MLB notes: Nats talking 4-for-1 trade

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez works against the Los Angeles Angels during the...

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez works against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim, California September 23, 2011. (REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 PM ET

The Washington Nationals are dangling some top prospects as they attempt to pry coveted left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A's, MLB.com reported Wednesday.

The deal reportedly is a priority for the Nationals, who would give up four players including right-handed pitcher Brad Peacock and catcher Derek Norris.

Peacock, 23, was 15-3 with a 2.39 earned-run average at double-A and triple-A this year. Norris, 22, had an off-year at the plate, hitting just .210, but had 20 homers.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox are also in the mix for Gonzalez, 26, who was 16-12 this past season with a 3.12 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 202 innings.

Roy Oswalt, a 34-year-old right-hander, is said to be a secondary target for both the Nationals and Red Sox.

RANGERS ADD CATCHING HELP

The Texas Rangers added catching depth Wednesday, trading pitcher Ryan Kelly to the San Diego Padres for Luis Martinez.

Martinez, 26, was added to the Rangers' major-league roster, joining fellow catchers Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba. Martinez played in 22 games over three stints with San Diego in 2011, hitting .203 with one home run and 10 RBI. In 58 games at triple-A Tucson, Martinez batted .323 with one homer and 28 RBI.

Kelly, 24, went 3-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 40 appearances (five starts) for single-A Myrtle Beach in 2011.

CUBS KNOCK ON WOOD

The Chicago Cubs have acquired left-hander Travis Wood from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade that hinges on all four players involved passing physicals, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

The Cubs will get Wood -- who fills a spot in the back end of their rotation -- and two minor-leaguers for left-handed reliever Sean Marshall, 29.

Wood, who turns 25 in February, was 6-6 with 4.84 ERA in 18 starts last season with the Reds.

The Cubs opted for Wood over Canadian left-hander Jeff Francis, a free agent. Francis, who turns 31 in January, had been involved in talks with the Cubs, ESPN.com said.

The Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies also are reported to have interest in Francis, who was 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA last season for the Kansas City Royals.

BUCKNER TO BOISE, NOT BOSTON

Former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, rumoured to be heading back to Boston as a coach, instead will become the hitting coach for the Chicago Cubs' single-A affiliate in Boise, Idaho.

New Boston manager Bobby Valentine had wanted to hire Buckner for his staff, but the team's front office resisted, ESPN.com said.

Bucker, who now lives in Boise, was the hitting coach with the Chicago White Sox in 1996 and '97.

EX-JAY BACK IN WINDY CITY

Outfielder Reed Johnson agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday with the Chicago Cubs, pending a physical.

"I think I'm at home here with the Cubs," Johnson told ESPN.com. "I talked to (new manager) Dale Sveum for an hour. This is a very smart guy, who I think we'll all enjoy playing for. He's a baseball guy. He understands the little things, as far as winning on a daily basis.

"I'm just happy coming back to a great organization and a great city, where I've grown to be comfortable."

Johnson, 35, batted .309 with five homers in 111 games for the Cubs in 2011.

He was a popular outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays for five seasons, 2003-07.

BRIEFLY

The Kansas City Royals have signed reliever Jose Mijares to a one-year contract. The 27-year-old left-hander appeared in 58 games for the Minnesota Twins last season, with an 0-2 record and a 4.59 ERA ... Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario is facing a 25-game suspension for violating MLB's drug policy, the Los Angeles Times reports. The right-hander missed last season because he was unable to obtain a visa to return to the U.S. from Venezuela ... Jerry Royster has been hired as third-base coach of the Boston Red Sox, joining new manager Bobby Valentine's staff. Royster and Valentine have known each other since being drafted two years apart by the Los Angeles Dodgers but never played together ... The Cleveland Indians have signed infielder Andy LaRoche to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. LaRoche, 28, hit .247 in 40 games with the Oakland A's in 2011 ... The Washington Nationals have claimed third baseman Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies. Rivero, 23, hit .275 with 15 homers last season, playing mostly at double-A Reading ... The Milwaukee Brewers have signed infielder Cesar Izturis, 31, to a minor-league contract, Fox Sports reports. The Brewers announced they've also signed left-hander Juan Perez, 33, to a minor-league deal.


Photos