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Rich Harden’s deal fell through over — wait for it — his medical records

Jul 31, 2011, 7:07 AM EDT

rich harden a's injured

Seeing Rich Harden’s trade to the Red Sox go sideways late last night was rather surprising and rather odd, but now that we know the reason, it’s not that surprising after all:  the Red Sox called it off after looking at his medical records.

Shocking, I know. Here’s how WEEI’s Alex Speier reports it:

A review of medicals after an agreement on the parameters of the deal, according to a baseball source, led to uncertainty about what kind of contribution the Red Sox could expect from Harden down the stretch, and whether he would be able to make enough starts to justify the trade.

I’m sure that “because his medical records are as long as ‘War and Peace’ and as dense as ‘Ulysses’ thus no one in Boston could even get through them” had something to do with it too. They probably found sixteen types of fractures and strains that were heretofore unknown to medical science. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was also information suggesting that Harden has a vestigial twin or something. And that the vestigial twin is injured too.

Speier says that it is unlikely that talks between Boston and Oakland will resume, so this deal is more than mostly dead. It’s just dead.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    Louis “I am closing this place Ricky. I am shocked Ricky to find out that there is gambling going on in this establishment.” Ricky “Here are your winnings Louis.” Or something to that effect.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:29 AM

      Oh man, does that mean there will be more Lars Anderson trade rumors today?

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:37 AM

        We know that Lars is available.

  2. halladaysbiceps - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:27 AM

    Boston found out that Oakland had been treating Harden’s arm ailments in the past with a witch doctor. His medical records were documented by a shaman whom they did not agree with.

  3. newpairofsox - Jul 31, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    Thankfully, common sense prevailed.

  4. ryanmallettsbluntwrap - Jul 31, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    Today is going to be a crazy day my friends , most likely some trades that no one at all saw coming .

  5. clydeserra - Jul 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    It seems like bs to me. there is no way front office professionals did not know about Harden’s medical history.

    I would not be surprised if the red sox used anderson to thwart a harden deal with the yankees

    • hansgruber - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      Scouts might watch a player and make educated guesses about various injuries, but that’s a poor substitute for an MRI.

      Medical records are closely guarded. There is HIPPA, and teams don’t want to give unnecessary advantages to opponents. How surprising is it that an oft-injured guy like Harden would have a deal-breaker medical file?

      I doubt the purpose was to thwart a deal with the Yankees, because the Anderson for Harden deal would have been a good one if Harden’s medical report was decent. With Gonzalez entrenched at first base, Anderson has nowhere to go in the Red Sox organization. If the Yankees wanted to make a deal for Harden, they would have done it. They wisely chose not to.

  6. Walk - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Make the deal like this, almost same as a players incentives. If Harden is physically able to make x number of starts, to be negotiated he gets a player to be named later. Say he makes his next full month of starts with no issues deal is done and full package is sent. If not depending on the number of starts they get a lesser player or have to forfeit the ptbnl. I am sure there are ways to cheat this but you could throw in a medical exam challenge or something. Random thought concluded.

    • clydeserra - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      So, as long as there is no risk to the Red Sox, the deal is OK?

      • hansgruber - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        With a pitcher of average health history, you make the deal and take your chances. With an oft-injured guy like Harden, his “full risk” trade value is nil. In order for the A’s to get meaningful value from a trade, they have to either prove he’s got half a season left in his arm, or do something to mitigate the risk.

  7. Walk - Jul 31, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    There is no way to get around risk with either side of a trade. I was just offering up a thought i had on trading for players with known injury risks. I would say that this made more sense for me with ubaldo jiminez than it does with harden. They rockies would not even let a medical exam be conducted by the yankees.

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