The prodigal son returns - Chicago radio stations are reporting that the Cubs have acquired starter Steve Trachsel for third baseman Scott Moore and reliever Rocky Cherry. Apparently the two minor leaguers were able to slip through waivers, or perhaps Baltimore won claims on them.
The obvious question - where does Trax fit into the Cubs' rotation? It's hard to picture him outpitching Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill, Jason Marquis, or Sean Marshall. Zambrano, Lilly, and Marquis are locks given their contracts, and Hill has the best ERA on the staff.
Marshall doesn't seem to be ailing; his last three starts have been respectable. He tossed 147.3 innings last year and is on pace for about 157 this year. That's a reasonable increase, so limiting his innings doesn't seem a reasonable reason to yank him. Maybe we're looking at a six-man rotation?
For a minute I thought maybe this was a block waiver claim, but then I remembered Trachsel cleared waivers. The Cubs must consider him an upgrade over Marshall. Marshall did have two rough outings to start the month; maybe that swayed Jim Hendry's thinking. Or maybe he just wanted some insurance and someone to use in the upcoming doubleheader.
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