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Cubs Make Deal for Harden

Cubs GM Jim Hendry wasted no time answering the Brewers move for Sabathia the other day. He landed RH starter Rich Harden from the A's. He said the deal was in the works for the last couple of weeks but heated up over the holiday weekend. Harden is only 26 and has an option for '09. He has a 5-3 record with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts and 92 SO in 77 innings. While his numbers are good and he is young, he also has a tendency to get injured, having gone to the DL six times since '05. The Cubs also got 25-year old reliever Chad Gaudin, 25 who is 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA in 26 appearances. He will be used out of the bullpen but could also start, if necessary. The Cubs gave up starter Sean Gallagher, OF Matt Murton, minor leaguers OF Eric Patterson and catcher Josh Donaldson. The move provides the Cubs with a second (potential) ace at the top of their rotation to pair with Carlos Zambrano, although Harden's health problems will obviously remain a concern. For Oakland, they acquire an assortment of minor leaguers that appear to be ready for the big show. Gallagher has shown flashes of brilliance early this season and Murton has already proved that he can hit for average in the big leagues. Once again, Billy Beane seems to have pulled off a great deal for the future in dealing one of his talented starting pitchers.