I Just Lost My Hard-On...

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Well, Rich Harden is a Cub. And Chad Gaudin, too...

First, I'll give you my thoughts on the trade (because I know the first thing you thought when this trade happened was "Wow! I wonder what E-Claire is going to say about this one!"): I'll be honest...The first thing I thought when I found out Harden was going to be a Cub was "Son of a bitch. I just went out and got this delicious sandwich and now I can't eat it because I need to get more information on this trade." The second thing I thought (after reading the full details of the trade) was: "Um...This trade is kind of bullshit." Don't get me wrong, the players the Cubs are sending over are good (although I'm still not sold on Patterson), but I thought we could've gotten more for Harden - especially with a pitcher like Gaudin thrown in. Gaudin isn't exactly an "afterthought." He had a great first half as a starter last year, and although his second half wasn't so hot, it was later discovered he was pitching hurt. And in the few starts he made this year, he was solid. You can also use him in the bullpen. And I don't have to tell you that Harden kicks ass when he's healthy. So if you package these guys together, I guess I was just expecting more. Call me greedy, but Beane has been known to score quite the deal in these types of trades, and this just didn't seem like one of his blockbuster hauls.

However, after eating my sandwich and thinking about things, I began to realize that perhaps I should just be happy that we got a decent haul for our oft-injured Canadian starter. If Beane had decided to wait and trade Harden in the offseason - and he had gotten hurt in the meantime - you could argue that a lot of A's fans would be furious that Beane didn't trade him when he had the chance. And although I am confused why Gaudin got sent to Chicago along with Harden, I am thinking Hendry would've wanted some kind of "insurance player" in case Harden went down. Gaudin was twiddling his thumbs in bullpen, and things weren't looking good for him as a starter or in the 'pen - with the emergence of Brad Ziegler. So maybe that's why he was put in the deal.

Now, onto the players the A's acquired. I like the addition of Gallagher. He's got good numbers - especially for such a young player - and he has the advantage of being able to entertain fans between innings by hitting watermelons with a sledgehammer. If this doesn't get more fans in the stadium, who knows what will?

I also like the addition of Murton. While he will be missed by Cub fans (go check out the fitting tribute at Thunder Matt's Saloon), I think he'll be a good addition to the A's lineup. We seem to have trouble hitting lefties, and Thunder Matt could be the solution we're looking for. Plus, his career average is hovering around .300, which is more than most of the A's lineup can say for itself. From what I've heard, Murton could never find regular playing time in Chicago, and perhaps getting a shot to play every day will allow him to realize his Hall of Fame potential. I think an outfield of Gonzalez, R. Sweeney, and Murton could be pretty sweet. And as an added bonus, Murton also fills the "crazy red-headed outfielder" role that has been missing on the A's roster since the departure of Bobby Kielty.

Moving on to Eric Patterson. I'll admit, just hearing the name "Patterson" irritates the crap out of me. From what I can read, Eric is a better ballplayer than his brother. But then again, so am I. But seriously, he's been good in the minors and I'm willing to give him a chance. But if he turns out to be the pre-cursor to a Mark Ellis trade, I will hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.

As for Josh Donaldson, I'll get back to you on whether or not he was a good pick-up in about 3 years. I tried to read up on him earlier tonight, but then Daft Funk said "Wanna go to the Olive Garden?" and I got distracted. Wow, this post makes it seem like I eat a lot. I'm ok with that.

So in summary, although this trade stings a little, I think Beane got an ok haul...Especially considering we could've gotten nothing had Harden hurt himself again. I'll be honest, it'll be a bit of a relief not having to worry that Harden is going to fall apart every time he steps on the mound. When he pitched, I found myself in a constant of state of fear (and drinking a lot more beer than I normally do). I would freak out if there was a game delay because I was worried he was hurt...I would freak out if Harden came out after 5 innings because I was worried he was hurt...I would freak out if he was clocked under 92 miles per hour on his fastball because I was worried he was hurt...You get the picture. I think it'll be nice to have that weight lifted off Oakland's shoulders (note to Duke: You MUST stay healthy). But I will miss my second favorite Canadian. When he was on, he was fun to watch, and when Harden was on, there was always a chance of a no-hitter lingering in the air. I wish him successful - and most of all, healthy - days in Chicago, and I hope he can help bring the Cubs the World Series Championship they've been waiting for. That is, unless the A's somehow make it to the World Series this year. Then screw everything I just said - I hope Harden pulls a shoulder muscle* and Murton hits 10 home runs in one game.

"Do they have hot chicks in Chicago? Awww yeeeeeahhh!"

*I don't really want Harden to hurt himself. That would be mean. And I'm not mean...Most of the time.