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.