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Rich Harden

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The Cubs got a fantastic deal here.

Unless Beane expects Harden to get hurt again, and real soon, he basically accepted the same package that MacPhail turned down for Roberts plus Josh Donaldson, a 22 y/o with a .640 OPS at Peoria for the 2nd most valuable trade piece on the market.

I like Gallagher, but nothing else in this deal really excites me. Gallagher is the only guy the Cubs will miss. They hate Murton, Patterson is a huge defensive liability, and they've got Soto so even if Donaldson develops he's not needed.

The price the Indians got for Sabathia excited me about the trade market and the potential for the O's to get back some solid talent. But the price the A's got for Harden makes me apprehensive because its such a low price tag, IMO.

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I origially called it a great trade for both teams. I think it's a great trade for the Cubs, just ok for the A's. Harden has had a lot of trouble staying healthy so the A's dumped him before he broke down again (IF or WHEN) and they'd get nothing. Great risk taken by the Cubs. The only really valuable piece is Gallagher and even he strikes me as a #3 or #4 starter. Even if Harden goes down, the Cubs hardly lose a thing, IMO. Now, the Cubs need to find a way to keep him healthy until early October. What he gives them in the regular season is almost meaningless. His value is what he and Zambrano can bring you in a short series. A healthy tandem of those two puts the Cubs on equal or higher footing than any NL team in a short series.

Good call...it'll be interesting to see how the Cubs handle him. Definitely need to give him some innings now to keep him healthy, but they should do their best to save him for September...

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It's a good article but it seems as though the author is writing it to prove from the A's side that it was a good trade and some of the points are a bit flawed IMO.

For example, the wins that Harden is worth is based on him not being fully healthy. Well what if he is fully healthy? It also makes a case that they traded an injury prone starter for these 4 guys that they have under control for so long...No one is saying that isn't great that they have those 3 young, cheap, exciting potentially impact players, but that doesn't change the fact that they likely could have gotten more if they waited longer. Now, if Harden's hurt that goes out the window. But it seems like they are trying to justify it from the A's perspective. Most trades can be justified in some way from some point of view. But the bottom line when discussing this trade IMO is that there's not a lot of risk with the Cubs side, where the A's certainly made a risky, or maybe a better word conservative trade, which with a piece like Harden maybe wasn't the best way to go.

Well, let's put it this way. Would you give up something of value for Rocco Baldelli, because he has oodles of talent (and has proved it, too) and is only 26?

You have to take into account that Harden has pitched 139 1/3 innings total over three years, and 55% of that is this year.

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There isn't a lot of risk for the Cubs? With Harden's injury history?

Including Chad Gaudin in the deal mitigates almost all of the Cubs' risk.

If Harden goes down, then Gaudin can give the Cubs about the same production as Gallagher would have.

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If he blows out his arm in his next start, then it seems to me that they're back where they were prior to the deal.

Minus Gallagher/Murton/Patterson.

Plus Donaldson.

Not exactly back to where they were as an organization, although maybe at the major league level, which is what you were referring to.

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Yes it does, if their goal is to maintain the status quo (which definitely wouldn't be such a bad thing).

The problem is that the way I read this move is that they're looking for Harden to be the guy who will put them over the top - if he stays healthy. If he blows out his arm in his next start, then it seems to me that they're back where they were prior to the deal.

By the way, I like this deal on both sides. Harden, when healthy, is just my type of pitcher. I'm a fan, therefore I really hope he stays healthy.

Well it does cost them the chance to obtain some other upgraded starter, that's true.

Who that could/would be, is the next logical question to ask. There may not be another #3-or-better starter out there to be had.

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