Just some unorganized thoughts about the deal:
- Rich Harden has allowed 50% flyballs but has a 5.3% HR/FB rate. He's going to be pitching roughly half of his games in homer producing Wrigley Field (1.104). Harden's going to allow more than five homeruns the rest of the way, yet I wouldn't say his homerun rate is going to jump over one per game.
- Why can't Sean Gallagher step into the A's rotation without them missing a beat? He's more of a groundball pitcher than Harden which plays into the Oakland defense's hands, ranked first in defensive efficiency. Gallagher is only 22 and his K/BB ratio is 2.23, Harden's career K/BB ratio is 2.25.
- At first I thought Matt Murton was a redundancy on the Athletics roster. If Murton weren't headed to AAA a platoon between Ryan Sweeney and him would seemingly make sense.
- Is this really rebuilding? You always have to think about health when you discuss Harden, and yes Harden has been awesome this year however you can't help but think that Beane didn't think the marginal benefit of keeping Harden for another few starts and potentially having another "dead arm" situation didn't exceed the marginal cost, which in this case could've been negatively affecting his trade value.
- There's going to be a lot of talk about the A's trading their ace again, but Justin Duscherer is still in the rotation.
- There will also be debate about which NL Central rotation is better between the Cubs and the Brewers. I won't debate that now, but for the future -- or at least next season -- the Cubs would seem better off. Harden is iffy, but Sheets and Sabathia are almost guaranteed to be gone. Short term edge to the Brewers, long term to the Cubs?