Chicago Cubs: Whatever happened to these former Cubs?

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

Chicago Cubs: Harden was a key piece for the 2008 team

On July 8, 2008, former Cubs GM Jim Hendry called Oakland to acquire veteran starter Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from the Athletics in exchange for Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and an unknown prospect named Josh Donaldson.

Harden was having a great season for Oakland and the Cubs wanted to add reinforcements to their rotation. He certainly did not disappoint as he pitched to a 1.77 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 11.3 K/9 and 0.97 WHIP in a dozen starts on the North Side in 2008.

He gave up three runs in 4 1/3 innings in his Game 3 start in the NLDS against the Dodgers, where the Cubs got painfully swept. Harden pitched again for the Cubs in 2009 and had an overall average season sporting a 4.09 ERA, 1.3 WHIP and 4.35 FIP in 26 starts.

After that Harden fell off the map. He pitched a season with Texas and made only 18 starts as he sported a 5.58 ERA and 1.67 WHIP while dealing with injuries. Harden then returned to Oakland where he pitched most of his career in 2011 and pitched to a 5.12 ERA in 15 starts.

His final MLB game was on September 25, 2011 against the Angels at only 29 years old. The veteran righty gave one last go with the Twins organization before the 2013 season after having shoulder surgery in 2012 but was eventually cut. That was the end of his pro baseball days.

While that 2008 trade for Harden began well for the Cubs, it ended up being considered one of the worst trades for the Cubs of the decade considering Donaldson evolved into an MVP.