[UPDATE - 4:43]: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes has reported that the 5-year deal is for $42 Million - or an AAV (Average Annual Value) of $8.4 Million. The Option years would add another $23 Million to the total value of the contract - bumping it up to $65 Million or $9.3 AAV.
As The Nats Blog stated, the Nats were willing to give Mark Buehrle a 3-year/$39 Million deal for an AAV of $13 Million. This gives the team a younger pitcher (with a higher upside), more years on the contract, and a lesser contract by about $3 Million a year.
This gives the Nats control over Jordan Zimmermann through 2015 plus Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg through 2016. A Top 3 that will rival any in baseball for the next 5 years.
[Original]: According to @NationalsPR, the Nats have signed Gio Gonzalez to a 5-year contract extension that runs through the 2016 season. The deal covers all four years of his arbitration eligibility (he is a Super Two player, so he would have been arb. eligible four times) plus one year of Free Agency. No financial terms have been released yet, but one would think that this would be a pretty solid deal; but most intriguing to me would be the price tag of the two club option years for 2017-18.
If the Nationals end up holding on to Gonzalez through the 7-years that this contract would run, it would take Gio from his age 26 season through to his age 32 season - or through the prime of his pitching career.
For the Nationals, this was almost a necessary deal. Mike Rizzo sent four of his top prospects over to Oakland to get a proven pitcher who wouldn't break the bank. You want to make sure that after you commit to such a deal, you will have the player for years - that it isn't just a rental.
Stay tuned to Capitol Baseball for the latest - including financial details!