Red Sox Acquire Rich Harden

Well, the Red Sox landed a starting pitcher.  It wasn’t Ubaldo Jimenez who was traded to the Cleveland Indians for four prospects including Drew Pomeranz (listed as player to be named later because he can’t officially be traded until August 15th due to amateur draft rules).  It wasn’t Hiroki Kuroda who apparently decided not to waive his no trade clause.  Instead, ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports the Red Sox are very close to acquiring Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for first base prospect Lars Anderson and a player to be named later (PTBNL).

While I’m on record as saying I wasn’t interested in acquiring Harden; if the PTBNL is a C grade prospect or lower, it’s a pretty good deal for the Red Sox. Harden, despite his injury history, he has great stuff and a huge ceiling.  His command is spotty at times, but he’s known for racking up the strikeouts; averaging more than a strikeout per inning for his career.  As a fly ball pitcher, he tends to give up gopher balls in bunches.  That’s something that is unlikely to change as he transitions to Fenway Park and the AL East.

Still, even if Harden flames out and hits the DL two weeks from now, could we even consider it a loss?  With Adrian Gonzalez signed through 2018, it’s pretty clear Anderson isn’t in either their short or long-term plans.  With Anderson’s value at an all-time low, it’s pretty great they were able to spin him off for something of value.  Essentially, the Red Sox traded two non-assets for a high-risk, high-reward pitcher.  While the Harden deal isn’t the ideal trade, it’s certainly nothing to shake your fist at.

In 2011, Harden had a 4.62 FIP and a 30/10 K/BB ratio in 29-1/3 innings.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Lars Anderson Rich Harden

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

10 Responses to “Red Sox Acquire Rich Harden” Subscribe

  1. hitdog July 30, 2011 at 10:30 PM #

    I like it, assuming the PTBNL doesn't end up being notable. Harden, if healthy enough, can pitch 5-6 innings on a regular basis giving up few runs with many bats missed. Anderson was never going to play regularly in Boston unless something catastrophic happened, and now Oakland has more flawed 1B in AAA than any team in the majors. The hope is still that Harden won't pitch in the playoffs, but with Buchholz hanging in the wind, I can live with that possibility. Nice knowing you, Andrew Miller.

  2. kahlil July 30, 2011 at 10:46 PM #

    love it. great deal. my antenae goes up in any dealing with the a's, rays or braves, but harden is a good pitcher and was obtained for a fair price. i assume curt young knows him well.
    not my first choice, but i am not a baseball gm.

  3. ChipBuck July 30, 2011 at 10:49 PM #

    In terms of value, it's a great deal. Harden, while a high-risk player, has a huge ceiling. If he can stay healthy and go on a run…wow. That's a BIG if, but it's possible. I like the deal mostly for the fact Anderson had no future with the club, and the PTBNL is likely to be a minor league roster filler.

  4. Kyle Goodman July 30, 2011 at 10:50 PM #

    An injury prone flyball pitcher ends up in a ballpark and a division that gives up home runs. Interesting…I dont' see what the Red Sox see here.

  5. B_isback July 31, 2011 at 1:01 AM #

    But Lars Anderson was waaaay too good to trade for Tiexiera just a few short years ago. How could this have possibly happened??

    • ChipBuck July 31, 2011 at 8:42 AM #

      That was back in 2008 when Anderson was considered to be one of the best prospects in the game. It happens.

      • B_isback July 31, 2011 at 11:13 PM #

        If you had been around on the board back then Chip, you would understand that my post is my post is dripping with complete and total sarcasm. What's even funnier to me is that this news shares front page space with a poll on Who's Untouchable. People here have finally matured in their understanding of how things work in this sport considering who leads the poll.

  6. ScottCandage July 31, 2011 at 1:06 AM #

    Harden deal dead per Susan Slusser, beat writer:

    Harden says he's staying. "I'm happy to be part of this organization. I'm looking forward to starting Tuesday." #Athletics
    http://twitter.com/#!/susanslusser/status/9752780

  7. Lyndsay July 31, 2011 at 1:18 AM #

    yup – deal fell through. :-(…wonder why.

  8. Lyndsay July 31, 2011 at 1:22 AM #

    Wonder if Sox saw something in his medicals they didn't like? The deal was "pending medical exam" a few hours ago…