Trading Rich Harden

Rich Harden‘s name first popped up in trade rumors in December.  John Delcos spoke with Mets GM Omar Minaya and indicated that the A’s starter was surprisingly available, perhaps for a package of Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman, and Philip HumberKen Rosenthal later indicated that it was Dan Haren the Mets really wanted.  A confusing situation all around.

Buster Olney brought the rumor back to life today in his blog with some informed speculation.  He thinks that if Harden could stay healthy for a month or two, there could be a huge market for him at the deadline.  He’s locked up at a reasonable price through 2009.

Olney speculates that the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, or the big money teams could make a play.  One source Olney spoke to liked the Devil Rays as a suitor.  Personally I think Kazmir/Harden would be a lot better on paper than in reality, much like Prior/Wood.  I have to admit that putting Elijah Dukes and Milton Bradley on the same team could be cool.  Sidenote: Dukes seems like a changed man.  He sounds like a normal guy now, hanging out and eating Red Lobster with his family

Acquiring Harden in exchange for top tier talent would certainly be a risky move for a GM.  One GM not afraid to take risks: Kenny Williams.  The White Sox have a great medical staff, too.

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