And they didn’t even have to use Cialis.
The Cubs took all of 24 hours to respond to Milwaukee’s acquisition of portly lefty C.C. Sabathia, grabbing starter Rich Harden from Oakland to shore up the pitching rotation. The Cubs also added Chad Gaudin, who will provide a quality arm in the bullpen, which can’t hurt with Carlos Marmol’s recent shakiness.
On the downside, the Cubs clubhouse will now be 50 percent less red-headed, as fan favorite and driver of the shuttle bus between Chicago and Des Moines Matt Murton will be headed to Oakland along with Eric Patterson, pitcher Sean Gallagher and a minor leaguer, Josh Donaldson.
OK, who am I fooling? Besides Gallagher, all of those guys are minor leaguers. Or at best guys that are in constant competition for the 25th spot on the roster. (Actually, I think this is the part where Donaldson goes to eight straight All-Star Games.)
Gallagher will probably turn out to be a solid No. 3 starter for the majority of his career. Maybe he’ll even have a year or two where he’ll truly flourish. No word on whether Gallagher was so distraught about the deal that he smashed a watermelon with a bat, though.
Needless to say, this could work out to be a great deal for the Cubs. Not only does the presence of Harden increase the number of Canadians in the clubhouse by 50 percent (joining Ginger Canuck Ryan Dempster), but Gaudin gives the Cubs both a solid arm and a third Cajun (Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot).
There is one caveat with Harden, and that is that he’s injury prone. Harden is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA this year, but in the past three years he’s made five trips to the DL. Also, as noted by MLBTradeRumors.com, Harden had concerns with decreased velocity/a dead arm after his last start.
Fortunately, the formula of tremendously talented but injury-prone young pitcher has never come back to haunt the Cubs in the past. As my friend Scott noted: “We should get Wood and Harden to arm wrestle just to see the trainer and GM instantly faint.”
Photo courtesy of Associated Press