As soon as I got a call from my buddy saying that CC (note, no periods) Sabathia was traded to the Brewers, I started thinking about how the Cubs were going to respond. And now that they have, the thought of who got the better deal came to my mind. Here are some things to consider before you respond
To me and many others, Sabathia was the best player on the market this summer and is arguably the (potentially) biggest name in the free agent market next winter (can the Brewers afford to re-sign him in addition to Prince Fielder?).
However, that doesn't mean that Harden is a bad pick up or a consolation prize. Harden IS a legitimate ace. And in addition to Harden, the Cubs picked up Chad Gaudin (which you know), while the Brewers only got Sabathia. Gaudin is a potential competitor for a starter's role next year in spring training (I'm waiting for Marquis to be traded. And if I was Hendry I'd take the first offer that came my way. Even Jacque Jones. Ok maybe not Jacque Jones. You get the idea). He's young and had major league experience and may be a better option than say Sean Marshall given that he has proven success and consistancy in a major league rotation.
The Brewers gave up a ton of their farm system to get Sabathia, who might only be on their roster for a few months. They are also not in first place in the NL Central and don't have a playoff spot secured by any means. It seems like they are giving a lot for a team that isn't in position to win the world series. On paper, the Cubs (even without Harden) seem better than the Brewers. The Cubs on the other hand did give up some players who will make a major league roster if not this year then in 2-3. Matt Murton is a player who many believe just needs a chance to break out, Eric Patterson showed us just what he can do with his bat during the Cubs/Sox series at Wrigley (and what he can't do with his glove at the Cell). Patterson, as you probably know, was in the Futures game last year and has a ton of upside, despite not really having a true defensive position. Sean Gallagher you all should know about. And then there's Josh Donaldson, who I will admit hadn't heard much about prior to reading a few reports. He seems to be a major league catcher of the future but was probably a throw in given that he is only in A ball.
One other thing to consider: Harden is signed through next year.
So what do you think? Who got the better end of the deal?