While most teams are constantly scrounging for pitching, apparently the Cubs felt they had too many pitchers. They made two separate deals today sending Rich Hill and Michael Wuertz to the Orioles and Athletics respectively.
Rich Hill is an interesting pick up for the Orioles. According to the source reporting the story, Hill will be reunited with his former minor league pitching and bullpen coaches, now with Baltimore at the major league level. Hill was pretty good just two years ago and it seemed like he got in Lou Piniella's dog house real early in 2008. A loss of control will do that to a manager.
Hill lost the plate in his early appearances, walking 18 in only 19+ innings. But in 2007, he posted a WHIP as a starter of 1.19 and 1.23 the year before that. If the Orioles can find the flaw that Hill developed (unless it's a mental problem), they could have themselves a pretty good pitcher.
Michael Wuertz has been a consistent, if not dominating, relief pitcher for the Cubs the past five years. He's never been terrible and was occasionally very good. His five year Win Share total is relative to Farnsworth. This is he kind of deal the A's are famous for and they get a guy they can count on out of the bullpen for only $860,000.
The Cubs did not pick up any value at all in the deals and this appears to be a straight roster dump.
In an unrelated note, the Fan's goal in life (singing: To Dream the impossible dream...) is to make it to the first page of the daily listing of blogs on sportsblogs.org. The Fan has been generating about 28 hits a day from that site and the leaders around 45 to 50. Today was a good day and the morning post hit around 38. This pleased the Fan until he noted that the link site has gone crazy today and the leaders came in at around 120 hits, still leaving the Fan lurking back out of the top dozen pages of links.
Oh well, the Fan does appreciate his readers and will keep plodding along until that inevitable breakthrough occurs.