From the Wire….Harden and Gaudin to the Cubs

According to reports on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, the Cubs have traded Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, Sean Gallagher and Josh Donaldson to the Oakland A’s for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin.

Updated – 6:07pm C.T.It’s Official…..The Cubs have acquired Rich Harden, arguably one of the best pitchers in the majors, when healthy. Bruce Levine stated the Cubs have to figure out their rotation. With the addition of Chad Gaudin and Rich Harden, the Cubs now have a 13-man pitching staff and will likely make another move on Wednesday. The top 4 pitchers in the Cubs’ rotation is Carlos Zambrano, Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly. Levine reported Lou Piniella will have to decide to keep either Jason Marquis or Sean Marshall in the rotation….with the other likely headed to the bullpen.

Rich Harden was 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 13 starts with the A’s with 92 strikeouts and 31 walks in 73 innings. Harden’s 10.75 strikeouts per 9 innings leads the Major Leagues….Tim Lincecum is second in the big leagues with a 9.49 k per 9 inning average.

Chad Gaudin will be a good fit in the Cubs’ bullpen and can be used as a spot starter. Gaudin was 5-3 in 26 games, 6 starts, with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 44 strikeouts and 17 walks in 62 2/3 innings. Last year, Gaudin was 11-13 in 34 starts with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in 199 1/3 innings. Gaudin was on Lou Piniella’s staff in Tampa.

Josh Donaldson was expendable with the season Welington Castillo has put together with the Tennessee Smokies. Castillo will spend the weekend in the All-Star Futures game in New York. Donaldson hit .217 with 6 home runs and 23 RBI’s in 63 games with the Peoria Chiefs.

Bruce Levine reported the Brewers acquiring C.C. Sabathia did not “speed up this deal” but the White Sox did. When the A’s lost the final two games of the weekend series on the South Side, Oakland fell 6 games behind the Angels and Billy Beane felt it was the right time to start preparing for the future.

Rich Harden will be under the Cubs’ control for the remainder of the 2008 season and the Cubs hold a club option for 2009 worth $7 million dollars. Chad Gaudin has a little over 3 years of service time in the big leagues.

Will update if more information becomes available….

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