When the Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed starter Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays for a package of prospects a few weeks back, reports emerged almost immediately that left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny, a Pittsburgh Pirates' 2nd Round pick from the '03 Draft who was dealt to Chicago in July of '09, had become expendable. ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine wrote on January 12th in an article entitled, "Cubs may move Gorzelanny", that the 27-year-old lefty's, "future might be with another team, due to the Cubs’ abundance of starting-pitching options and budgetary issues." Late this afternoon, ESPNChicago's Mr. Levine broke the news that the Cubs had in fact dealt Gorzelanny, agreeing on a deal with the Washington Nationals that will send Gorzelanny to DC for what he reported in an article entitled, "Sources: Cubs trade Tom Gorzelanny", is a package of, "...three minor league prospects -- two pitchers and an outfielder, according to two major league sources."
MLB.com's Bill Ladson has since confirmed the deal, and added on Twitter (@washingnats) that he had, "...been told the #Nats are not giving up signifcant Minor Leaguers." FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi (@JonMorosi) just noted on Twitter that sources were telling him, "Outfielder Michael Burgess is among prospects going from #Nats to #Cubs in Gorzelanny trade."
Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio host and former D.C. GM Jim Bowden offered his own perspective on the deal shortly after reports emerged on his show "Inside Pitch":
Jim Bowden: "Let's look at it from the Cubs' perspective first. You acquire Matt Garza so now Gorzelanny doesn't fit there, because you have Garza and [Ryan] Dempster and [Carlos] Zambrano and [Randy] Wells and [Carlos] Silva over him, so he was excess and Gorzelanny did not want to really pitch in the bullpen, he wanted to start, so you understand, you have a little bit of depth there, I don't think the Cubs liked his walk ratio or his command sometimes in the strike zone, they viewed him as a fifth starter at best, and the other thing that [Cubs' GM] Jim Hendry wanted to do here is...get some prospects back because obviously he gave up a boatload to get Garza, so this is an opportunity to build some prospects back into the system. And for the Nationals, you know, look, this is a rotation with Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list, Jordan Zimmermann trying to develop, it's a very young pitching staff with some guys that aren't quite ready and some other guys that haven't achieved what they're looking for and they needed more depth. They don't know what they're going to get from Jason Marquis, no one knows if Livan Hernandez can pitch til he's 82-years-old, no one knows if John Lannan can be the guy he was three or four years ago, no one knows if Ross Detwiler is going to be able to get his game to the next level, no one knows if [Chien-Ming] Wang's gonna come back. So for the Nationals, they know they can't compete without a rotation so they go and get a lefty that at least made 23 starts in the big leagues last year...and can give you 5.0 or 6.0 and keep you in the game."
In those 23 starts (29 G), Gorzelanny was (7-9) with a 4.09 ERA, 3.92 FIP, 119 K's (7.86 K/9) and 68 BB (4.49 BB/9) for the Cubs in his sixth major league season.
• Shortly after the Gorzelanny deal was announced, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore noted on Twitter (@AdamKilgoreWP) that the Washington Nationals had avoided arbitration with another lefty, John Lannan:
"The #Nats will avoid arbitration with John Lannan. They agreed on a one-year deal for $2.75 million."
Along with the signing of Alex Cora to a minor league deal earlier today, it's a busy day for the Nats.