After missing all of last season due to injury Rich Harden signed a minor league deal with the Twins.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the 31-year-old is still being considered a starter. But it feels long over due to start looking at Harden as a reliever.
The guy’s durability is nonexistent. So if there’s any value left in his right arm why not try and better maintain his health as a late-inning reliever?
It’s likely to limit him from making too many back-to-back appearances, but it can’t be any worse than Harden’s tough luck staying healthy as a starter.
Anyway, I always remember Harden as Jim Hendry’s answer to the Brewers trading for CC Sabathia in 2008, who was practically untouchable with Milwaukee (11-2, 1.65). But Harden held his own in 12 starts with Chicago:
(5-1, 1.77), ERA+258. No doubt one of Hendry’s better trades.
Unfortunately more arm problems limited Harden to 26 starts the following season (9-9, 4.09) and the Cubs smartly parted ways in the offseason.
Oh yeah, who could forget Harden’s ever present smirking grin? Where have I seen that before?
Shocking news out of Rangers camp…Rich Harden has been placed on the DL with a strain glute.
The right-hander struggling so badly in Texas he was nearly removed from the rotation just days before.
Now he’s back in his comfort zone, on the training table for the next 15-days.
How this man makes $7.5M is beyond me. Jim Hendry could not have been more right parting ways with Harden when he did.
In another unsurprising move, the Brewers released Jeff Suppan who’s steadily gotten worse since 2007 when he signed the richest contract in Milwaukee’s history: $42M over 4-yr.
Now he’s back with the Cardinals, and pitching guru Dave Duncan, who made Suppan a very respectable post season pitcher in 2006 during St. Louis’ World Series run.
It’s just what the Cubs don’t need–Duncan rekindling an old flame!
If I’m Jim Hendry, I take a look at Ian Snell who was dumped by Seattle this week.
Snell never adjusted to starting in the American League, but he did have a few successful years with Pittsburgh.
I’d take a run at Snell as a veteran bullpen arm…Lord knows, the Cubs need the late inning help!
Twelve starts without a trip to the DL counts as a win for former Cub Rich Harden. But that’s all the right-hander has going for him this season in Texas.
He’s on the brink of being removed from the rotation having lasted six or more innings just twice while allowing 59 hits in 59 innings pitched, and posting an inflated 5.34 ERA. During his last outing Sunday, Harden threw 111 pitches through five innings–all too typical for the 28-year-old–in taking the loss against Tampa Bay.
If the guy pitched with any efficiency he’d consistently be a 15-game winner. But until a team pays him for what he is–a No. 5 starter–instead of what he could be–a staff ace–Harden seems to have no problem pitching five innings for $7.5M dollars.
We wanted all three—Brian Roberts, Ben Sheets & Rich Harden—but the Cubs choose otherwise, not landing a single one due to scouting reports, money…or simply both.
Those decisions, as it turns out, proved wise on the Cubs part.
Kevin Gregg has been classified a Type A free agent.
Basically, that means if another team signs him the Cubs get a first-round compensation pick.
Are you kidding me, what a steal!
Think about this, a first-round pick for a guy with a losing record, seven blown seven saves and a 4.72 ERA. Eh?
Of course, considering Gregg was suppose to saves games for a team destined for the postseason, it’s not all that funny, but interesting nonetheless!
Rich Harden, on the other hand, is classified a Type B free agent.
Just heard baseball reporter Bruce Levine say on ESPN 1000 that Jim Hendry is working hard on laying the foundation for a Bradley trade.
With the GM meeting having wrapped up at Noon Wednesday and no word of a Bradley deal (at least not yet, anyway) it seems most likely a Milton deal gets done in about three weeks at the Baseball Winter Meetings.
As expected, Levine went on to say that Hendry’s first priority in such a deal is money first (the Cubs still owe Milton $21 milion) and the caliber of player in return second.
Lastly, they’re whispers the Cubs are interested in adding Marlon Byrd to play centerfield with Fukudome moving back to right field. Byrd is coming off the best year of his career at the plate and is an above average outfielder as well.
The common link throughout many of the reports is Bryd’s interest in continuing to work with Rudy Jaramillo, his former hitting instructor with the Rangers.
Let’s see if anything further develops this afternoon. More to come Thursday.
Typical Cubbies Wednesday night, what more can I say?
The season is so dead; we’re already talking about the 2010 schedule with excitement. Yeaeaaah, Whoopiee…big-deal!
This series against the Brewers was supposed to be a big deal last year, and now it’s what? Plain. Awful. Baseball.
Anyway, it’s also late, my eyes are heavy and I’ve got a big day tomorrow, that being lunch at the Backstage Bistro.
So I’ll leave you with this…No Way the Cubs should resign Harden this offseason (and I’ve been saying this for many months now).
The coldest, driest, calmest place on earth has been discovered.
Surprisingly, it’s not located at the corner of Clark and Addison, which was my first guess.
Instead, a spot called Ridge A, located on the Antarctic Plateau, takes first prize.
The average winter temperature there is a balmy minus 93-degress Fahrenheit–that’s minus 70-degrees Celsius and roughly a wee-bit colder than the Cubs’ playoff chances.
And why on earth, Ridge A included, is Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman still on the Cubs roster?
The Cubs should trade Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman.
Both were claimed off waivers: the Twins reportedly setting their sites set on Harden, the Giants eyeing Heilman.
Chicago hasn’t had a break this good all month!
This was the pitcher the Cubs traded for a year ago.
The Rich Harden who’s capable of setting down 16 straight batters with ease.
The Cubs needed this sweep of a down-and-out Reds club, and Harden delivered a gem!
What I equally love is Harden dismissing his home and away splits as ‘ridiculous.’
The numbers don’t always tell the whole story, as is the case this season with Rich, so why dwell on them?