One has to wonder what the organization that is responsible for the destruction of the arms of two young, can't-miss aces like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior is going to do to the already fragile Rich Harden. Clearly feeling the pressure to call Milwaukee's raising of the pot, the Cubs sent Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and Josh Donaldson to Oakland for Harden and Chad Gaudin. I've personally never thought much of Chad Gaudin-- his WHIP is simply too high for me to consider as being effective--so the deal boils down to Gaudin eating innings at roughly league average and the brittle but talented Harden coming to Chicago and Billy Beane continuing the restocking process of his armory.
Realistically, does anyone actually see Harden making more than ten starts for the Cubs? He's currently three games shy of matching his total appearances in the 2006 and 2007 seasons combined, which would indicate to me that a trip to the DL is in the near future. Does he go down in his first start? After all, the man has passed the 100 innings pitched threshold all of twice since he broke into the league in 2003 (128.0 IP in 2005 and an aberrant 189.2 IP in 2004). Donning the Cubs uniform will surely result in his arm actually withering and falling from its socket, fluttering to the ground like a maple leaf in early November.