So, I’m going to break the rules of this countdown today because, well, I can. Initially, I only wanted to include “active” signed players but you can’t really talk about hot baseball players without including this next guy. So, with that said, we continue our countdown of the 20 Hottest MLB players, here is today’s pick:
#4 – Rich Harden
Born: November 30, 1981 (age 32)
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia
Weight: 190 lb.
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB Debut: July 21, 2003 (Oakland A’s)
Final Game: September 25, 2011
Harden was traded to the Cubs on July 8, 2008, and that’s when I fell in love with this Canadian hottie. He made his Cubs debut on July 12, against the Giants, leaving the game with a 7–0 lead after pitching 5 1⁄3 scoreless innings and striking out 10. Though the Cubs won 8–7, Harden earned a no decision after Carlos Marmol was unable to hold a five-run lead in the ninth. *Shocker!* He finally recorded his first win as a Cub on July 31, 2008, against the Brewers. On December 10, 2009, Harden signed with the Texas Rangers to a one year, $6.5 million contract. He struggled in 2010 and finished with a 5.68 ERA through 13 starts and a 5-5 record. He had a second stint with the A’s in 2011 and he finished the year at 4–4 over fifteen games with a 5.12 ERA. That would be the last time he pitched, he underwent shoulder surgery and spent the entire 2012 season in free agency without signing. After a one year hiatus from baseball due to recovering from shoulder surgery, Harden signed a minor league contract with the Twins on December 21, 2012. He was later granted release on July 28, 2013.
Rich Harden is not retired from baseball, like some might think and even though he has not pitched in a major league game since 2011, he plans to change that this season. Chris Cotillo tweeted this today:
This news made me so happy! Harden, at only 32 years old, can do it, he’s had a career of ups and downs and is one of those talented pitchers who just can’t stay healthy. I really hope that luck is on his side this time and can finally pitch again because I miss him. I miss his presence, his looks, his fastball. He can’t be done, he’s too young and talented.
Career Statistics: (Through 2011)
Win-Loss Record: 59-38
Oakland Athletics (2003–2008)
Chicago Cubs (2008–2009)
Texas Rangers (2010)
Oakland Athletics (2011)
Career Highlights and Awards:
*Pitched an Immaculate Inning (June 8, 2008)
Thanks for reading and make sure to come back tomorrow to see who made the cut for #3.