San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported in a recent article that A’s right-hander Rich Harden is still drawing some interest from other teams in search of pitching. Among those teams, Slusser lists the New York Yankees as a possible suitor for Harden’s services.
Harden, 29, has made nine starts this season for the A’s after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract this past offseason. Oakland’s oft-injured flamethrower has had some shining moments this season, with his most recent start on Friday against Toronto being his best performance this year.
He struck out a whopping 11 batters in seven shutout innings against a pretty darn good Blue Jays offense. Harden channeled his inner-Houdini, as he escaped a potentially dangerous first inning by striking out three consecutive batters after loading the bases. From there, Harden’s performance was outstanding.
The A’s came close to a deal to move Harden to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Boston’s 1B Lars Anderson, but the deal ultimately fell through. The Red Sox were not convinced apparently that Harden would remain healthy for the remainder of the season.
Oakland knows all too well that Harden’s body takes a beating during the course of a full season, but the team also knows what type of pitcher Harden is while healthy. According to reports, the A’s right-hander has been receiving some special attention from other clubs out there in search of pitching.
Scouts have been attending Harden’s starts, and I’m sure all those in attendance on Friday night will say Harden’s performance was vintage-Harden. His fastball was good, and his change-up was effective. I’m pretty sure all those in attendance left the game impressed with Harden’s performance.
Should the A’s decide to move Harden, it’ll be interesting who they get in return. My guess is that Harden will be gone before Aug. 31, and Oakland should get a decent return for Harden.
On the year, Harden is 4-2 with 3.91 ERA with 60 K’s in 53.0 IP.