Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cubs Add Harden, Supplement Medical Budget

Chicago responded to Milwaukee's addition of CC Sabathia by trading for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin in exchange for 4 players, 3 of whom have spent time on the Cubs 25-man roster this year. I assume Gallagher and Patterson were the keys to the deal from Oakland's perspective.

This is a calculated gamble by Chicago, which was already a good team without Harden or the 4 players that they gave up (these were bench guys for them right now). Harden can be wicked when healthy, but he's also been on the DL 6 times.

I thought this was a funny quote from Cubs GM Jim Hendry about Harden's injury history:

"Obviously there's some risk involved. He's missed some time but he's never had any surgery," Hendry said. "We did extensive work with their doctors."

Here's a reasonable guess about what Oakland's doctors said to the Cubs:

"Yeah, sure, Rich is fit as a fiddle, no problems there, I'd do the deal, you bet...."


Wrigleyville said...

i know how you voted in my poll, matthew.

woziszeus said...

This will backfire against the Cubs.

Never make a trade with Billy Beane. He'll fleece you.

Anonymous said...

So essentially, the first two starters for the brewers are now the equivalent of the first two starters of the Cubs. You have one pitcher for both teams who can be nasty, but is injury prone, and another pitcher for both teams who is too emotional and can be really good, but can lose based on where their head is at.

The reason the Harden deal is superior to the Sabbathia trade is because in addition the Cubs got a strong bullpen guy who can spot start and keep the games competitive. Meanwhile, the Brewers have not strengthened their bullpen, which is average at best, and they lost some of the trade bait they had to make a move for a solid reliever.

Matt said...

Sheets has been Cal Ripken Jr. over the last 3 years when compared to Harden.

Wrigleyville said...

how does it backfire, woz? it is, at absolutely worst, a calculated gamble:

1. they get rich harden for x starts this year, whether it is 1 or 14 (preferably 5 in october, but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

2. if he breaks, they've strengthened their already strong bullpen (and added a decent spot starter) to a team that matt said yesterday was still the favorite.

3. they gave up gallagher (who will be good, but is not today), eric patterson (who i liked, but i don't miss him), matt murton (who is blocked and never stuck anyway) and what's his name donaldson (who is struggling at class a, is the second best C prospect in the system and is blocked by soto anyway).

seems worth it, no?

Matt said...

WV, what is the Cubs rotation with Harden?

I'll be honest, I don't know which 4th and 5th starter they were using before the trade.

Is it:

??? Marquis?

Anonymous said...

this trade was like trading some rusty bikes with flat tires for a sports car that will break down on the freeway 3-4 times per year. sure you didn't give up much and it's great to have while it's running, but you are always waiting for the next time the engine dies.

and hacks like wriglyeville of course are going to say what a great trade this was and what a bad trade the brewers made, even though they have very little real baseball knowledge besides what the regurgitate from local talk radio and newspapers. it's all they do over there. they've got 100 years of saying how great things will be only to be proven wrong time after time after time.

Anonymous said...

To the guy above:

As opposed to the vast bastion of knowledge the Brewers have developed from 26 years without a playoffs appearance, and no world series rings? I thought most wisconsin guys slept through the summer, waiting til football season started up again, as evidenced by the fact that generally baseball games in milwaukee are deserted unless they are playing the cubs.

As Hendry said, we didn't need a trade to fill up our ballpark.

Matt said...

We? Our?

Ladies and gentlemen, apparently we have a member of the Cubs organization visiting our fine blog and posting as anonymous.

Welcome, Anonymous Cub. Oh, and they fill up Miller Park just fine. Check out this year's attendance figures, which has been bloated by exactly 0 home games against the Cubs.

Anonymous said...

I checked out your attendance record. You have an average percentage of filling your stadium of 85%. Cubs are at 98.5% We also have more people show up at our games than the Brewers do on average, despite the fact that the brewers have a slightly bigger field.

So, based on those figures, it appears the Brewers did have a problem selling tickets.

AP said...

Exactly Matt. They average less than 5K more per home game in attendance, and they only have 15 million more people in their city to draw from. Those Cubs fans are amazing! How do they do it?

Matt said...

Florida and Pittsburgh have trouble selling tickets.

Matt said...

And how do you know about my attendance record?

Wrigleyville said...

"they've got 100 years of saying how great things will be only to be proven wrong time after time after time."

um, are you new? this would be accurate if you had said "they've got 100 years of saying how bad thigns will be only to be proven wrong time after time after time."

the only optimistic predictions i've made at wv23 are:

1. the cubs would win the central in 2007. check.

2. the cubs would catch the brewers in early august 2007. check.

3. the cubs would win the central in 2008. we'll see.

Wrigleyville said...

ap - i was surprised to see all of the empty seats at miller park monday after the cc trade. i thought fans would come out that day.

Wrigleyville said...

matt - likely marshall, though marquis may anchor it until he is potentially traded in a package, with cubs eating some salary.

one other thing, i am very impressed by the CC trade. i have not once ever said it was bad for brewers. can you prove otherwise, anonymous?

brad said...

I don't like the Cubs getting Gaudin. He's better than Bush and Suppan.

As for the attendance, I think the Brewers are 12th in MLB. That's pretty damn good for a metro area of under 1.8 million.

AP said...

WV-Attendance Monday night was a little over 35K. Average attendance for 2008 so far is a little over 35K. So....don't know what you're goin' for there. It was pretty decent.

Cubs are #7 in MLB average attendance and the Crew is #11. Really? You want to pat yourself on the back for a 1st place team in the 3rd biggest city in the country being #7 in attendance? WTF? Great job.

Wrigleyville said...

ap - that's a stadium size issue. really nothing the cubs can do about that short of renovating/rebuilding. which is fine, but not happening this year.

on monday night, i guess that was more anecdotal/visual for me. on a few foul balls, there were huge chunks of empty seats. my bad.

AP said...

No, it's fine WV. I'll give you the stadium size thing, just please remember that a lot of the attendance discrepancy can be attributed just as easily to a city size thing as a stadium size thing.

Krey said...

Our stadium fits 690 more people than yours, or 345 more Prince Fielder's (Or CC's). I would say our attendance is pretty good for a city that has a metro area one fifth the size of Chicago. Also, there are usually about 20,000 less arrogant SOB's in attendance than at the gum company.

grammy said...

great trade for both teams and the nl central just got that more exciting. but not really a trade in response to the cc deal. hendry and beane have been talking for the past couple weeks about this deal. cc or no cc, the deal was going to happen either way. the cc trade only sped up the pace a bit. cubs never had a chance to get cc and they knew it...didn't have the right package to offer like the brewers they went after the next best pitcher (when healthy of course). its a high risk move but a necessary one. but to say this trade is better than the cc trade is asinine.