The Chicago Cubs today acquired outfielder Michael Burgess, left-handed pitcher Graham Hicks and right-handed pitcher A.J. Morris from the Washington Nationals for left-handed pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. This now continues the much needed salary dumping strategy (or salary-shedding if you will, if that sounds a bit more pleasant)
Chicago’s 40-man MLB roster now stands at 38 players.
Burgess, 22, was selected by the Nationals in the supplemental round (49th overall, between the first and second rounds) of the 2007 Draft. The left-handed batter and thrower last year combined to hit .265 (122-for-460) with 26 doubles, six triples, 18 home runs, 85 RBI and a .357 on-base percentage in 122 games between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. Burgess has been named a minor league All-Star in each of his four professional seasons, including a spot on the 2010 Carolina League mid-season All-Star team.
Promoted to Double-A last August, Burgess finished the season by batting .284 (21-for-74) with five doubles, two triples, six home runs, 15 RBI, a .391 on-base percentage, .649 slugging percentage and 1.039 OPS in 21 games with Harrisburg.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Burgess is a native of Tampa , Fla. , and in 2010 was named an Arizona Fall League Rising Star.
Hicks, 20, was selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2008 Draft and went 2-6 with a 5.02 ERA (40 ER/71.2 IP) in 16 starts between short-season Single-A Vermont and Single-A Hagerstown. He combined to strike out 66 batters and walk only 25 in 71.2 innings between the stops. Hicks made all but one appearance for Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League last season.
The 6-foot-5, 170-pound Hicks is a native of Lakeland , Fla. and has made 31 starts in three professional campaigns.
Morris, 24, was selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft and combined to go 5-3 with a 3.77 ERA (36 ER/86.0 IP) in 27 appearances (16 starts) between Washington’s rookie-level Gulf Coast League club and Single-A Potomac. He limited opponents to a .230 batting average, including a .214 mark against right-handed batters and a .269 mark against left-handed batters. Morris struck out 71 batters and walked only 28 in 86.0 innings.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Morris was a 2009 Golden Spikes Award Finalist and a runner-up to winner Stephen Strasburg for amateur baseball’s highest honor. Morris is a native of Humble, Tex. , and was selected by the Nationals out of Kansas State University .
Gorzelanny, 28, went 7-9 with one save and a 4.09 ERA (62 ER/136.1 IP) in 29 appearances, 23 as a starter, with the Cubs last season. He is 36-37 with one save and a 4.68 ERA (290 ER/558.0 IP) in 118 major league appearances, 95 as a starter, with Pittsburgh (2005-09) and the Cubs (2009-10). Gorzelanny was acquired by the Cubs from the Pirates with left-handed pitcher John Grabow on July 30, 2009.Follow paulmbanks