Reports across the Cub Fan Nation
As promised, here are some takes by some of the other prolific Cub bloggers out there. As of this writing:
Bleed Cubbie Blue: They've got nothin'.
On the BCB Fan Blog, however, writer "mrmaroon" writes: Hopefully this'll end up being a good deal for us - I had high hopes for gallagher, but Hendry usually knows what he's doing. Was that before or after Jim swung deals for Steve Traschel, Craig Monroe, and Matt Lawton? Just kidding, my opinion of Jim Hendry is favorable tonight.
The Cub Reporter: Nothin'.
Baseball Toaster: Legendary Cubs blogger Derek Smart says that he's completely thrilled that the Cubs pulled off a deal for the only other true ace-level pitcher available. Yes, he's fragile, so this is high-risk, high-reward, but to me, a pitcher of a healthy Harden's character is what is required for this team to reach the next level. Not surprisingly good points all around, although Derek failed to really talk about the other players in the trade. Harden's fragility is almost made up for by Gaudin.
Ivy Chat: Nothing as of yet.
View from the Bleachers takes a just the facts ma'am approach, leaving the commentary for the rest of us schmucks.
Over at In A League of Her Own, Julie also witholds commentary except to exclaim that the trade went down.
Even the guys over at Thunder Matt's Saloon seem happy with this trade. In a post titled "Harden Hard-On" (somebody had to do it), Saloonier Daft Punk seems happy that the the Cubs acquired a player of Harden's caliber, while Thunder Matt's will be preparing an official statement tomorrow. If they're changing to an A's blog, I'm blocking them on my cell phone.
Goat Friend Chris Yarbage of the Yarbage Cub Review also only briefly reports that the trade went down, with a promise for more information later.
And, lastly, over at this little site called GROTA, there have already been three - and, with this post, four - articles about the trade. Not that I'm trying to compare us with the other Cubs blogs out there, except to say that everybody clearly has lives except those who write at GROTA.
Conclusions: Anybody who gripes that this trade cost too many prospects needs to have a re-evaluation. The Cubs dealt three players they don't have room for, and one certifiable prospect who may never be as good as either of the pitchers they landed from Oakland.
This blog - and this writer in particular - has been critical of Jim Hendry over the last few years. While he has certainly made some huge signings since the departure of Andy MacPhail, Hendry hasn't made a good trade since 2004. This trade changes everything. The Cubs are far-from-guaranteed to win anything, but they now are in an excellent position to not just reach the post season, but to go deep. Harden compliments Carlos Zambrano perfectly - he has the ability to shut down the opposition, and that is something the Cubs have been lacking from most of their rotation this season.
To summarize, a short series rotation now looks like this:
Zambrano 9-3, 2.96 ERA
Harden 5-1, 2.34 ERA
Dempster 9-3, 3.24 ERA
Lilly 9-5, 4.47 ERA
That may be the best in baseball, if they can maintain - or even improve - through October.
P.S. - If Jim Hendry can in fact land A.J. Burnett for Jason Marquis and Ronny Cedeno, he has to do it. That would be one awesome, scary Cubs team.