Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo introduced the team’s new pitcher, Gio Gonzalez, to Washington this afternoon at a news conference.
Gonzalez said his biggest adjustment would be swinging the bat, after being on the American League A’s for four seasons.
On extending his contract with the Nationals, Gonzalez said: “I figure d this was a great organization to be part of” and he wants to bring a championship to Washington.
He feels honred to part of a pitching rotation with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. “I’m gonna be with these guys for quite a while,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun season for the Washington Nationals.”
Gonzalez went on to say that switching to the National League would be “a work in progress” and that he’ll learn from fellow pitchers Strasburg and Zimmermann. He added that it works both ways, for opposing batters too. “I’ve never seen them, and they’ve never seen me.”
Asked how he emotionally handled free agency in general, Gonzalez said he would have gone nuts and had gray hair if he had continually hit the refresh on his computer to get free agency news. “You had to put it away,” he said.
He felt it was an honor that the Nationals traded away four top prospects to acquire him.”It was a fair trade,” he said, adding later, “I don’t want to let you down.”
Update — Adam Kilgore reports from Nationals Park:
-There is no no-trade clause in Gonzalez's contract.
-Gonzalez met Jayson Werth today at Nationals Park. “He gave me a great welcome and showed me around the facilities. I think he just shows that it’s going to be exciting. I was told this is a young group of guys that likes to have fun and compete and is going to keep the team loose. That’s exactly what I want to do.”
-On the pressure he faces: “I don’t look at it as a pressure situation. I look at it as a challenge situation. In life, everyone has to go through a challenge. I love the fact that the Nationals, everyone is out there supporting. How I am, and the person that I will always be, I have to go out there and compete. I always have to strive to get better. I’m never content in any situation that I’m in. When the opportunity, I’m hoping to run with it and try to help win, and try to see you guys in Ocotber, talking about a playoff run and a World Series championship.”
Zimmerman’s disappointment mild
LaRoche glad to be staying in D.C.