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The Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays finalized the Matt Garza deal today, and the mystery pitcher in the deal is young Zach Rosscup, the Rays’ 28th round pick in the 2009 Draft (shrug), and he pitched very well (hooray) in low A ball last year (shrug) as a 22 year old (double shrug). He could become relevant a couple years down the line, but for now, he gets a big ‘ole – you guessed it – shrug.

That puts the deal in the books as Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld for Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and Zach Rosscup.

This will take a moment to digest.

  • Mike S

    I agree that Hendry has done well with “Throw ins”. Left-handed pitcher who could become relevant in the future. But for now, the Cubs won this trade. Notice how I said “for now”. We won’t be able to tell until a couple years down the road when Archer and Lee come up. I will say this, Tampa Bay Scouting is tremendous and there’s a reason that they wouldn’t accept this trade without Archer and Lee in it. I’m sure the Rays wanted Brett Jackson but the Cubs were only willing to give up Guyer, who was their Minor League Position Player of the Year. Even though Garza is under control for 3 years and is a hell of a pitcher, I think that 2-3 years from now, the Cubs will be regretting this one.

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  • DaveB

    Ace, I’ve been reading your posts since day 1 and you are one of the few people that I almost always agree with what you have to say regarding the Cubs, but this will have to be the first time that I disagree with you. From the beginning you have been very negative on the Garza trade, and I just don’t understand why.
    First off, you seem very low on Garza. I read your post regarding Wells and how is WAR suggests his 2010 was better than his ’09, and how is WAR was better than Garza. While I do take stock in some of the sabermatics stats, I don’t see how you can argue that Wells is a better pitcher than Garza at this point. Garza has averaged a 1.25 WHIP and ERA in the 3.8 range over the last 3 years against the likes of the AL East (last season, yankees and red sox were ranked 1 and 2 in runs). Garza may not be a true ace, but he is a great great pitcher who consistantly throws 200 innings each season. Any rotation in baseball would be lucky to have him as a 2-3 starter.
    Next, the prospects. People keep whining about how much we gave up, but did we REALLY give up that much?
    In my eyes, Archer was the toughest to let go. While hes on line to become a reliable ML pitcher, his ceiling is about that of Matt Garza. Do you really think Archer will someday be Ace calibur? At best, Archer can hope to develop into a 2nd or 3rd pitcher in the rotation, which is what Garza is right now. We traded a prospect with a ceiling of being a 2nd or 3rd starting pitcher in the rotation for a ML-proven 2 starter.
    Next, Lee. Obviously has the glove and D to play in the ML for many years, but the guy hasn’t exactly been hitting the ball all over the park, and he has less power than Sam Fuld (or Augie Ojeda, for that matter). Plus we already have Castro at SS, who is suppose to be our TRUE cornerstone. Are you really going to want to mess with his position down the road and move him away from where hes comfortable to a new position like 2B or 3B to clear room for Lee? That in itself would be a big risk.
    Robinson Chirinos had been playing well, but hes already 26 and theres no way he is going to overtake Soto anytime soon.

    While the Cubs have been burned in the past trading away prospects for a proven veteran (RE: Juan Pierre), its almost always happened when we traded away pitching prospects. Can anyone name me ONE cubs position prospect that was traded away in recent years and turned out being decent?
    All I can think about is: Patterson, Pie, Murton, etc.
    We get back a guy whose ML proven, has won games in the playoffs (including 2 victories vs. the red sox in the ALCS the year the Rays went to the World Series). And on top of this, HES ONLY 22! HES NOT EVEN NEAR HIS PRIME YET.

    • DaveB

      TYPO EDIT: Garza is 27 not 22, but my point still stands. Hes still young and has not yet reached his full potential. He will help the Cubs rotation for MANY years to come, not just 2011.

    • marc

      Josh Hamilton….but there were alotta factors involved with that one haha

    • Ace

      I don’t have a beef with any of that – all fair. A couple quick things: (1) I don’t think Wells is better than Garza. I do think Garza is generally overrated, and Wells generally underrated; (2) I am very happy that Garza is on the Cubs; and (3) losing prospects is not just about losing the possibility that they’ll contribute to the big team, it’s also about losing them as commodities that can be used in other trades – that’s why it’s never a good idea to overpay, even if the prospects might never actually make it to the show.

      • DaveB

        “(3) losing prospects is not just about losing the possibility that they’ll contribute to the big team, it’s also about losing them as commodities that can be used in other trades – that’s why it’s never a good idea to overpay, even if the prospects might never actually make it to the show.”

        Great point Ace, to be honest I never considered that… And I think its a 100% valid point.
        Taking that into consideration, ill modify my argument. While I do feel that both Archer and Lee will contribute to a big league team soon, I feel that it was worth trading both of their potential contributions in return for a ML-proven #2 starter (especially since neither of those prospects individually is likely to be able to make the kind of contribution to the team that Garza can make in the coming seasons). However, I do agree that a negative aspect of the trade is that we gave up 4 good prospects, all of which could have been used as commodities in future trades.
        In the end, the conclusion I come to is that, we all can argue about this trade (NOW, in the present) until we’re blue in the face, but like most trades, we won’t know who was truly right until a few years down the road. if Garza contributes as a 2 starter in the Cubs rotation for many years to come, I feel it will make it worth it for the Cubs, but we’ll just have to wait and see how A.) Garza does and B.) how the propsects develop. Archer could become a middle of the rotation type of guy, and Lee could become an everyday shortstop with a great glove and ok-to-average stick. If that happens but Garza continues to pitch how he has (and possibly improve after moving to the NL central and coming into his prime as a player) then I feel the trade would be more than worth it for the Cubs.

        • Ace

          You are correct. We won’t *really* know whether this was a good trade for another several years. But for now, we can all be happy to have Garza, and happy that the Cubs are at least trying to give it a go this year, even if it’s not necessarily the most prudent thing to do.

      • Bric

        Ace, I also agree with you 99% of the time, except when it comes to trade speculation. A couple of things you fail to consider: 1.Hendry almost always hangs on to his prospects too long until after their value is gone so managing prospects really isn’t something Hendry’s good at. So there’s no point in hanging on to these guys for future trades.
        2. Look at what the fans that really know Garza have to say. Go on the message boards and see that all the Yankee and Red Sox fans agree they’re glad he’s out of their division. We’ve all been talking way too much without listening to those who really know. If the Sox and Yank fans say we got a great deal I believe them. They’re not biased one or the other and are pretty smart fans.

        • Ace

          Where have I even remotely suggested I wasn’t very happy to have Garza? I’m fairly certain I’ve said the exact opposite. I’m just not convinced parting with Archer AND Lee in the deal is the right move for the future of the Cubs. That’s all. Just not sure.

          • Bric

            Thanks for clarifying your position, that’s the way I feel too. But in all the pro and con Jim Hendry talk I just wanted to voice again my opinion that Vitters should have been traded last year (you probably remember my rants about it for the last two years). I’m sure to be in the vast minority but I feel the same way about McNutt.

            • Ace

              Understandable. With Lee gone (and as will be explored in an upcoming post), the Cubs must be hoping that Vitters sticks at third, and someone like DeWitt or LeMehieu is the long-term answer at second, because it’s clear that Castro will remain at short long-term.

              • Bric

                It’s funny you should mention that cause I almost posted in a previous comment how I’d be happy if McNutt and a throw in like Barney or LaMehieu were traded for one or two top level infield prospects that can hit for power.

        • Jeff

          That’s one of the reasons I’ve been behind getting Garza since it became clear that Grienke was out of the Cubs range(wonder what the package would have had to be there?). Garza has actually pitched better against the Yanks and Sox than he has against the rest of the league. The performance he put on in the ALCS a couple years ago, the no hitter last year, and the fact that he’s been pitching in playoff races his entire career all make me excited to see what he can do in Chicago. He’s got that shutdown mentality that seems to be lacking on the Cubs starting staff aside from when Zambrano decides he wants to pitch instead of beat on the water cooler between innings.

  • http://none@none.com eryk

    Hendry has pretty much screwed this team over.

  • art

    Ozzie smith couldn’t hit either. Garza is not 22, he’s 27. is he taking us to the WS? will he beat the Red Sox for us? many kids have had X ceiling and exceeded that. many had great ceiling and were flops. coming from the big Bad AL Garza should win 30 games in the weak NL. sorry i don’t agree with you.

    • DaveB

      Right after I posted my original posted I added a reply edit that said hes 27 not 22, but that doesn’t change my point because hes still very young and not in his prime yet.

      And you disagree with my point but you give no evidence/argument as to why.

      “many kids have had X ceilings and exceeded that.”- Ok, can you name me one Cubs position prospect that was traded away in recent years and ended up exceeding his ceiling? Who, Patterson? Pie? Murton? (Like marc mentioned there was Josh Hamilton, but he never even played in the Cubs minor league system and was given up due to the problems he had at the time outside of baseball).

      ‘Many had great ceilings and were flops’- Ok, just like Pie, Patterson, and Murton, right? (You actually helped my argument with this one).

      “coming from the big Bad AL Garza should win 30 games in the weak NL.”- Nobody ever said Garza would win 30 games in the weak NL Ive said all along hes not ace-caliber, hes more of a #2 in the rotation caliber, likely to win 15-20 games. If he can hold teams like the Yankees and Red Sox to a 1.25 WHIP and 3.8 ERA over 3 seasons, Ill take my chances that he can ATLEAST do that (and likely better) against the likes of the Cardinals, brewers, reds, and pirates.

      • Ace

        A small point on Josh Hamilton, who is repeatedly brought up as a Cubs trade for whatever reason – Hamilton was selected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft and immediately traded to the Reds for cash. The Cubs selected Hamilton as a favor to the Reds. The Cubs never had any intention of actually drafting Hamilton for themselves.

        So I suppose we should be criticizing the Cubs for not taking Hamilton for themselves, not for trading him away. I know you weren’t saying that, Dave – just wanted to point it all out.

  • art

    is Rosscup funny? it would give us the funniest team in the ML’s. that’s what we have been missing, funny players, loosen up that clubhouse

    • marc

      yea that would be better than aramis getting stoned before every game…and u wonder why he wears them shades on cloudy days haha…i will never forget when we were swept by the diamond backs…that last game at home…everyone on the cubs bench looked high as all hell…i wonder about these guys

  • art

    if Castro were (position) moved, and if he couldn’t handle it, Cubs are in trouble.

  • http://none@none.com me

    FIRE JIM FOR THIS ATROCITY OF A TRADE

  • http://talesanddreams.com Cheryl

    We won’t know until later whether this was a brilliant trade or a bad one. I';d like to see Rosscups and Perez in Spring training to get a better handle on them. Don’t forget, the roster is now at 38 for the Cubs. What else is in the works?

    • Ace

      I suspect we’ll see another couple young players added to the 40-man when all is said and done. I’m not sure I see where else the Cubs are going to add from the outside. In fact, they’re likely to lose a couple more off the 40-man before the season starts (guys like Gorzelanny and Silva).

      • Philoe Beddoe

        the next time someone compares Hak-Ju-Lee to Ozzie Smith..PLEASE REMEMBER…..he had 34 errors last year…thats almost as many as the 42 errors Hank Aaron had in sandlot ball according to Buttermaker(“It’s common knowledge for Christ’s sake, ask Oglivie”)

        4 years ago we could have had Brian Roberts, but we held onto those prescious propsects like the untouchable Felix Pie…whom Baltimore got their grubby little hands on eventually anyways…..just like all of our former wash-outs!

        you guys think Hendry’s bad…McPhail has pictures on somebody

        • Ace

          Yeah but, like, um, Brian Roberts has sucked/been injured since then.

          • pfk

            Actually, Roberts was very good. In 2008 he hit .296, .78 OBP, 40 steals. in 2009 he hit .283 with a .356 OBP and 30 steals. He was only hurt last year. Still, in 59 games he hit .278 with a .354 OBP and stole 12 bases. And, he has a good glove and lots of range.

            • Ace

              You’re right, I was too harsh – he has, in my opinion, not been nearly worth the kind of package that was discussed for him back in the days of OMG Brian Roberts.

              • Jeff

                Really? All the reports that I read said that Hendry wouldn’t give up Pie in the deal. The four guys being discussed were Pie, Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, and Rich Hill. In hindsight anyone would trade those four for a bag of balls. If Roberts even showed up and put on a uniform, he would have been worth it.

                • Ace

                  I see what you’re saying – it’s unfair to look at Roberts in hindsight but not also look at the prospects/players who were discussed in hindsight. And you’re right – none of those guys amounted to much.

                  Of course, Gallagher was the main piece in the Harden deal.

      • Jeff

        Do you think they’ll wait until spring training to move the extra starter(s)? I also wonder what impact this is going to have on Cashner. It seems like a pretty crowded rotation already, and if Cashner stays in the bullpen, it would give the Cubs one of the better bullpens in the league. I know they have a lot of starters that are going to need to see innings this spring if nobody is moved before then.

        • Mike Brumley

          They already have one of the better bullpens in the league…with or without Cashner in it. There was not a more dominant pitcher in the league than Marmol last year. Plus Marshall may be the best left-handed setup man in the league. Throw in Woody and you have an overpowering bullpen. This is one of the reasons why I am optimistic about the Cubs even though the Brewers, Reds, and Cardinals seem to be better on paper. The Cubs should be able to get something for Gorzelanny and should have value being a very solid left handed starter.

          That leaves a rotation of:

          Dempster
          Garza
          Zambrano
          Wells

          Unfortunately we have to include Silva…until he gets hurt. We actually could use a lefty in the rotation but I would rather see what Cashner has there, plus we did not have one (on playoff roster) in 2003 and did OK. Maybe if Cubs trade Gorzelanny we could re-stock our farm…so the complainers above could stop whining.

          Personally I would rather see what Cashner could do as a starter than see him in the 6th or 7th inning. Don’t forget we have Caridad and his mid to high 90’s heat coming back too.

          • Mike S

            Gorzaleanny would not “restock” our farm system…

            • Ace

              No, but as an effective, cheap, under-control-for-two-years lefty, he’d bring a very nice return (or, well, he should – Hendry’s track record in dump trades is not as good as his acquisition trades).

        • Ace

          Agreed on all points. I also think it would be wise to wait so that if someone gets hurt in ST, the Cubs won’t be in a bind (not to mention the fact that another team might lose a starter and get desperate).

  • CubSouth

    I believe this trade is a great argument among Cubs fans and Rays fans alike, but let’s look at this from a Rays fan perspective (not me). If we traded away Garza for good prospects in return, do you think we would be excited or calling for Hendry’s head? For now, we know what Garza can do, plus having done that in the very tough AL East makes it even more remarkable. Down the road, sure we may have let some talent go, but it’s not a proven fact just yet that we got the bad end of the deal. Plus, all the money coming off the books after this season, and with Garza and a good nucleus still there (minus Soriano), I would say we have a real shot at contender in 2012. Plus, 2011 won’t be such a comatose season. FA SP will be at a minimum the next couple of seasons, so getting Garza is a blessing and I’m really looking forward to what Cashner can bring to the table. I believe Hendry’s fate lies in this upcoming off season, a hero or a zero. He can come out of it looking like the Red Sox this year or the Angels.

  • CubsFanatic

    Say goodbye to Hendry guys. No way does Ricketts let this go if Garza doesn’t absolutely dominate this year.

  • roughriider

    I do not like the trade of so many prospects. I believe teams are better for building primarily through the minors and I looked forward to seeing Lee in the majors with the Cubs. By some accounts Lee will be a star shortsop at some point. The rest are probably, at best, prospects who could be good major league players but not stars. The Cubs are loaded with pitching prospects so trading Archer doesn’t concern me. Garza has proven to be a good starter in the Major Leagues so is obviously worth more than a prospect or a couple good prospects. A lot of major league pitchers seem to have an a appifany at 28 and become the players they were projected to be or better. I hope Garza is one of them. But, he could also be one injury away from being a Mark Prior or Rich Harden you just don’t know.

    I’ve said it before that I believe the Cubs have been doing a good job of scouting and of obtaining better prospects than they have since Dallas Green left. I trust that they are making scouting a priority and that they will not be hurt as much as we may think by this trade. I believe that Jim Hendry is working to make the organization better. I will reserve judgement on whether this trade is a good trade or not.

  • roughriider

    If Cashner can’t break into the starting rotaion or if the Cubs need to let pitchers such as Silva and Gorzelanny enhance their trade value he should be starting at Iowa not relieving.

    • http://none@none.com eryk

      Good idea as long as cashner ends up in the rotation, keep him in the rotation a AAA to refine his stuff trade gorz and silva bring him up with chris carpenter or some other prospect.

  • roughriider

    A lot fo Cub fans remember when Dallas Green was the GM of the Cubs. Some very sad news has come to my attention. In the cowardly shooting in Tucson a young 9 year old girl named Christina-Taylor Green was killed. She was the grandaughter of Dallas Green. Please pray for the dead and injured and their families.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/113159109.html

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Puts baseball in perspective.

  • http://none@none.com eryk

    Our rotation should go Garza, Dempster, Z, Cashner, Wells

    • Philoe Beddoe

      I am greedy…I would like to see the Cubs add one more experienced RHP to the pen..just in case the ‘remote’..’ never gonna happen’… ‘not in a million years’..’Haley’s Comet twice in the same year’..chance that Kerry Wood spends some time on the DL this year.

    • CubsFanatic

      Problem with that is they are all right handed. The rotation should go Z, Garza, Gorz, Dempster, Cashner in my opinion.

      • Mike S

        Dempster, Garza, Zambrano, Gorzaleanny, Wells

        Bullpen: Marmol, Wood, Marshall, Cashner…

  • curt

    amen roughriider, its avery sad day fr dallas green and his family and all of the families affected by that coward, my prayers are with them and i hope the rest of the cubbie nation as well.

  • Mike Brumley
    • Dave B

      Great article, with the most important point being:

      “Yes, maybe Chris Archer or Hak-Ju Lee was the best prospect in the Cubs’ system. But given the current lack of elite talent in the respective systems that is exactly why now is the time to trade them. ”

      Archer and Lee were both good prospects, but they weren’t your slam-dunk guaranteed type of prospects. Think back to Patterson, Pie, even Murton. Ill be the first to admit I held those prospects in the highest regard, only to watch them collapse.
      Henry waited out basically every single one of our prospects in the past (when there were trades for ML-proven players on the table), until they burned out with the Cubs and had zero value (aka traded to the Orioles). This time, Hendry realized that, while Archer and Lee both had great upside, nobody is going to argue that these guys are going to be superstar phenoms. Archer has good stuff but has control problems (haven’t we heard that one before, Rich Hill?) who is at best projected to be a middle of the rotation starter. Lee is known for his glove but like someone mentioned earlier, he still made a shit ton of errors, bat is nothing special and has zero power. At best projected to be an everyday shortstop in there because of his D. While I agree it would have been great to see Archer and Lee have a shot at success with the Cubs (Archer and Lee = Maybes), what we got back is of greater value for the team, which is a (proven) ML-top of the rotation (I didnt say Ace caliber, more like 2 spot) as well as protecting us from being burned in case Archer and Lee don’t end up panning out (because we’ve been burned oh so many times in recent years).

      • philoe beddoe

        great article Brumley…I think the problem is we always have this notion that you are giving up your(insert position) of the future….position players are so much harder to project than pitchers…I have followed the Cubs closely since 1977…yes I am old, but not that old…and during that time look at the difference among homegrown Cub players-

        PITCHERS- Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood, Lee Smith, Carloz Zambrano, Jamie Moyer, Mark Prior( yes I included him), Carlos Marmol, Juan Cruz, Kyle Farnsworth, Ricky Nolasco, Kyle Lohse..and on and on

        POSITION PLAYERS- Mark Grace, Rafeal Palmeiro, Shawon Dunston, Jody Davis, Soto?

        point being, its hard(and not just for the Cubs) to develop homegrown hitters that can have lasting careers..there are too many variables…where as pitchers can ascend and succeed quickly….look at most Championship teams and there will only be a couple “homegrown” guys…so the odds of Hak-Ju-Lee being a solid MLB player are very long indeed..

  • Steve

    Agreed. Off-season or 2011 will decide Hendry’s future.Personally, I think that he’s shown his abilities , and should be shown the door. And no, not to be replaced by Maddux. Get a proven winner in there.

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