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.”