Just a day after the Brewers made their move acquire CC Sabathia (formerly known as C.C. Sabathia), the Cubbies felt the need to also improve their club. The Cubs packaged up P Sean Gallagher, IF Eric Patterson, OF Matt Murton, and C Josh Donaldson to the Oakland A's for ace Rich Harden and P Chad Gaudin.
The Cubs seem content with their counteraction to the Sabathia deal, but only time will tell if it will pay off. Although Harden has been dominate this season posting a 5-1 record with a 2.34 ERA, he hasn't completed season since '04. Doesn't that ring some sort of bell? A young, talented pitcher that just can't seem to stay off the DL. Oh yeah, Mark Prior. You would have thought the Chi-Town team would have been a little more cautious before making this trade.
On the other hand, it seems like another typical move by GM guru Billy Beane. Beane, notorious for selling big players for prospects, seems to have landed a bunch of promising players. Gallagher could develop into another great young pitcher for the A's and Murton might be the future of the outfield for Oakland. Furhtermore, they acquired 22 year old catching prospect Donaldson, a much needed position. Hopefully, Patterson won't turn out to be an underachiever like his brother Corey.
In my opinion, the key acquisition in this trade was Chad Gaudin. He posted an 11-13 record as a starter last year, but so far this season he is 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA mostly in relief. His flexibility to pitch as a starter and in relief situations is very important considering the Cubbies might find Harden often on the DL.
Chicago shouldn't expect too much from Harden considering that he's never had more than 11 wins in a season. He spends more time on the DL than on the mound, and hes already nearing 27 years of age. You would have thought they could have learned from Prior.