The Rich Harden trade reaction

Heard this from a talent evaluator in the aftermath of the Rich Harden trade: “I think (the A’s) just traded damaged goods.”

That seems to be the majority opinion around the Coliseum right now. Harden just didn’t look right in his final two A’s starts, and that has everybody wondering if (when?) he might break down again. Wonder if Billy Beane was wondering the same thing, not that he’d ever admit it if he was.

Anyway, here are some quotes:

From Rich Harden: “I had kind of heard about (the rumors). But I was surprised when it happened, a bit of a shock. I think it’ll be good. They’re a good team, got a chance to do something special. It’s tough leaving her at the same time.  I’ve been here my whole career.”

From Beane: “I would say the Cubs were pretty aggressive. Me and (Cubs general manager Jim Hendry) talk a lot anyways. We consistently had conversations over the last month. We finally came to an agreement this morning. I don’t think there was necessarily anything that put it over the edge, other than Jim’s consistent contact, the fact that they were looking for a starting pitcher — I wouldn’t say they were looking for a starting pitcher, they were looking for Rich.

Also from Beane: “We were balancing, respecting that the club is playing well while also keeping in mind we’ve had numerous injuries over the past week. Guys have done a good job trying to battle as much as they can. But I think we also started thinking as we go forward, what we set out to do this year. I don’t think we’ve taken a step back, but I think we’ve taken a step forward for the next five years.”

From second baseman Mark Ellis: “(As players), we’ve got to be out there, play every day like we’re making a run to the playoffs. I don’t think it sends a message to us. I think it’s something they felt they had to do.”






  • ss396

    I can’t believe the A’s couldn’t get any more for Hardin. The only explanation for getting as little as the A’s got in this trade is something is wrong with Hardin.
    Sean Gallagher’s stats (3-2, 5.61 ERA) make Chad Gaudin (24-23, 4.41 ERA)look like the better pitcher. The other Cubs in the trade look like a bunch of .230 hitters, and the A’s already have plenty of .230 hitters.

  • Bill S.

    I agree completely with ss396

  • I get the trade, and like most A’s fans, I’m willing to wait and see how these kids pan out. Reading the Cub fans reactions, they really didn’t want to see Patterson go, and felt that Gallagher would be a good pitcher.
    It seems that about 93% of the time, Billy pulls it off. But it’s that other 7% that makes you nervous. Hopefully this is a Haren like deal and not a Hudson like one.

  • Cubfan Ken

    Hi A’s fans,

    Just wanted to see what you guys were thinking of the trade. Having suffered a dose of Prioritis, I’m not so sure I’m up to getting Hardenitis too. I guess the risk is worth what we are giving up. Gallagher could pan out as a number 3 pitcher, sometimes he is good, sometimes not so. Patterson has shown flashes of goodness, but has struck out at times too. I think Beane is counting on Patterson as the hidden gem in this deal. Beane’s been right before on things like this, so I am a bit scared we may regret this if Harden gets hurt like he most probably will. Murton is a .250 hitter with middling power that shows up from time to time, but not often enough. Don’t know much about the minor league catcher, but batting .200 in A ball isn’t promising.

    I hope this trade works out for all. If we can get four months of good pitching out of Harden and the Cubs can get to the World Series just once in my lifetime, I will consider the loss of Patterson, even if he turns out to be a all-star, worth it all.

  • Bee

    I don’t want to belabor the Harden trade any longer. What’s done is done. we’ll have to wait and see if Billy is a genius or he booted this one.

    I am much more concerned about Joe Blanton. Is Joe Blanton the A’s Barry Zito? It’s not so far fetched. Look at the numbers. Blanton has won 5 and lost 12, Zito is 4 and 12. Joe’s overall ERA of 4.96 is better than Barry’s 5.73, but their era’s over the last 10 games tell the story. Joe’s is 6.44, while Barry’s is 5.09, still bad but better than Joe’s and going down. In the last 10 games Joe has had given up more hits and earned runs than Barry. For the season, Joe has 62 strikeouts to Barry’s 60, Joe has pitched 34 more innings than Barry, and Barry has allowed 19 more walks. Both seem to give up runs in bunches, Koe moreso than Barry of late.

    It is also interesting to compare their history over the past few years. The last 3 seasons Joe’s won-lost record is 14-10, 16-12 and 12-12. Barry’s is 11-13, 16-10 and 14-13. Their ERA ranges are also very similar: 3.53-4.82 for Joe, and 3.86-4.53 for Barry. No big difference there.

    In short, their stats are alarmingly similar. Maybe Joe should do a stint in the bullpen like Barry did. We can’t afford any more games like lasts Sunday’s game against the Giants, and last night’s debacle.

  • Carl

    Joe’s probably angry about always coming up in trade rumors, he’d probably pitch better if he imagined suzuki’s glove was beane’s smiling face talking about trades.

  • Steve Toomajian

    It seems that the only way Rich Harden can stay off the disabled list is if he feels 100%. Otherwise, he will be on the DL or stay in the rotation with less than optimum performance. The Cubs’ GM, Jim Hendry, is willing to live with an enigma like Harden because his team already has a strong starting rotation. (It helps that he’s also desperate to end the Billy Goat curse.)

    Harden’s injury history is all you need to know when wondering why the A’s could not get the same type of top shelf players as they did in the Dan Haren trade. Billy Beane got the max in relation to the circumstances. Still, look for big things from Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson.

  • Rodrigo

    The A’s just became a whole lot more consistent with 3 of the 4 acquisitions. The young Patterson needs to mature to be big league ready. If your guy Murton relaxes, a .300 hitter over the last 4 years is nothing to sneeze at. He’s durable, has very good character, and brings no surprises or baggage. Gallagher looks to be every bit that solid as well.

  • Randy

    I am a Cubs fana and I have not missed a game since 2002. Gallagher has a chance to be a solid 3 or 4 starter, good stuff and he is only 22. Murton is just adequate, usually he was a liability in the OF lacking true power that a corner OF should have. He looked good last night, but that kind of OF play is rare from him, he does not have a good or accurate arm. But he does hit lefties well. Do not expect big things from Patterson unless he moves back to 2B and has better pitch selection. He is similar to his older brother Corey but without as much power, but also does not strike out as much either. He was late to team practices in the past and sent back down to the minors. The Patterson brothers seem to have a chip on their shoulder and do not take to coaching well. The minor league catcher was highly rated in the past but has declined lately and has not done much in the low level minors. No matter what happens I believe it worked well for both clubs. The Cubs did not need or use any of these players in the trade, it clears room from our bench and minor leagues and in return we get a frontline starter.