Rich Harden has just been traded to the Cubs along with Chad Gaudin (5-3, 3.59 ERA). Well, it didn't take long for the Cubs to answer back about the C.C. Sabathia deal. Reportedly, they gave up Sean Gallagher (3-4, 4.45 ERA), Matt Mutron (.250 BA between Triple A and the majors), Josh Donaldson, and another prospect.
Is this a good move? Well, we will have a better view as the season goes on. But for the Cubs, this is a risky move that can turn out genius or be a bust. Harden is a beast when pitching and should only improve in the NL. But he's had trouble staying heathly which has always been his main issue. With that said, the Cubs need another starting pitcher in the worst way. And after the Brew Crew got C.C., that only raised the need for an impact arm. The Brewers got there ace and the Cubs got there own. Chad Gaudin is also a nice little pick-up as he adds more depth in the pitching department. The Cubs rotation as follows:
1. Carlos Zambrano (9-2, 2.96 ERA)
2. Rich Harden (5-1, 2.34 ERA)
3. Ryan Dempster (9-3, 3.24 ERA)
4. Ted Lilly (9-5, 4.47 ERA)
5. Jason Marquis (6-5, 4.78 ERA) or Sean Marshall (1-2, 4.10 ERA)
For the A's, this is surprising. I thought Billy Beane would take as much time as possible and wait till the best offer came around July 31st. But this tells me either Beane wasn't confident that Harden could stay heathly for much longer for some reason or he got some GREAT prospects from the Cubs. The Cubs have liked Gallagher and Murton for a long time now and both have talent. I know the A's got a major league ready hitter and pitcher and a high catching prospect.
I think this is a good deal. This is just as big of a deal as the Brewers getting C.C. Sabathia. In the course of several days, we've seen 2 shut down aces get moved from the AL to the NL. And the NL Central race just got a lot more interesting...
Who wants to bet the Cardinals get A.J. Burnett tomorrow?