July 08, 2008

Harden to the Cubs

WOW. Just when you thought the NL Central couldn't get any hotter, the Cubs go out and trade for one of the most talented arms in the game. There's some risk here, but it's still a good gamble for the Cubs. I don't think they gave up much to be honest. Patterson and Murton are marginal players, and Gallagher is a 3rd starter at best. With their resources, the Cubs can always find a Gallagher type player on the free agent wire (see Dempster, Lilly, etc).

Not sure if anyone read Buster Olney's blog post, but he seems to imply that Billy Beane knows that Harden is about to get hurt again. At this point in Billy the Great's career, I have no reason to doubt his judgment. This could be a great trade for the Cubs or Mark Mulder 2.0.

For what it's worth, I think it's worth the risk for the Cubs. They needed to get a front end starter, and Harden is definitely that when he's healthy. If you have Zambrano and a healthy Harden with that lineup and bullpen and manager, the Cubs would be far and away the best team in the National League and probably the best team in baseball.

Either way, Wrigley is going to be rocking and rolling all summer (not that it isn't already). It's going to be pretty exciting to watch the Brewers and Cubs battle it out for the division. Then again, if Harden goes on to dominate the NL Central for the next ten years, I am not going to be a happy camper as a Reds fan.


Jeremy said...

Freaking steal for the Cubs. Murton and Patterson had gotten their token shots with the team and weren't going to be seeing the field again. The catching prospect is blocked by Soto and by Vitters (in a few years). Gallagher (as you rightfully said) is no better than a middle-of-the-rotation starter who will probably put up league average numbers for the rest of his career (if he even sticks).

In return, the Cubs get perhaps the best RH SP in the game (when he's healthy). Harden is downright unhittable when he wants to be. Couple that with Zambrano and you've got 2 horses that can stick with anyone out there (sounds familiar...). Gaudin is no slouch either. 11 wins as a starter last year (with an ERA that suffered from too many innings at the end of the year). He can also be a very effective swingman in the bullpen if needed and boasts one of the best RH swing-and-miss sliders in the game. Hell, at this point, I'm not sure that Gallagher is really all that more valuable than Gaudin!!

Great trade by Hendry. The NL Central should be beautiful to follow down the stretch.

(SHHHH...what's that noise you hear...footsteps?!?!? Here come the Metropolitans....)

Jeremy said...

(Putting on my Billy Beane FanClub hat) Let me say that I agree with Neyer - Murton and Patterson are probably better than just about anyone the A's will trot out in the OF this year (save Carlos Gonzalez, who's probably not quite ready for big league pitching). I never thought Murton got an adequate shot with the Cubs, and Patterson never really had a shot, due mostly to his last name.

I still don't think much of Gallagher, though his minor league numbers indicate he's ready for the bigs.