Saturday night, it appeared that Oakland Athletics righthander Rich Harden had been traded to the Boston Red Sox for pitching prospect Lars Anderson. Anderson was even pulled from his Triple-A Pawtucket start.
The plot grew thicker. Harden told reporters he wasn’t going anywhere, and now we know the reason, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe:
The deal was killed by Harden’s medical history. According to an MLB source, the Red Sox pulled the plug after reviewing Harden’s records and coming to the conclusion he would not be able to get through the season.
This has been a hallmark of Harden’s career — injury troubles. Although teams love Harden’s fastball and performance when he’s healthy, the truth is that he has almost never been healthy during his career. He won’t turn 30 until November, but in his nine major league seasons he’s made 30 or more starts only once — 31 in 2004, his first full major league season.
Other than that, he has spent time on the DL every season and the last time he was truly effective was the second half of the 2008 season, when he posted a 1.77 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 13 starts, striking out 92 in 77 innings after being acquired by the Cubs in a multiplayer deal in July.
The current proposed deal with the Red Sox is off.