Monday, Jan. 17, 2011
Posted 1:49 p.m. Updated 4:27 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
Tom Gorzelanny knew his name was being mentioned in trade rumors, but attended the Cubs Convention anyway this weekend. Now hes flying to Washington for a physical that should complete the deal by Tuesday.
The Cubs have set the framework for a trade that will send Gorzelanny to the Nationals for three minor-league prospects, sources said Monday.
The speculation increased once the Cubs acquired Matt Garza to anchor their staff. By moving Gorzelanny, they shed some salary and begin restocking their prospect base after sending five players to Tampa Bay in the Garza deal.
A source confirmed that the package from Washington will include pitcher A.J. Morris and outfielder Michael Burgess. A formal announcement of the trade, which was first reported by ESPN Chicago, isnt expected until Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Morris was a fourth-round pick out of Kansas State University in 2009 and finished last season at the Class-A level. Burgess, 22, was chosen 49th overall in the 2007 draft and has played in the Arizona Fall League. But his future in the Washington outfield became unclear as the Nationals invested so much in Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.
Neither Morris nor Burgess is found on Baseball Americas list of Washingtons top 10 prospects.
The 28-year-old Gorzelanny, who was born in Evergreen Park and went to Marist High School, will get a change of scenery. The left-hander went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA and earned 800,000 last season. He is due for a raise in his second year of arbitration.
The Cubs feel they have a surplus of starting pitchers at the back end of their starting rotation. Theyre considering stretching out reliever James Russell to give them a left-handed option.
Gorzelanny received little offensive support last season two runs or less in 15 of his 23 starts. He pitched very well at times, but not often enough to become untouchable. In Washington, he will be competing for a job all over again.
PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.