Cubs Acquire Oakland A’s Stud Pitcher Who is Sure to Put Them Over the Top – Also Acquire Rich Harden
July 9, 2008
(Chicago, IL) – From the moment the Milwaukee Brewers acquired ace C.C. Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians, speculation abounded as to just how the Chicago Cubs would respond. Most felt that the Cubs would also need to acquire a top-notch pitcher if they were going to maintain their lead in the N.L. Central over the Brewers.
Well, it didn’t take long for the Cubs to respond, as just two days after the Sabathia deal, the Cubs got their man from the Oakland A’s: moderately successful reliever and sometimes starter Chad Gaudin.
The six player deal sent starter Sean Gallagher, outfielder Eric Patterson, clubhouse favorite Matt Murton and prospect Josh Donaldson to the A’s for Gaudin and another pitcher. Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry is convinced this is the deal that puts the Cubs over the top.
“We saw some tape on Gaudin, and we just knew he was ready to bust out,” Hendry said Tuesday evening. “I’m not a sabermetrician, but our statistical projections show a 99% chance that Chad will not give up another run the rest of the year. Well, ok, may it wasn’t our projections, but [Oakland General Manager] Billy Beane said Gaudin definitely wouldn’t give up another run this year. He showed us a pie chart!”
Manager Lou Piniella is also excited about the deal, and looks forward to integrating Gaudin into the team.
“We’re gonna start Chad out in the pen,” Piniella said, “and then slowly work him into the rotation. And then after he’s comfortable there, we’re gonna start working him into the outfield. Eventually, we’d like him to be a starting pitcher, as well as our starting right fielder, second baseman, catcher, third base coach, and some kind of super mascot.”
Despite the Cubs’ claims that Gaudin is their man, fans and media are referring to the trade as “the Rich Harden” deal, presumably because of the inclusion of Oakland A’s starter Rich Harden in the deal. Though Harden has a paper-thin ERA this year and one of the best strikeout to walk ratios in baseball, the Cubs stand by their claim that the deal was all about Gaudin.
“Sure, getting Richie Holden as a throw in is great,” Hendry said. “We’ll probably send him down to AA to work out some of his kinks, but after a few years, he might just be ready to contribute. And that’s all you can hope for with a throw in player.”