A's Deal Harden, Gaudin For Four Cubs

With the injuries mounting on their big league roster, the Oakland A's front office made a statement about the direction of their deadline dealings, trading top starter Rich Harden and swingman Chad Gaudin for a package of four players from the first place Chicago Cubs.

The Oakland A's, sitting six games behind the Los Angeles Angels, made a move to make their club younger on Tuesday, dealing right-handers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for six players from the Chicago Cubs. The package from Chicago is a mix of players with major league experience and minor league prospects: RHP Sean Gallagher, catcher Josh Donaldson, IF/OF Eric Patterson and outfielder Matt Murton. Dallas Braden has been recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill Gaudin's spot in the bullpen, while Mike Sweeney has been transferred to the 60-day DL.

Harden was considered one of the prizes of the trade deadline. The uber-talented right-hander has missed most of the past three years with injuries, but he has been relatively healthy this season. In 13 starts this year, he is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 92 strike-outs in 77 innings.

Gaudin began the year in the A's rotation, but he had been pitching out of the bullpen since May. He was 5-3 with a 3.59 ERA and 44 strike-outs in 58.2 innings. The Cubs will be Gaudin's fourth team. He played for Tampa Bay and Toronto before coming to Oakland. Harden has been with the A's for his entire career.

Gallagher is 3-4 with a 4.45 ERA and 49 strike-outs in 58.2 innings for Chicago this season. He is in his first full season in the big leagues after making eight appearances for the Cubs in 2007. He was 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Iowa earlier in the year.

Patterson, the younger brother of the Reds' Corey Patterson, is a second baseman who can also play the outfield. He has spent most of the season at Triple-A Iowa, where he was hitting .320 with six homers, 11 stolen bases and a 875 OPS in 52 games for the I-Cubs. He has appeared in 13 games with Chicago this season, and is batting .237 with a homer at the big league level. Patterson is a left-handed hitter.

Murton has been up-and-down between Chicago and Triple-A Iowa for the past three seasons. Acquired with Nomar Garciaparra in 2004, Murton was batting .298 with one homer and a 780 OPS at Triple-A this season. In 19 big league games, he was hitting .250 with six RBIs. Last season, he hit .331 with six homers in 39 games at Triple-A and .281 with eight homers and a 791 OPS in 94 games for the Cubs.

Donaldson is the only one of the four who doesn't have major league experience. The catcher is with Low-A Peoria and he is currently hitting .217 with six homeruns in 63 games in the Midwest League. He is a right-handed hitting catcher out of Auburn University. He was the 48th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Cubs.

Gallagher, Murton and Patterson are being added to the A's 40-man roster.

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