The Cubs created a surplus of qualified starting pitchers when they acquired Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays in an eight-player swap earlier this month. Tom Gorzelanny ended up being the odd man out of the Cubs' rotation and was traded to the Washington Nationals, a team that has been in search of pitching depth for much of the offseason. In return the Cubs acquired three prospects, two of whom are pitchers while the other is an outfielder.
The trade brings clarity to a Cubs rotation that will now feature Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Silva and Randy Wells. The departure of Gorzelanny means that the rotation is now completely right-handed.
Gorzelanny will now look to land one of the rotation spots in Washington which currently features Livan Hernandez, John Lannan and Jason Marquis. The last two spots will involve some competition between Jordan Zimmerman, Chien-Ming Wang, Craig Stammen, Ross Detwiler, newcomer Tom Gorzelanny and others.
To acquire Gorzelanny, Washington had to part ways with Michael Burgess, A.J. Morris and Graham Hicks, according to the Nationals' website. Burgess, an outfielder, was the 49th overall pick in the 2007 draft and brings a wealth of talent to a Cubs farm system that lost outfielder Brandon Guyer in the Matt Garza trade. Morris and Hicks, who are both pitchers, encountered varied levels of success in the Nationals' system last year.