July 9, 2008

This ain’t a scene…

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

… It’s a god-damned arms race.

Firstly, I apologize profusely for quoting Fallout Boy. But after a busy weekend of trading, that’s that the NL central is looking like.

Just a day after the resurgent Milwaukee Brewers beefed up the front end of their rotation, literally and figuratively, by landing C.C. Sabathia for one of their numerous prospects down in double-A (seriously, they have ten all-stars on one team, talk about depth), the Chicago Cubs went out and, without any scent of a rumour that I heard even, landed oft-injured A’s ace Rich Harden. It didn’t even cost the Cubs that much either.

Since I didn’t get a chance to comment on the Sabathia deal since I was too overjoyed to hear that my fantasy ace was off to a contender that would actually give him run support (damn slumping Indians), here’s my thought on the NL central arms race…

I hope the Cubs training staff is ready for Harden; the Canadian righty has been on the DL six times in six seasons and once already in 2008. If you think he can last the rest of the way, you’re an idiot … Harden and Sabathia are both among the leaders of Ks per 9 innings. Harden, with an outstanding 10.75, is by far the number one in the league. Sabathia, who has 9.05 is fourth but has thrown almost 50 more innings than Harden. While moving to the NL usually helps out K numbers, I think Harden won’t maintain his pace (come on, it’s ridiculous right now) while Sabathia’s numbers may improve since he’ll get the luxury of watching pitchers try to catch up with his heat … Sabathia has a 34.71 ERA against the Chicago Cubs. Do you think he’d be starting in a potential playoff between the teams? … Harden is now the second Canadian on the Cubs along with all-star Ryan Dempster … The Cubs also landed Chad Gaudin in the deal who, while overlooked, is a gem in this deal. He can start or relieve and has a 3.59 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this year. Gaudin could be a good fourth or fifth starter.

So now, it’s up to the St. Louis Cardinals to draw an ace of their own. Too bad pickings will be limited and now they’ll have to compete with all of the other wanna-be contenders in need of an arm or two — looking your way Brian Cashman.

Now, of the quality starters still potentially left on the trade market, I’d pick the Jays’ A.J. Burnett — who obviously wants out of Canada — and the Mariners’ underachieving Eric Bedard to be most likely to move. Also look for Randy Wolf to find a new home and Freddy Garcia to find a home somewhere.

Leave a Reply