5:36pm: The AP story is out. The Cubs get Harden and Chad Gaudin for Gallagher, Murton, Patterson, and catching prospect Josh Donaldson. Jim Hendry did his best to counter the Brewers’ acquisition of CC Sabathia, and Gaudin is more than a throw-in. The A’s get three MLB-ready players plus a solid offense-oriented catching prospect. Gallagher would have to be considered the centerpiece for Oakland.
5:25pm: Dave Kaplan of WGN Radio in Chicago reports that the Cubs have acquired Rich Harden from the A’s. Sean Gallagher is reportedly part of the deal, and possibly Matt Murton. Hal McCoy says Eric Patterson and another minor leaguer are also included. More when I have it.
Harden, 26, has been dominant in 13 starts for the A’s this year. The injury-prone Harden is a tantalizing player; he’s only topped 130 innings once but has a career ERA of 3.42. The latest concern: decreased velocity/dead arm in his last start.
Harden has a $7MM club option for ’09, which is highly likely to be exercised.