The Chicago Cubs acted quickly to counter the C.C. Sabathia acquistion by the Brewers by acquiring 26-year old righty starting pitcher Rich Harden and 25-year old righty starter/reliever Chad Gaudin. The Cubs had to give up Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson to the A’s. Rich Harden is a dominating pitcher when healthy but he’s as brittle as either Kerry Wood was in his younger days. Harden has started 13 games for the A’s this season and he is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Harden has whiffed 92 batters while only allowing 57 hits in 77 innings this season which gives you an idea of how great his stuff is. Harden has now pitched in 97 games (89 starts) in his major league career and he is 36-19 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. If he can stay healthy he can help anchor a very solid Cubs’ starting rotation. Chad Gaudin’s addition by the Cubs can’t be overlooked especially with how brittle Harden has been in his career. Gaudin can either start or relieve and he’s been efffective in both roles in his career. Gaudin has pitched in 26 games (6 starts) for the A’s this season and he is 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Gaudin has now pitched in 161 games (50 starts) in his major league career and he is 24-23 with 2 saves, a 4.33 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. This trade really adds some teeth to an already good Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff.
The Cubs did have to give up some quality talent to acquire the pair of pitchers from the A’s. 22-year old righty Sean Gallagher has been a decent pitcher for the Cubs this season. In 12 games (10 starts) for the Cubs this season he was 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The A’s will probably let him slide right into Harden’s old spot in the rotation. Gallagher finishes his Cubs career having pitched in 20 games (10 starts) and he was 3-4 with 1 save, a 5.28 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Matt Murton was in the Cubs’ dog house for some reason and he will definately get a chance to prove himself out in Oakland. Murton played in 19 games for the Cubs this season and he was 10 for 40 (.250 avg, .586 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 6 RBIs. Murton finishes his career with the Cubs having played in 308 games in which he was 256 for 870 (.294 avg, .810 OPS) with 126 runs scored, 28 homers, 104 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Eric Patterson appears to have a lot of upside but he was behind too many players in Chicago. Patterson played in 13 games for the Cubs this season and he was 9 for 38 (.237 avg, .660 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Patterson finishes his career with the Cubs having played in 20 games in which he was 11 for 46 (.239 avg, .656 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Josh Donaldson is a 22-year old righty swinging catcher playing in A-ball where he was struggling. Donaldson has played in 63 games in A-Ball this season and he is 51 for 235 (.217 avg, .625 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. This trade will come back to haunt the Cubs if Harden gets hurt again, but, if he can stay healthy this was a good move for the Cubs. It’s that simple.