Anatomy Of The Deal
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry checked in from time to time throughout June with Oakland general manager Billy Beane about the availability of Rich Harden, and their conversations traveled down the same path: Yes, Harden was available, but only at the right price, and that price would include right-handed pitcher Sean Gallagher. And Hendry indicated, repeatedly, that Gallagher wasn't available.
On Sunday evening -- the same night when word broke that the Brewers had worked out a deal for CC Sabathia -- Hendry indicated to Beane for the first time that he would make Gallagher available in a Harden deal, but it would create a problem: If Gallagher was traded, the Cubs wouldn't have the kind of depth they needed to deal with an injury.
"Let me call you back," Beane said.
Beane had an idea. He could fill Hendry's need for depth by adding veteran swingman Chad Gaudin in the trade. He phoned Hendry back on Monday night with the suggestion. "That could work," Hendry said, and the two general managers began piecing together other parts of the trade. Beane called Hendry with a detail of the trade very late on Monday night, California time, figuring the call would switch over to voice mail on Hendry's cell phone because it was so late.
But Hendry answered the phone, wide awake. "Jim, what are doing awake?" Beane asked.
"I'm just laying here on my couch," Hendry said.
Some 15 hours later, the trade was finished. Oakland got Gallagher, a pitching prospect with a more stable medical history than Harden, and the Cubs got a high-risk, high-reward talent in Harden.
-- Buster Olney