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Cubs Receive Grabow, Gorzelanny From Pittsburgh

By Jay Garneau

The Cubs acquired Pittsburgh's John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny in exchange for Kevin Hart, Jose Ascanio, and minor league infielder Josh Harrison.

Grabow, 30, is a much needed experienced lefty reliever to assist Sean Marshall down in the pen. He currently holds a 3-0 record with a 3.42 ERA. While at first, Grabow seemed the least attractive of the potential lefty relief acquisitions with a .275 average allowed to lefties, it isn't as bad as it seems. Lefties are 14-51 against the southpaw, but only two of the hits were for extra bases (a double and HR).

Gorzelanny, 27, is 3-1 with a 5.19 ERA this year, but has been in AAA since early June, where his numbers have been impressive as a starter. A few things to note include that his WHIP in the majors this year is an impressive 1.15, and he is always extremely tough on lefties. He could end up being a lefty specialist out of the pen if not used as a starter.

This trade is definitely what the Cubs need, though no trade comes without a loss. The Cubs lose Kevin Hart, 26, who has seemed to hit his stride this year for the Cubs both out of the bullpen and in the rotation. While his 3-1 record and 2.60 ERA are impressive, it is possible that his 1.48 WHIP will hurt him more in the future. It is also very possible that he has simply had a very hot streak, and will end up tailing off. Ascanio, 24, is still somewhat of an unknown. He has shown both flashes of brilliance and disaster in his short time with the Cubs, and will likely end up being a solid setup man in Pittsburgh. Harrison, 22, was the Cubs' 6th round selection in the '08 draft. Primarily a 3B, Harrison has put up a solid .327-5-42 between Daytona and Peoria so far this year.

Overall, I say it's a good deal for the Cubbies. They filled their biggest weakness and made the most of their systems' value. The Cubs once again have sole possession of first, now let's make it last!

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