The Chicago Cubs bullpen is set: David Patton and Angel Guzman are in, Chad Gaudin and Jeff Samardzija are out. Ultimately, this is the precise series of moves we had predicted a week ago, with the exception of Gaudin being released instead of traded or DL’d.
Previously, the Cubs had indicated no one would be released. Lou Piniella said he was told by General Manager Jim Hendry that the necessary moves would be by option (which could only be Samardzija) or by trade. That Gaudin was released indicates a trade fell through, or that Hendry was far too optimistic.
Gaudin was injured late in the year last year, and despite a previously successful major league career, he was unable to recover. He was never the same pitcher, and perhaps that is the reason there were no takers. The Cubs are on the hook for $2 million owed to Gaudin, though if he is signed by another team for the league minimum, that figure will be cut to $1.6 million.
With Rich Harden looking like crap in Spring Training, how’s that trade looking now?
(rhetorical – it’s still pretty good as Sean Gallagher has struggled to even make the A’s pen, Matt Murton has since been dealt, Eric Patterson has done nothing to my knowledge, and Josh Donaldson is still a low level minor leaguer)
The bullpen is now thus: Kevin Gregg, closer; Carlos Marmol, primary setup; Aaron Heilman, setup; Neil Cotts, lefty/setup; Luis Vizcaino, middle relief; Angel Guzman, middle relief; David Patton, middle relief.