Tom Gorzelanny is heading to Washington for three prospects, the Cubs and Nationals announced today. Lefty Graham Hicks, right-hander A.J. Morris and outfielder Michael Burgess are going to Chicago in the trade.
The Nationals have been looking to bolster their rotation all offseason long. Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke spurned the Nationals, but GM Mike Rizzo continued his pursuit of arms. Once the Cubs acquired Matt Garza from the Rays, Chicago had a starter to spare and the team seriously considered moving Gorzelanny.
Gorzelanny posted a 4.09 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings for the Cubs last year. The left-hander started 23 games, after spending most of the 2009 season as a reliever. Though Gorzelanny faded as the 2010 season progressed, he has logged over 200 innings before. The 28-year-old's best season may have come in 2007, when he posted a 3.88 ERA in 201 2/3 innings for the Pirates.
Morris, 24, posted a 3.77 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 86 innings as a swingman at Rookie ball and Class A last year. The 2009 fourth rounder has yet to pitch in the upper minors. Neither Morris nor Burgess appeared on Baseball America's list of top ten Nationals prospects.
Burgess, 22, posted a .265/.357/.465 line in 529 plate appearances at Class A and Double-A last year. The 2007 supplementary first rounder has hit at least 18 homers in eacch of the past three seasons.
A super two player, Gorzelanny is on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season. He agreed to terms on a $2.1MM deal for 2011 yesterday.
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com first reported the trade and MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported on the deal as the story broke.