Cubs Acquire Rich Harden, Chad Gaudin

That's right, the Chicago National League Ballclub has acquired Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. And what did they give up? Well, not peanuts, but close. Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Josh Donaldson, and Matt Murton.

Harden, a 26 year old Canuck, is 5-1 this year with a 2.34 E.R.A over 15 appearances (13 starts). His career E.R.A. is 3.42. He is under contract until 2009, at somewhere around 4.75 Mil. The only issue is his health. In his 6 years in the Bigs, he’s made 6 trips to the D.L. He hasn’t made 30 starts since 2004. Actually, in his last 2 plus years, he hasn’t made 30 total starts. If the Cubs can keep him healthy, he’ll be the dominant #2 starter the Cubs have been searching for. If not? Well, the Cubs are essentially in the same place they were today.

Gaudin was a surprise addition to the mix. He is a 25 year old right-handed reliever/starter. He’s made 6 starts and 20 relief appearances for Oakland this year, resulting in a 5-3 record with a 3.59 E.R.A. Gaudin was a full time starter for the Athletics last year, starting 31 games and going 11-13 with a 4.42 E.R.A. The Cubs are likely to use Gaudin as a long reliever.

The Cubs gave up Sean Gallagher, as expected. But the A’s must’ve had some higher opinions than I did on the rest of the bunch. Eric Patterson must be the #2 guy on this list. E-Pat has good speed and has a decent stick, both average-wise and power-wise. I guess the A’s think he’s a future starter. Josh Donaldson was the 48th overall pick last year, so the potential is there. But he was hitting under .220 in A Ball, so he’s hard to project. But he was being groomed as a catcher, a position that is obviously taken for the near future. Murton had to go in any trade.

Whether this was a response to Brewers or not, it doesn’t matter. The Cubs got the second best pitcher available (after C.C.), gave up a lot less than the Brew-Crew, and killed the momentum the Brewers thought they had. So much for the concept that the Brewers had really gotten lucky in getting this move done before the deadline, allowing C.C. to start more. C.C. Sabathia is making his first start for the Brewers tonight. Reports are that Harden will start either Friday or more likely Saturday.

Overall, a great deal for the Cubs. They get a #2 starter and a quality relief pitcher for a young starter and some spare parts. They drop 4 guys off their 40 man roster while adding only two, giving them some more flexibility down the stretch. Well done, J.H.

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