibly the most potential of players coming back to Oakland, but ESPN Jim Bowden believes he’s at least two years away, if not more.

Tom Milone is a 24-year-old fringe prospect with #5 starter potential according to Bowden.

Catcher Derek Norris is intriguing. He’s been highly regarded in the Washington system for few years, but as he’s progressed, his batting average has continued to drop. Following the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Baseball America ranked his #2 in the Nats system and even called him an “offensive catcher.” Ya, so much for that.

If Peacock and Cole contribute to the big league club over the next few seasons, this trade will be looked at as a “win” for Beane. But right now, all I see a deal that sent away an All-Star for package that doesn’t get me excited. The A’s were better off holding on to Gonzalez.

And in case you were wondering what items have now moved to the front of the Sale rack, teams will be lining up to buy Andrew Bailey, and *gulp* possibly Kurt Suzuki.

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