The Cubs trade Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals

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Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Cubs have traded Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals for three minor leaguers.

The lefty Gorzelanny was 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 appearances, 23 of which were starts last season.  But now that the Cubs have Matt Garza in the fold to go along with Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Carlos Silva, there wasn’t a huge need for him.  If the Cubs want to go with someone besides Silva they can give James Russell starts, as Levine mentions. Gorzelanny is arbitration-eligible this year too, so the Cubs save a couple of bucks by moving him.

For the Nats, Gorzelanny enters into a rotation with Livan Hernandez, Jordan Zimmerman and a lot of anonymity, so he represents an improvement.  No sense yet of what they’re giving up, however, so this deal could look better or worse depending on who those minor leaguers are.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.