How the Gio trade went down

Gio Gonzalez gives the Nationals a third elite starter and could put them in playoff contention in 2012. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

All week, the word around the campfire was that the Oakland Athletics were going to trade left-hander Gio Gonzalez. And sure enough, general manager Billy Beane pulled the trigger Thursday, sending the 26-year-old to the Washington Nationals, along with minor league righty Robert Gilliam, for right-handers A.J. Cole and Brad Peacock, lefty Tom Milone and catcher Derek Norris.

I've been monitoring these trade talks for a while and spoken to a number of people who were involved. Here's a breakdown of how this deal was consummated:

For starters, Beane did not have a shortage of suitors. The Boston Red Sox came on very strong at the end, while the Toronto Blue Jays also made a push. Boston's offer was more position-player heavy, while Toronto was willing to part only with low-level prospects with a lot of risk.