The Chicago Cubs have done what was expected for weeks, trading lefty Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals for three prospects, two pitchers and an outfielder, according to Bruce Levine. It was a pure roster/salary dump for the Cubs, even though Gorzelanny is scheduled to make barely $2 million in his second year of arbitration. The addition of Matt Garza left the Cubs with more quality starters than they had room for, and the writing was on the wall for the otherwise valuable Gorzelanny.
Jon Morosi says the outfielder in the deal is Michael Burgess. Going into the 2010 season, the 22-year-old Burgess was a top 10 prospect in the Nationals system by most accounts. He was drafted out of high school at the very back-end of the supplemental round of the 2007 draft, and this year, splitting time between high A and AA, the right fielder put up a combined .822 OPS (his better numbers actually came in AA). It looks like Burgess replaces recently-departed Brandon Guyer as the nearest to the bigs corner outfielder in the Cubs’ system. We’ll update when we’ve heard who the two pitchers are, but for now, this is looking like a solid deal.
UPDATE: According to Bill Ladson, one of the two pitchers headed to the Cubs is A.J. Morris, a 24-year-old 4th rounder in the 2009 Draft. Morris, a righty, hasn’t made it past high A ball (he was 23 for the 2010 season), and has put up only minimally solid numbers in the last two years. Good K/BB, decent WHIP, mediocre ERA. Nats fans, for what it’s worth, seem unhappy about his inclusion in the deal – though I’m not sure I see why. Yet.
More on Burgess and Morris: John Sickels has Burgess 8th in the Nats system, with Morris at 17. Both are graded as C+ prospects, which would place them somewhere between 8th and 18th on the Cubs list. For reference, some C+ guys in the Cubs’ (very deep) system: Robinson Lopez, Austin Reed, DJ LeMahieu, Marquez Smith, Alberto Cabrera, Rafael Dolis, Brett Wallach, Brooks Raley, etc.