As the 2011 MLB trade deadline approaches, Nick Cafardo and Kevin Goldstein are reporting that the Boston Red Sox are set to acquire Rich Harden from the Oakland Athletics. In return the A's would receive AAA first baseman Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. The deal has not been finalized but appears close to fruition. The Red Sox had sent scouts to recent A's games and appear to be set to bring in Rich Harden as a back of the rotation arm for the stretch run.
Although Rich Harden has been injury prone throughout his career, there is no denying the talent he brings to the table. Harden missed the first three months of the 2011 season but he has made five straight starts since coming off the disabled list July 1. In those starts he is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA. Aside from a tough start against the Rangers, Harden has been quite solid in limited action.
Lars Anderson was drafted by the Red Sox in 2006 and has slowly worked his way up the ladder. He briefly stalled with Double-A Portland but kicked it up and earned a promotion to Triple-A in 2010. In 2011, he has a line of .261/.362/.420 with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs. Although his numbers aren't huge, the A's likely are fans of his high on base percentage. Additionally, considering Harden was a low risk investment, any return on him is like playing with house money.