Patterson Talks About Trade

DES MOINES – Eric Patterson left Principal Park 20 minutes before Class AAA Iowa's game against Round Rock on Tuesday, obliging several autograph requests and posing for photographs along the way. It was a snapshot that captured the 25-year-old Patterson's departure from the organization he'd called home since 2004.

Just over an hour earlier, Patterson returned to his locker after taking batting practice. He was then told of his role in a six-player trade between the Cubs and Oakland A's.

"It's tough. You've been with an organization for four years, and you make a lot of good friends and have a relationship with a lot of the guys here," Patterson said. "But at the same time, any time you're involved in a trade, it's a good opportunity. The team you're going to wants you and has a need for you. It's just a part of the game."

Patterson was sent to Oakland along with RHP Sean Gallagher, OF Matt Murton and low-level minor league catcher Josh Donaldson in exchange for ace starter Rich Harden and reliever Chad Gaudin on Tuesday.

A speedy left-handed batting infielder/outfielder, Patterson was scheduled to play his fourth game with Iowa since he was sent down by Chicago on July 3. He batted .320 with 25 extra-base hits and was 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts with Iowa.

"It's a great opportunity to be in an organization where they definitely play young guys," Patterson said of the A's. "At the same time, they're still in the middle of it. I think they're only a few games [five] out in their division and even the wild card.

"For me, it's about … just continuing to do what I was doing here and have good AB's and try to be solid defensively, and hopefully get to Oakland and help guys win games over there," added Patterson.

Patterson was called up three times by Chicago this season and appeared in 13 games, going 9-for-38 (.237). Patterson said he talked to A's General Manager Billy Beane, who told him he would join Class AAA Sacramento. He said Beane told him: "Keep doing what you're doing and hopefully you won't be there for long."

Iowa pitcher J.R. Mathes, Patterson's roommate on road trips, said his friend was just "running around trying to figure out what happened" after the trade.

"It's definitely a shock when someone gets traded," said Mathes, who added that the entire team was sad to lose a "good guy" and good player.

"You definitely don't look to get traded. It's part of the game and it happens. He was just running around trying to figure what to do next," Mathes added.

The brother of former Cubs outfielder Corey Patterson, Eric Patterson played college ball at Georgia Tech before being drafted in the eighth round in 2004. He signed with the Cubs and began his pro career the following year at Class-A Peoria. That year (2005), he won the award for Cubs Minor League Player of the Year.

"It's been a great organization to be in. They've treated me well and, you know, the four years I was here, I've given them everything I had," Patterson said. "And they've rewarded me. I've gotten called up a couple times…I definitely feel like I've taken advantage of every opportunity they've given me. But at the same time, they saw where they could improve themselves as a team, and they made the move.

"No hard feelings at all," added Patterson. "Like I said, I definitely enjoyed the four years I was here, and I'm just excited to get over to the A's organization and do the same things I was doing here, and hopefully break through."

Iowa manager Pat Listach said he thought both teams benefited from the deal.

"It's always hard the first time [you get traded]," said Listach. "When you've been with an organization, the team that drafted you, you feel some loyalty there. And (then) we trade him. But I think he understands it's a good situation for him. It's a good situation for us. I think it's a win-win. We'll see how it plays out. Hopefully, we'll be talking about this in November after the World Series and we'll be high-fiving."

Listach said the Cubs gave up several good prospects in the trade.

"They're the cream of our crop here. These guys have all contributed in the big leagues," he said. "Gallagher is going to be a heck of a pitcher in the long run. Patterson is going to be a heck of a player. Donaldson, we drafted him in the [first round] last year and he's got a bright future ahead of him. And Murton, you've got a career .300 hitter (in the minor leagues), so there you have it. Hopefully, we're picking up a 15-20 game winner, and a solid bullpen guy who can get righties out."

Patterson was named the 10th best prospect in the Cubs organization by InsideTheIvy.com entering the season.


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