The Nationals, who have been searching for a pitcher all winter, finally got one Monday. And while he isn't the No. 1 starter the team has been trying to acquire, the Nationals are hoping he can give a minor boost to the rotation.
The team sent three prospects to the Chicago Cubs for left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, industry sources confirmed Monday. It was not immediately known who the Nationals were sending to Chicago, though FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported outfielder Michael Burgess, one of the team's first-round picks in 2007, was headed to Chicago in the deal.
I'll have more as this develops.
UPDATE AT 3:14 P.M.: Sources have confirmed that Burgess is part of the Gorzelanny deal. He was coming off a decent season in the minors, in which he hit .265/.357/.465 across two levels, but he still strikes out too much. And with Bryce Harper now in the Nationals' system, his days as the team's right fielder of the future seemed to be over. Industry sources had pegged Burgess as one of the players the Nationals might move this winter, and now he's gone in the Gorzelanny package.
As for what the Nationals are getting back? Gorzelanny gives them a second lefty in their rotation (to go with John Lannan), and will be under their control until after 2013. He had his best two years in terms of strikeouts per nine innings in 2009 and 2010 (9.4 and 7.9, respectively), and he has learned to use his fastball more effectively (it's been rated at 2.0 and 4.2 runs above average in 2009 and 2010). He throws in the low 90s, and will register more strikeouts than some of the Nationals' other options. At the very least, he seems like an upgrade over Scott Olsen.
The price might be a little steep for Gorzelanny, especially considering he became expendable following the Matt Garza trade, but if the Nationals can't sign pitching, they'll occasionally have to give up too much in a trade for it.
UPDATE AT 5:12 P.M.: Right-hander A.J. Morris, the Nationals' fourth-round pick in 2009, has been confirmed by Single-A Potomac as another player in the deal. He pitched out of the rotation and the bullpen for the P-Nats last year, posting a 3.88 ERA in 23 games. He projects as a reliever in the majors, but didn't seem like his future was in the starting rotation; the Nationals have drafted enough other pitchers who rank above Morris on their prospect lists.
The third name hasn't shaken loose yet, but I'll have more when it does.