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.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players

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Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.