Oh ####, the Cubs just got better

Oakland A’s get:

P Sean Gallagher
OF Matt Murton
OF/IF Eric Patterson
C Josh Donaldson

Chi. Cubs get:
SP Rich Harden
RP Chad Gaudin

The trade definitely lessens the number of misused players in the Cubs organization, like Matt Murton, who surely will get more opportunities in Oakland, as well as Eric Patterson, especially with Oakland’s troubles with the lack of production in the outfield. To highlight the A’s outfield troubles, you have Travis Buck, hitting .160 and slumping majorly in AAA, Chris Denorfia who hasn’t really done much, also in AAA, career AAAA player in Emil Brown, a DH in Jack Cust, and three players that aren’t really power hitters in Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney, and Carlos Gonzalez. Murton and Patterson won’t help the lack of power by the A’s outfield, but it will have better defense, and slightly better hitting at least… although I think Frank Thomas has been injured and Jack Cust has been at DH anyways. Patterson, although there is a chance he stays to help the outfield, would be moving to the infield, most likely second base, after not being good at all in the outfield. Patterson also can hit decently. He’d somehow replace Mark Ellis, who is great with the glove, but not so good with the bat. The bat versus the defense tradeoff is here with Patterson and Ellis. Matt Murton would be exactly the type of player Billy Beane wants, with a good combination of the bat (although he hasn’t shown it with the Cubs who keep messing and misusing him big time), and defense.

For pitching, the A’s rotation is now Blanton, Eveland, Smith, Duchscherer, and Gallagher. Gallagher will not have as many problems with fly balls in Oakland, a pitchers park, which is exacly why Joe Blanton is good with the A’s. I like the A’s getting Gallagher out of this. Gaudin has been a reliever most of the year for the A’s after starting at the beginning of the year, and Harden, 5-1 this year, has been starting after coming back from injury I think, with good results, a 2.34 ERA.

Josh Donaldson, the catcher the A’s got in the deal, was a compensentory 1st Round pick in 2007, and although he will take a while to develop, his ceiling is as a starter. He’s an interesting prospect, as he can hit, although he hasn’t been able to in A-ball yet. Note that Oakland has too many catchers though.

On the Cubs side, they get two proven players in Gaudin and Harden, and although Harden is a definite injury risk, Harden’s stuff improves the Cubs starting rotation, and it also gives the Cubs another viable backup plan for the rotation in Gaudin:

Starting Rotation when healthy

Ted Lilly (although not great this year, but pitching slightly better lately)
The suprising Ryan Dempster
Carlos Zambrano
Harden
Jason Marquis

Backup plans:
Gaudin
Rich Hill (wow, how far he has fallen)
Jon Lieber
Sean Marshall

Backup backup backup plan:

Kerry Wood

WIth the starting pitching, the Cubs get even more depth. The Cubs bullpen looks even better now with Gaudin added, especially with Carlos Marmol not as dominant as he was last year, and Bobby Howry aging quickly.

A’s Deal Harden, Gaudin for Four Cubs (Scout.com)

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