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After failing to land free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle, who signed with the Miami Marlins, the Nationals "stepped up our efforts" to improve their rotation, Rizzo said, which led to trade talks with the A's.
Beane is in rebuilding mode, having previously dealt starter Trevor Cahill to Arizona to stockpile more talent in the farm system. The A's went 74-88 last season and haven't posted a winning record or earned a playoff berth since 2006.
Beane said he is making moves in hopes of being able to move into a new stadium in San Jose in a few years. He said he expects to hear soon from Commissioner Bud Selig whether the team can build a new ballpark some 40 miles south in San Jose despite the San Francisco Giants owning the territorial rights to technology-rich Santa Clara County.
"For us to compete, we're going to have to have a new stadium," Beane said. "I don't think there was a move we could have made that would have put us in position to compete with Anaheim and Texas and what they have."
Gonzalez has been the subject of trade talks all offseason, with many teams interested in adding a proven starter.
"He's won a lot of games on a mediocre club," Rizzo said about Gonzalez. "Sixteen wins on the Oakland A's last year was quite a feat."
Peacock and Milone made their major league debuts in September, Norris hit 20 homers at Double-A Harrisburg, and the 19-year-old Cole went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA at Class-A Hagerstown.
"To acquire a player like (Gonzalez), you need to give up some painful players in return, and we've done just that, four players that are near and dear to our hearts because we drafted them," Rizzo said.
NOTES: In other moves, the A's designated C Landon Powell and OF Jai Miller for assignment.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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