Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trade looking good for both teams!

Yeah, I know it has only been less than a week since the Harden trade but the players involved are already contributing to their new ball clubs.

Gallagher got his first start last night and had a familiar face in the outfield in Matt Murton. Gallagher went 7 strong innings, giving up just 2 hits with 2 earned runs. He walked 3 and struck out 7. He had some good offensive help from former Cub Matt Murton. Matt went 1 for 5 with 2 RBI. Nice to see Gallagher and Murton succeeding for their new team. I wish them all the luck in the world.

Now on to the new Cubs Harden and Gaudin. Harden pitched a gem today giving up 5 hits, 0 ER, walking 3, and striking out 10 in just 5.1 innings. The thing I like about Harden is that he does not over-think pitching and uses what is working. Today Harden featured his hard fastball between 92-98 MPH and a great change about 84-88 MPH. We only saw that slider occasionally but all he needed was two pitches today. He changed speeds with his fastball well along with that devastating change up. His control was almost Maddux like and I like how he does not give into hitters. It is just to bad the pen gave up the lead and could not give him a win!

As far as Gaudin goes, he is not filthy by any means but he has a nice fastball and good slider to complement it. He will be a very solid middle reliever for the Cubs. He pitched .2 innings and did not give up a hit.

Overall I think the trade was a fair one. I am glad to hear we are going to give Harden 6+ days of rest between starts because he is so much better when he gets extra rest and we have the depth to do that, so why not!?!?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cubs Notes

-Soriano will skip the All Star Game to completely heal his hand and be back with the Cubs after the break.

- The Cubs signed first round pick Andrew Cashner, he was their first pick (19th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft.

- Rich Harden will make his Cubs debut Saturday against the Giants. Can't wait to see him pitch in Wrigley in Cubbie Blue!

- The Cubs still have interest in trading for another starter pitcher and reliever. They have interest in Brian Fuentes and Ron Mahay but their asking price maybe too high. As far as another starting pitcher, the Cubs are looking at guys like Randy Wolf, Greg Maddux, Kei Igawa, and Jarrod Washburn. Jayson Stark says it is not out of the question that the Cubs get Wolf. I think the Cubs want to add another decent pitcher just in case Harden has problems. To be honest I would take Wolf and Maddux over Marquis or Marshall but not Igawa or Washburn. How bout trading Marquis for Maddux or Wolf???

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Cubs land Harden!

The Chicago Cubs have countered the move of the Brewers today by trading Gallagher, Murton, Patterson, and Josh Donaldson for the nasty righty Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin . This is a great move by the Cubs and the only players I would be hesitant to get rid of out of the group are Donaldson and Gallagher. Both will be solid ML players with Gallagher being the closest to being ML ready.

The Cubs in my mind only gave up two players that fit into the long term picture. Eric Patterson's defense, bat, and inexperience has made him expendable especially with guys like Theriot, Font, Derosa, and Cedeno in the infield and our outfield pretty well set for the next 3 to 5 years.

Matt Murton is nothing but a AAAA player with the potential to be a decent 4th outfielder in the majors for many years to come. He was blocked in our outfield for at least the next 4 years by Soriano and Fukudome.

With Gallagher you are trading a projected #3 or #4 starter in the next two years or so. Right now he is a good number 5 starter. With Josh Donaldson you get a catcher with tons of potential. I am a big supporter of Josh and think in the next 3 years he will be a solid ML catcher for Oakland.

Now lets look at Harden! Harden is a really good pitcher, probably in the top 10 best pitchers in baseball when healthy. He has 2 years left on his contract. He is owed 4.5 million for this season and has a 7 million dollar club option for 09 which the Cubs will likely exercise or work on a new deal for the nasty righty. Rich Harden is a great 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in just 13 starts. He has had some health issues but has been relatively durable this year. He has a career 36-19 record with a 3.42 ERA. Can you say nasty!!!!!

The "throw in guy" is not just a throw in guy! Chad Gaudin is a really good long reliever and can even start. He is 5-3 with 3.59 ERA. He has 26 appearances this year with 6 of them being starts so he could fill the long relief of spot start occasionally. He is making 1.7 million this year and has less than 4 years of ML service so he will be arbitration eligible next season.


I think this is a fair trade for both sides. The Cubs do not have to throw away many of their young players and the Cubs get a #1 pitcher to follow Z and they get a really good reliever. I like this move very much and feel we got a better pitcher and deal compared to the Brewers.

Cubs after Harden???

Thanks to MLBTR for this-

Cubs Pursuing Harden In Wake Of Sabathia Deal
By Tim Dierkes [July 7 at 8:47am CST]

How will the Cubs counter the Brewers' C.C. Sabathia acquisition? They simply can't match it, but the next best thing might be Rich Harden. Harden is also a frontline starter, but he lacks Sabathia's durability.

According to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times, "the Cubs have spent a lot of time on the phone recently with Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane trying to pry away Harden." De Luca says they've been discussed a deal for at least a month. Plan C is apparently Randy Wolf. Will Carroll says the Cubs "think they match up well for A.J. Burnett."

Jayson Stark commented on the Harden situation on Thursday:
The A's will consider any offers that allow them to add and subtract at the same time. But any Harden deal would have to at least approach last winter's Dan Haren extravaganza.

A reminder: Baseball America ranked Carlos Gonzalez as the game's #22 prospect, and Brett Anderson was #36. The Cubs don't have two players like that. Then add Greg Smith and Dana Eveland, who have combined for a 3.52 ERA in 207 innings this year. Oh, and toss in Chris Carter and Aaron Cunningham for good measure. That was a haul, even for an ace like Haren.

I do not feel Jim will just sit on his hands on this one. I think the Brewers acquiring Sabathia will put a lot of pressure on Hendry to make a deal and soon. Another pitcher the Cubs are hard after is Erik Bedard. He would not cost nearly as much as Harden but more than Wolf and Burnett.

Side Note-

Rich Hill is looking better. Yesterday he just allowed one hit, one BB, and 6 K's in 4 shutout innings in A ball. Good news for the Cubs and Rich Hill!