The Oakland A’s have traded 26-year old righty starting pitcher Rich Harden and 25-year old righty starter/reliever Chad Gaudin to the Cubs for Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson. The A’s took advantage of the Cubs because of the Brewers’ acquistion of C.C. Sabathia yesterday. A’s GM Billy Beane struck a deal while the iron was hot as Rich Harden is actually healthy right now but that will change soon. He probably was trying to do the same thing with Bobby Crosby before he was recently injured. 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. He’s maintained his outstanding stuff all season long for the A’s as he has whiffed 92 batters while allowing only 57 hits in 77 innings this year. Harden finishes his career with the A’s having pitched in 97 games (89 starts) and he was 36-19 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Chad Gaudin will likely be added to the Cubs’ rotation when Harden breaks down. 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.
22-year old righty starting pitcher Sean Gallagher will likely move right into Rich Harden’s slot in the rotation. Gallagher has pitched in 12 games (10 starts) for the Cubs this season and he was 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Gallagher has now pitched in 20 games (10 starts) in his major league career and he is 3-4 with 1 save, a 5.28 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Gallagher was the #5 rated prospect in the Cubs’ minor league system coming into this season according to Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook. 26-year old outfielder Matt Murton will bring a solid bat to the Oakland A’s and they have a need for one. The righty swinging Murton can handle either of the corner outfield jobs on defense. He has played in 19 games for the Cubs this season and he is 10 for 40 (.250 avg, .586 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 6 RBIs. Murton has now played in 308 games in his major league career and he is 256 for 870 (.294 avg, .810 OPS) with 126 runs scored, 28 homers, 104 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. 25-year old lefty swinging Eric Patterson will also likely help the A’s this season. He has played in 13 games for the Cubs this season and he is 9 for 38 (.237 avg, .660 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Patterson was the #12 ranked prospect in the Cubs’ system heading into this season according to Baseball America. Patterson has played excellent in AAA ball this season as he has played in 53 games there and he is 65 for 203 (.320 avg, .875 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 6 homers, 28 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. 22-year old righty swinging catcher Josh Donaldson could be the best player of this bunch long term. He is struggling this season in A-Ball but he was very solid last year. Donaldson has played in 63 games this season in A-Ball and he is 51 for 235 (.217 avg, .625 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 6 homers, 23 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Donaldson was the #7 rated prospect coming into this season in the Cubs’ farm system according to Baseball America. Donaldson played in 53 games in the Rookie League and A-Ball last season and he was 58 for 173 (.335 avg, 1.050 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 9 homers, 35 RBIs and 6 stolen bases which shows what he can do. This was not a White Flag move for the A’s as they needed some hitting and Murton and Patterson will help them out the rest of the way. Gallagher should step into the rotation and while he’s not nearly as talented as Harden…..he’s not nearly as brittle either.