MLB.com has confirmed that the Cubs have traded left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny to the Nationals for three Minor Leaguers -- 22-year-old outfielder Michael Burgess, 24-year-old right-hander A.J. Morris and 20-year-old lefty Graham Hicks.
The Cubs have not commented on the deal.
Gorzelanny, 29 next season, became expendable when Garza was acquired from the Rays a little more than a week ago. Chicago feels comfortable with its rotation, even though it isn't guaranteed to have a left-handed starter next season, and the farm system needed replenishing after it took a package of five players to land Garza.
While none of the prospects Chicago is receiving may necessarily compare to 2010 Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, both sent over to the Rays, they do come with positive reviews. Burgess hit .265 with 18 home runs and 85 RBIs between Class A and Double-A last season, and his home run totals the previous two years were 19 and 24, respectively. Burgess was a supplemental-round Draft pick in 2007.
Morris, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, was a fourth-rounder in 2009 and went 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA in 86 innings last season between rookie ball and Class A, striking out 71 and walking 28. Sixteen of his 27 appearances were starts.
Hicks was also a fourth-round pick, in 2008, out of George Jenkins High School in Florida. In 2010, in his third professional season, he went 2-6 with a 5.02 ERA in 71 2/3 innings over 16 starts. All but one of those starts were for Class A Hagerstown. The other was with the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League.
It's no surprise that the Cubs found a trading partner in the Nationals. Though considered a fringe player in the sweepstakes, Washington nonetheless kicked the tires on Cliff Lee before he signed with Philadelphia, and the Nationals also struck a deal for Zack Greinke but were rebuffed by him as well.
Born in Evergreen Park, Ill., Gorzelanny improved on the prior year in 2010 by going 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA and striking out 119 in 136 1/3 innings. He was traded to the Cubs from the Pirates at the Trade Deadline in 2009, and he finished his time in Chicago 11-11 with a 4.43 ERA in 42 appearances, 30 of them starts.
Gorzelanny filed for arbitration on Friday and is due a raise from the $800,000 he made in 2010. He isn't to be a free agent until after the 2013 season.
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