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Phils miss out on Harden, Sabathia

Phils miss out on Harden, Sabathia

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PHILADELPHIA -- Check Rich Harden off the list of available pitchers for the Phillies.

Like CC Sabathia, Harden won't be arriving in Philadelphia, though the Phillies weren't in hot pursuit.

Assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said Harden's injury history factored in their decision to pull away from discussion. The right-hander, who dominated the Phillies in Oakland on June 26, landed in Chicago on Tuesday in a six-player trade.

"[Health] has to weigh in, obviously," Arbuckle said. "It doesn't do any good to get a guy and have him sit on the disabled list, and not get any production out of him. It's nice [Harden and Sabathia] aren't in our division."

Harden will be a free agent after the season. The Phillies aggressively sought Sabathia, who started for Milwaukee on Tuesday, but didn't have the premium hitting prospect the Brewers were looking for to headline a package.

The Phillies have been linked to other potential pitchers, starters A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo and Jarrod Washburn, along with relievers Brian Fuentes and Jeremy Affeldt. Arbuckle predicts more teams will be willing to trade once it gets closer to July 31.

Philadelphia will continue to search for pitching, but for a reasonable price. With Sabathia gone, the Phillies aren't as willing to part with their top prospects, such as Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson and Greg Golson -- unless it's for a caliber of pitcher who isn't close to free agency.

"If it were a real top-line guy that was controllable for a while, the more willing we are to give up prospects," Arbuckle said. "I won't use specific names, but we won't give up our top guys to get a run-of-the-mill fifth starter."

The key, though, is to add pieces to help the cause, and the Phillies understand that this may mean sacrifices.

"When you're in this situation with a chance to win, obviously we may have to swallow hard and make a deal," he said. "I think there are still possibilities. This thing still has to flush itself out because there are so many teams still alive. Some guys may become available at the 31st that aren't available now."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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