Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I was just going to write about the Sox offense and how much they miss Big Papi in the middle of the lineup when Manny blasts one into the Monster Seats to tie the Twins at 5. I'll have to try that more often...

The Cubbies pretty much matched the Brewers acquisition of C.C. Sabathia by picking up Rich Harden and reliever Chad Gaudin from the A's for Sean Gallgher, former Sox farmhand Matt Murton and two minor leaguers.

Harden's big question, of course, has always been his health. Harden has only had more than 30 starts once in his six seasons. If he can stay healthy, though, he's as good as they get.

The surprise for me is that the A's made this trade at this point in the season. They're only 3.5 games out of the wild card, and trading a good (if fragile) starter and a serviceable bullpen arm smacks of giving up. I know Billy Beane is always looking to reload his farm system, and maybe he thought he wouldn't be able to keep Harden long term, but it just doesn't seem like the right move at this time for the A's.

In any event, this should keep things interesting in the NL Central race. Think the Cardinals will do anything to counter these moves?


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