The will-they-won’t-they saga between the Chicago Cubs and Brandon Webb is second only to the will-they-won’t-they saga between the Chicago Cubs and Matt Garza. According to Bruce Levine, the “will they” part is back on.

In his weekly chat yesterday, he was dropping suggestions all over the place that the Cubs are still going hard after Garza.

Garza is the guy they’re after.

I can guarantee you Hendry is working hard over the holidays to try to obtain Garza or another quality starter.

The Cubs I’m sure will kick the tires on Carmona, although I’m hearing Cleveland is asking for other teams’ top two prospects. Cubs have prospects to trade for a pitcher, but not guys like Jackson or Archer. Garza is the more likely candidate to come to Chicago.

Hendry continues to pursue starting pitching and Garza is still at the top of the list. Don’t panic yet. Santa may still add somethign to your stocking.

As far as trades go, they’re all interested in the same guys: Garza and Carmona. It will take a boat load of good, young talent to obtain either one. The Cubs are going to be in it all the way. Chat with Bruce Levine – ESPN Chicago.

You had to believe, following the Zack Greinke trade, that the Cubs would re-engage the Rays about Garza. As you’ll recall, talks died over the past couple of weeks when the two sides reached a stalemate on prospects. The Greinke trade seems to have re-ignited those talks, but – if that’s true – then the Cubs are now negotiating from a position of weakness.

Levine also confirmed what I’d been hearing – that the one guy that Tampa has been trying to insist the Cubs include is Hak-Ju Lee. He also confirmed that Robinson Chirinos would probably be in the deal. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Garza over the next few days/weeks/months.

One item to note – it sounds like Levine is saying the Indians are asking for more for Carmona than the Rays are for Garza – which is simply nuts. Carmona is less reliable, less effective in the aggregate over his career, and more expensive.

  • Curt

    Hey ace, any ideas as to how much it would cost to get garza and how much will be to much

  • Serio

    Reading other blogs, I don’t understand some people’s urgency to win, or compete in 2011. Would it benefit the Cubs to give up some “key” prospects to obtain Garza? In 2012 you potentially have $40MM come off the books. That $40MM comes from Carlos Silva, Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, and half of Carlos Pena’s $10MM contract. If the 2011 season goes in the toilet before the trade deadline you have some players you can move K. Wood, Pena, Z, Ramirez and get MORE prospect for 2012 to make better trades, also you give these “sizzling” prospects (the cubs already have) a chance to finish the 2011 season. I wish Hendry would just stand pat now and wait this out.

    • Larry

      I couldn’t agree more. It is already a given that the Cubs aren’t going to the playoffs this year. Develop the talent you have, see what you really have in some of the young guys and get ready to take the Central in 2012.

      • Mike S

        You have to understand though that its not gonig to take only a year to “develop the players”. Hak-Ju Lee won’t be brought up for at least a couple of years (he’s only with Peoria) Wallace still is yet to develop any power, and we’ve already seen the transition of Coleman and Diamond into the majors. Diamond still needs to work on his control and Coleman was hit hard in his outings. Maybe Riggins will bring something new to the table, but it’s still going to take a couple years for Archer, Carpetner, and McNutt to develop into legitimate major-league ready arms. Especially with a new pitching coach and philosophy coming in. Trade Chirinos and Lee and whoever else Tampa is asking for and get a PLAYOFF PROVEN pitcher. They will still be able to keep one of their young arms and maybe Wallace. Look at Toronto, you are yet to see one of the guys in the majors who they traded for Halladay, and the Cubs are in a way better position than they were. IMO

      • Lynn

        It’s always a pleasure to hear from someone with exetprsie.

        • BetterNews

          I think you have the wrong site. Exetprisie is an adult site.(LOL)

        • BetterNews

          Lynn–Just kidding. Why did your comment refer back to Dec, 2010, just curious.

  • mike

    Ownership seems to be clueless about the direction of the Club. It’s either all in or all out. With Cliff Lee and Adrian Gonzalez off the market, the all in approach is closed in my opinion. The half in/half out crap will only produce mediocrity. You can’t allege payroll problems and then be unwilling to give the kids a chance. The Cubs have no long term answer in the system at 1st, nobody at the ML level who can leadoff or be a top of the rotation guy. Garza is a nice player and lets say best case scenario he gives the Cubs a top of the rotation guy, compared to just the Cardinals, Reds and now Milwaukee does he even put the Cubs close. Then think about Philly and SF. I would not trade, Cashner, Archer, McNutt, Brett Jackson or Hak Ja Lee to obtain Garza. Any other prospect(s) I would be ok with trading.

    I would also be ok with trading Carlos Marmol for Garza for three reasons. With his violent delivery, its only a matter of time until his arm falls off. His value is at an all time high. There will be a glut of good free agent closers available via free agency in 2012. Heath Bell, Papelbon, Broxton and Valverde to name a few. With the lack of money they seem to be willing to spend this year and Fukudome, Silva and Grabow off the books, they will have money to spend.

    • Serio

      The Ownership is starting to scare me. They have put there fans in Limbo. It seems even Hendry doesn’t know the identity of this team he’s like a blind man at an orgy.

  • Rick

    Look, it is Hendry’s job to make his best attempt to put the best team possible on the field. He obviously realizes he has painted himself in a corner with the big contracts and poor hitting position players throughout the lineup.

    I have heard he has been shopping Marmol to get young talent. That is one reason for the Kerry Wood signing. However, my guess is that other teams see what is obvious to the rest of us-violent delivery, future arm troubles and big money arb years in 2011 and 2012.

    So, since he cannot deal Marmol, and he is pigeon-holed with the lineup, he has to get as much strength as possible in the rotation to compete in 2011. Despite the recent pitching acquisitions by the Brewers, this division is still not that strong. The Reds are still the team to beat, but certainly not prohibitive chalk as long as Crusty Baker is at the helm. The Cards are the Cards-great leadership, great pitching but little offense outside of Pujols and Holiday.

    Besides-prospects are just that-prospects. How may times have seen “can’t miss” and “untouchable” labeled on Cubs minor leaguers only to never make the bigs or hear from them again? Hey, with Matt Garza, this rotation looks pretty solid if (1) Zambrano keeps his cool and pitches the way he did late in 2010 (2) Randy Wells gets more run support (3) Demp gives you his typical 200+ innings and 3.50-4.00 ERA (4) Carlos Silva keeps you in ballgames long enough to get to Cashner, Marshall, Wood and Marmol and/or doesn’t balloon to 300 lbs.

    If some of these young arms can pitch effectively in the pen, with the backend pretty solid, it might not matter how pathetic their lineup is to compete in this division. Then again, don’t get me wrong. I am not that excited about 2011.

    • mike

      Of course others see Marmols violent delivery and will have the same assessment. That does not mean Marmol is not a valuable commodity. I think what you’ve failed to consider is that teams may look at Marmol and say, yes, he has a violent delivery, but he also is a converted catcher and does not have a lot of innings on that delivery. Can we project x number of innings/years of production out of him before he begins to break down.

      In the case of the Rays, given their history, they are likely only looking to get his remaining two years of arbitration and then take the draft pick compensation that would come with him when he hits free agency. With the Rays losing Soriano and their depth at SP, Marmol in my mind is the closer version of Garza, all star caliber player at their position, cost controlled via arbitration(Garza has one more year). So the question remains, would they want a cost controlled SP were they have excess or Closer were they have a need?

  • Jeff

    Like someone said above, Garza is a proven playoff pitcher from the AL east, so this wouldn’t be an acquisition for next year alone. He is a relatively young pitcher and would be a top 3 starter on the Cubs for the next 3 seasons at the least. I don’t think getting him would be necessary, but there isn’t a whole lot on the free agent market next season and Garza is pretty clearly the best starter that’s “available” right now, it makes sense to get him now.

  • Serio

    Hey, with Matt Garza, this rotation looks pretty solid (NO!!) 1. if Zambrano keeps his cool WHEN HAS HE?? 2. Randy Wells gets more run support OH NOW WELLS IS GETTING MORE RUN SUPPORT?! 3. Demp gives you his typical 200+ innings and 3.50-4.00 ERA 4. Carlos Silva DID PITCH THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR!! Are you nuts? and Jeff Garza would be a top 3 starter?!?!? No my friend he would be your ACE. All you would have is Garza on that staff. Just wait for christ’s sake we can have a little patience. Didn’t anyone see this happening? We are REBUILDING! Lets not F it up and get all crazy trading players away.

    • eryk

      Well said. Exactly what needs to be done.

  • Jeremy

    My Brother-In-Law works in the scouting for one of the other organizations. This is how Hak Ju Lee is viewed by them: a future “ELITE” Top of the lineup player and future gold glove SS. If He can gain more power will be an elite All around player and possible franshise player. And if I am hearing right he is at a strengthing camp this off season.

    Here is how Matt Garza at 27 is view: Good #2 with #1 stuff but seems to get in his own way. Let’s the situations get into his head.

    I think I woul rather have Lee and let our Pitchers like McNutt (which I was told going to be a very good to great pitcher), Archer, and Carpenter develop.

  • http://None TScizzle

    I do not understand why the Cubs are not looking to Justin Duchscherer. He has had some great years. Is a former all star. And is not at a bad age.

    • Ace

      Haven’t heard his name in connection with any team, really.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Pirates and Red Sox interested. He only wants to start.