So much for yesterday’s Sun Times report that the Chicago Cubs and Rays were close to consummating a trade involving 27-year-old righty Matt Garza (who, yes, has officially reached OMGarza status – I’ve been very lucky that the Cubs have had so much interest in guys whose names start with a “G”).
The rumor was quickly doused by, among others, Buster Olney, Carrie Muskat, Bruce Miles, and Dave Kaplan (who had previously indicated that he was hearing the same as Gordon Wittenmyer, the author of the Sun Times report). So what do you know – even traditional media types offer rumors based on sources that don’t immediately come to fruition (so don’t castigate me when it happens to me). I have no doubt that Wittenmyer had a solid source for his story, and I have no doubt that his source had actually heard/believed the deal was close – it may have been close, and then fell apart. There’s only so much we can know for sure about these things.
Miles and Kaplan even went so far as to say that the two sides had not exchanged names. Now, I don’t know if they believe “exchanged names” to have some hyper technical meaning, but I have no doubt that the Rays have made the Cubs aware of the players they like, and the Cubs have made the Rays aware of the players they don’t want to trade. Whether that has taken the form of “exchanging names,” I can’t say. But to believe that neither side knows what players the Cubs might put on the table is pretty naive.
I reached out to my Garza source when the Sun Times report broke yesterday, and he concurred with the various other sources who are saying that (1) yes, the two sides have spoken/are speaking (adding that the Cubs are aggressively trying to make a deal), and (2) the Rays would prefer to hold onto Garza until mid-season. I think we can expect to keep hearing about Garza discussions until a deal is made, or until the season starts.