We were all set to do a back-and-forth on this site between 2SL and myself about the possibilities of a Rich Harden to the Cubbies deal when Ol’ Billy goes ahead and pulls the trigger. Not only does he unload our #2 (#1?) right handed pitcher, he also unloads the guy that I felt would step back into the rotation when Harden left. I’m very surprised that Gaudin was part of this trade.
The quartet that the Cubbies sent over is interesting as well. We got Sean Gallagher, a 22 year old kid who has been servicable for Chicago this year. I suppose Billy sees something there and thinks that he can be a good part of the rotation in another year or two. Hell, he’ll be starting on Thursday at this rate though. We also got a back stop to go along with our new righty. Josh Donaldson is also 22 and is still livin’ it up in Class A. Who knows, maybe he walks every 5 at bats and will fit in with the A’s.
Eric Patterson and Matt Murton round out the field of players shipped to the Bay. I’d heard Murton’s name on almost everyone’s wish list as a player to be packaged in on this deal and I’m happy to see him come. He could be a good backup in the oft-depleted outfield. Athletics Nation commentors compares him to a Kieltyesque player and that’s a fair comparison. Patterson has been up and down with Chicago all year and appears to be a Class AAAA player as his stats at AAA Iowa were huge (.320 with 6 bombs and 28 RBI in 52 games) but in the Bigs he’s only a .237 hitter in 13 games this year. I think this guy could be solid and I don’t read much into the low average in only a 13 game sample.
Overall, we got the 5th and 7th best prospects in the Cubbies orginization (Baseball America ratings) and Gallagher was ranked the 82nd best prospect in all of baseball by the same site. Not quite the haul that the Haren deal was and again, I’m surprised they gave up Chad too. As always, only time will tell on this trade but hopefully Rich will pitch well for the Cubbies. He was my favorite current A’s player until today, so looks like I’ll have to adopt a new one…AGAIN. Billy, just tell me you’ve worked your magic one more time man. Otherwise I’ll have to think you lost your touch.
Also, thanks to whoever chose Duchscherer over Harden for the All-Star team. We’d wouldn’t be represented without it!