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For those not following the comments, or BN on Twitter, or BN on Facebook yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds picked up 24-year-old starter Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres for a very healthy return – first baseman Yonder Alonso, catching prospect Yasmani Grandal, relief prospect Brad Boxberger, and pitcher Edinson Volquez.

Among my immediate reactions to the trade: it was both good and bad for the Cubs.

The Reds just got better for 2012 (they are clearly “going for it”), which could further put the Cubs’ hopes for a surprising 2012 run out of reach. At the same time, the move weakened the Reds in the long run, which might line things up better for the Cubs when they actually project to the be good again. Also, the move can only help the Cubs’ market for Matt Garza, should they elect to trade him. To be clear, Latos probably has more value than Garza, as a pitcher under cheap team control through 2015. But the return on Latos was huge, and the Reds were not one of the teams interested in Garza – so, acquiring Latos didn’t take away one of the possible landing spots for Garza.

The second reaction that I, and so many others, had? What are the Padres going to do with top first base prospect, Anthony Rizzo?

That we thought of Rizzo is unsurprising – not only is he a top, young first baseman (something the Cubs clearly want), but he was drafted by the Red Sox back in 2007 when the Cubs’ triumvirate of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod were running the show. And then, when the Padres dealt first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox last year, whom did Hoyer net in the deal for the Padres? Rizzo.

It makes too much sense, right? The Padres now have effectively blocked Rizzo (though GM Josh Byrnes is being a wise man, telling the world that they expect Rizzo to head back to AAA for 2012, and that they’re perfectly happy to keep both Alonso and Rizzo), and he’s just the kind of kid the Cubs want. And he’s a kid they already have a connection to. Let’s do it! Totally! Perfect fit!

But here’s the thing about our initial reaction: the Padres had that reaction, too. If anyone knows how much Jed and Jason love Rizzo, it’s the existing Padres’ front office. You think Jed wasn’t discussing with folks there how much he wanted Rizzo included when putting the Gonzalez deal together?

There is no sneaky maneuver to be had here. If the Cubs approach the Padres about Rizzo – about which, more in a moment – the Padres will undoubtedly hold their feet to the fire. The Padres don’t have to trade Rizzo, and they certainly don’t have to trade him to the Cubs. The Padres don’t care that Rizzo is a perfect fit for the Cubs, except to the extent it might allow them to extract additional value out of the Cubs. And, given the Padres’ near-term position (i.e., non-contention), there aren’t too many pressure points the Cubs can apply to get the Padres to pull the trigger on a deal favorable to the Cubs.

In fact, I can only think of two angles for leverage for the Cubs. The first: threaten to sign Prince Fielder. Maybe it’s unconvincing, given how divergent the two paths are (22-year-old prospect, 27-year-old All-Star wanting a mega contract). But if the Cubs express that they are close to signing Fielder, which would eliminate their interest in Rizzo, perhaps that helps? I suppose it’s also possible that a deal for Rizzo could include Matt Garza (whom the Padres may not want, but they could spin off to the Rangers, for example), and the Cubs could concurrently negotiate a Garza deal with another team, and whoever pulls the trigger first gets Garza. That would be the second possible way to create leverage.

Absent those, the Cubs would be negotiating with a team who knows just how much they value the asset they’re trying to get from the Padres, and the Padres have no incentive not to squeeze them for every last drop. That rarely ends well. Hopefully the Cubs can still swing a fair deal, if indeed they put something together.

About approaching the Padres: the Cubs made that call within minutes of the trade announcement (and I got word of the call not long after that). Since then, I’ve been “working the phones,” so to speak, to try to get a handle on how the Cubs might try to put something together. All I’ve yet been able to confirm is that the two sides are talking, and that a deal would probably involve a fair bit more than just a straight-up Player X for Rizzo swap. Jim Bowden, for what it’s worth, says Matt Garza’s name is coming up as a possible centerpiece in a deal. Based on the Latos deal, and the A’s requests for Gio Gonzalez, the Cubs should be able to get a fair bit more than just Rizzo for Garza.

Ah, yes. Rizzo. After all of this discussion, you may be wondering: is Rizzo really worth all of this spilled ink? The short answer is oh yeah.

Rizzo, who just turned 22 in August, is the top prospect in a very, very good Padres’ system. Rizzo was a top 100 prospect in all of baseball going into 2011, and then all he did was put up an eye-popping .331/.404/.652 line, with 26 homers and 34 doubles in just 93 games. Those numbers are great even for the PCL, particularly for a 21-year-old. Before 2011, Rizzo’s minor league numbers were good, if unremarkable, but he was young at every level, and was consistent after each promotion. Rizzo is also believed to be an above average defender at first base.

Rizzo was called up late last year for a cup of coffee, and struggled mightily, hitting just .141/.281/.252 in 153 plate appearances (love that IsoD, though, eh?). Very few saw that as a reason for concern, however.

If Rizzo is being made available, the Cubs will have some competition, at a minimum, from the Rays, who have the talent to make a deal, and the need for a young first baseman. I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ve heard about this.

UPDATE: Some of the other names I’m hearing bounced around in the talks include Orlando Hudson, Casey Kelly, Keyvius Sampson, Simon Castro, Jedd Gyorko, Robbie Erlin, and Joe Weiland. Obviously the Cubs wouldn’t be getting all of them (or even most). These are just some of the names that the Cubs are interested in, or – in Hudson’s case – that the Padres want to ship back to the Cubs. A three-team deal with the Rangers (who would get Garza) is also a possibility.

UPDATE II: The Cubs are still in active discussions with the Padres, I’m told, but it’s pretty complicated when you’ve got this many parts involved. The Cubs’ most valuable piece is Matt Garza, but the Padres may prefer to get the prospect-equivalent of Garza, rather than the pitcher, himself. That means a third team is necessary, and the Rangers have been involved. Bringing in a third team makes completing an already “complicated” deal a real “pain” (not my words). The two/three sides will continue to discuss a deal until they reach an agreement or seem hopelessly gridlocked. These things tend to take on a life of their own, and the deal could evolve into yet another incarnation. Or, it could just wilt on the vine. With this many players involved and such high stakes, I couldn’t say a deal is more than 50/50 to get done. You’ve also got the Prince Fielder pursuit and Yu Darvish post as a backdrop for these discussions, which only complicates things further. I’m doing my best to get the most complete and reliable information I can, but, given the circumstances and the moving parts, you can understand how the best I can give you is: (1) they’re talking, (2) a trade might be completed soon, (3) or a trade might be completed in a week, and (4) or a trade might be completed never.

UPDATE III: I’m told the biggest hold up, from the Cubs’ perspective, is making sure they get the right pitchers/pitching prospects included in the deal. While Rizzo may have been the impetus for the discussions, the Cubs don’t appear to be interested in moving Garza unless some very, very good pitchers/pitching prospects are included. That is to say, Rizzo may not necessarily be “the centerpiece” of a completed deal, such as there is a centerpiece, and such as the sides are actually able to consummate a deal (which, again, remains very much in doubt).

  • Oswego Chris

    ESPN has a feature today how the Cubs are seriously in the Fielder thing…I wonder if that is just a smokescreen, or are the Cubs allowing Boras to float the Cubs name out there(in return for Pena not accepting ARB)…it has to be frustrating for people covering the Cubs right now…so many mixed messages and possibilities?  Fielder? Garza trade? Darvish bid? Cespedes and Soler?

    I wonder if they are really exploring all of these, have a clear plan, or just are aware that their situation is very fluid…

     

    • http://realandrewjones.wordpress.com RealAndrewJones

      I think we’ve all been frustrated with the lack of activity, at least the exciting type, by the Cubs this off-season. I’ve taken the attitude that if and when when we hear something has actually happened, positive or negative, especially in re: Darvish, Fielder, et cetera, I’ll react accordingly at that time. Unless something big happens, I’ll support Theo, Jed, et al in their rebuilding.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      smokescrean….were in on fielder for sure,i also like us to sign soler for the minors.and if we move garza to stock the farm we must sign two starters an trade zambrano as well………maybe jackson an maholm or saunders,kuroda…imo

  • Rooster

    Strengths: Plus strength. Bat speed/power. Patient approach. Athleticism.
    Weaknesses: Speed. Making contact. LHP. Holes in swing
    Comments: Co-offensive player of year in organization after doubling previous high in HR. Good athlete for size and exhibits plenty of raw power and brute strength. Works counts to his advantage, but will fan frequently due to holes in swing and pull-conscious approach. Reduced BA and contact, particularly against LHP.
    2011 MLB Role: Potential September Call-up.
    Potential Rating: 8B

    BIG BIG BIG MISTAKE if you think that Rizzo is in the same talent category as Garza…crazy. He’s an 8 ranking out of 10. Usually a 9C, 9B is a clear cut knock out. Holes in his swing…see Colvin. Nope, sign Fielder and bury this thought. Good persuassive writing…A+.

    • JasonB

      His 2012 prospect ranking is now 9C from that same source.

    • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

      If that report was done a year ago then it is HIGHLY promising.  Not too many 21 year olds DONT have holes in their swings.  If he is 9C now that puts him in the clear cut knock out category.

      • JasonB

        Here’s what Sickels says about him

        1) Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Grade B+: Nobody should panic about 128 at-bats. Although he’s not going to hit .300 in the majors, Rizzo should provide plenty of power and walks and I think he’ll make the needed adjustments. Maximum outcome: Ryan Howard. Worst-case: Chris Davis.

        And here is his rundown of the Padres system where he makes the above reference to Rizzo:

        http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/12/10/2626701/san-diego-padres-top-20-prospects-for-2012

        There is definitely some talent in this system, which just got deeper after yesterday’s trade.  Maybe Rizzo and Erlin would be something Cubs would look at?  I just don’t know if Pads would do it.  The only logical conclusion I can come up with for why Pads would want Garza is that they think they can flip him for more than they give up to get him.

        • http://cubbiekingdom.wordpress.com hansman1982

          my thinking is that there will be some sort of three-team trade where the Padres get the prospects they want

  • CubSouth

    Brett, you said the Cubs could get more for Garza than just Rizzo, could Headley be included as well or is that ludicrous? I’m sure everyone on here was thinking the same thing.

    • Bric

      Honestly, straight up talent wise, I think Headley and Rizzo for Garza and a minor leaguer is pretty fair. But the Cubs’ minor leaguer would have to be a legit prospect, not just a throw in, and probably an infielder. Vitters? He’s from the San Diego area and the Pads’ change of scenery might do him some good. The money’s pretty much a wash. Thoughts?

      BTW, Brett, why do you consider the Latos deal an upgrade for the Reds? They got totally rooked in that deal. Sure, Latos is an upgrade to Volquez but the arm issues could go away by not playing for Dusty and pitching in spatious Petco so it’s kind of a wash. Plus they gave away their top prospect, and a minor league catcher and pitcher. Totally overpaid, very similar to the Garza deal. This definitely sets the bar high on Garza trade #2.

    • R.I.P. Santo

      I know I was thinking that ….Headley ,Rizzo and whom ever else sounds great to me

  • K.C.

    Headley, Rizzo and a prospect for Marmol and Garza?

    • Cheryl

      That’s a pretty good haul by the Padres. I would think there should be Headley, Rizzo and two prospects for Marmol and Garza.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If it’s a great prospect maybe…

      For what it’s worth, Headley’s is not a name I’m hearing in the current discussions.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      your over valuing headly…garza a prooven stud 27 yr old starter we can get more for him alone..look what the pads just got for latos….

      • ferrets_bueller

        I’d say you’re vastly under valuing Headley.  You can’t just look at his overall numbers, as he plays in Petco.  Look at his home/away splits, both for last season and his career.  He’s a Michael Young carbon copy hitter outside of San Diego, who is among the best defensive 3B in baseball.

    • Lou

      The problem I have with Garza going to the Padres are those arbitration years. While relatively cheap, how affordable would the be for the Padres? Almost has to a be three team trade, which can be difficult to pull off. Also, I’m concerned that the Cubs wouldn’t get pitching (or a SP) back for Garza. Unless, there’s something I’m missing here.

  • Rooster

    Persuassive…u have a gift.

  • cubsklm

    Garza, Stewart, and prospect for Rizzo and Headley

    • Lou Cub

      @cubskim, if Garza is dealt..rotation arms need to come back in addititon to those 2.

  • Lou Cub

    @ Chris, screw the guys covering the Cubs..what about us fans..it’s frustrating as hell cause we have no clue on what they’re gonna do and we all want ACTION..For my money, I doubt it’s Garza they’d want unless it’s a 3 team with Texas, which would make more sense..The Cubs giving up Garza and Marmol (whose been linked to both teams) and getting multiple pieces back including Rizzo…Remember this, Byrnes and Theo/Jed/McCleod are all tight and probably would prefer to deal more with each other like they’ve done in the past..If it were a three way and the Cubs could land, Rizzo, Olt, Neil Ramirez and someone else…it would be the best XMAS present to the Cubs fans in a very long time

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Why is there all this talk of the Cubs trading Garza and no pitching names in return? Seems like that would be taking a step back.

  • justajphx

    Brett–I just read a recent post on MLB.COM updating the amount of the Yu Darvish Bid. All previous posts listed the Cubs as a bidder, but this most recent post has them removed from the list. The post specifically related to the amount being over 51 million, more than the previous Matsuzaka bid. What is the likelihood this was the author’s way or saying he got inside information saying the CUBS were the bid winners (without having to actually say this in the press)?

    • ferrets_bueller

      Some dude in  Boston is now claiming the the Cubs bid was very low, and they know they have no chance.  grain of salt….boston.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Cafardo. Shrug.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Pretty much anyone in Boston’s media elicits a shrug.  Is it just me, or do they have possibly the worst sports media in the nation?

        • Kyle

          I don’t like it so I’m going to choose to believe he’s not credible.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            That’s the reaction/hidden justification you may get from some, but not me. I don’t believe it because – as I said an hour after the bidding closed – a good source told me the bid was quite strong. I also believe Cafardo showed himself to be something less than impartial with respect to the Cubs during the Theo compensation blitz.

            • Kyle

              I wasn’t making fun of you. I really am just going to start discounting things I don’t want to believe.

              I don’t think Cafardo is just making stuff up. Professional sports reporters (note: not columnists, but actual reporters) don’t do that. Somebody he has reason to trust is giving him that information.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                I got ya. I was just saying some folks will react that way/or will really think that way, on an unconscious level.

                I don’t believe Cafardo makes things up either. I do think there is a bit of confirmation bias when you’ve got a source telling you something you want to hear, though – it’s something I struggle with, too. I think he’s got a source telling him things that he and his readers want to hear (namely: Theo bad, Cubs not spending, etc.). And, since he’s got a source on it, he goes with it.

        • JulioZuleta

          So Carfado says the Cubs’ bid is “very low” and that we are not in the running for Fielder. I didn’t want Darvish, but this kinda makes me want him just so that douche is wrong (again).

      • RoughRiider

        Maybe we can send Rosenboob to Boston.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t think the omission of the Cubs suggests anything more than a writer who hasn’t been paying attention. As for the report on the amount, I’ll be writing on that soon.

      • LJ

        Brett,

        I recently stumbled upon your site and I really enjoy it. You do a great job with it. If the Cubs trade Garza to San Diego, it would seem to me that at least 2 arms would have to be coming back, in addition to Rizzo. Are you hearing about the Cubs and Pads expanding the trade to include a couple of future top starters?

        • Bric

          I’m not sure the Padres even want Garza. They have a lot young pitching already. The talk is just about Rizzo maybe coming to the Cubs because now they have Alonso.

          • LJ

            I know you are saying that Rizzo is the piece that the Cubs are after, but with almost no pitching depth, it makes no sense for the Cubs to make this trade without getting at least one arm back. I think Rizzo would be a great piece to add. If we trade Garza and with Dempster and Z, Assuming he isn’t traded this winter, being free agents next season, the Cubs need to start acquiring a few front of the rotation arms otherwise our top starters next year will all be #4-5s.

            • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

              I agree with this much – I do not want the main return for Garza to be a 1B prospect, no matter how good. If Rizzo is one of two main pieces that’s fine, but a good pitcher needs to help headline this deal.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thanks, and welcome. Yes, I’m hearing some pitching prospect names, but not yet solid enough to report.

          • Bric

            Isn’t Porada a guy the the Cubs have asked about in the past?

  • john

    With Garza in the picture Hudson becomes a part of the discussion. He is due 5.5 and 8 mil w/2mil buyout. Ideally Rizzo Hudson Headley and an arm for Garza Barney and a leg

    • Lou Cub

      @ John..what’s up with the man crush on Orlando Hudson???? He’s friggin old…This guy should have been signed by Hendry back in 06/07 when he was a REALLY good player entering his prime..not now no way

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        I’d take a solid guy like Hudson and his contract if it led to something more valuable coming our way in the prospect side of the trade balance.

    • ferrets_bueller

      …why? Hudson makes that trade worse.  Barney isn’t very good, but even he is a much better option than Hudson.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    This is EXACTLY why you don’t just go out and spend big bucks on long term deals with players like Fielder (or Soriano). Not only do they tie up money – they tie up positions. Is Rizzo going to be better than Fielder? I doubt it but I doubt  that Fielder is going to be Fielder for much longer. Signing anyone is a risk and I’d rather put my money on Rizzo.

    Move whoever ya gotta move (except Castro) and get this kid.

    • Bric

      I agree. And enough with the No trade clauses. That’s what’s really killed the Cubs ability to rebuild the last couple of years. Hendry didn’t have the freedom to make trades in July even if he wanted to. The Rays have been successful because they demand top prospects in return for veterans, they refuse to hand out huge or ridiculous contracts, and don’t get too attached to anybody if the price is right. Makes it a little hard on their fans, but they always compete.

      • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

        Disagree – Hendry didn’t believe in moving players without their permission – that player friendliness led to Aramis signing a below-market deal as well as to Aramis refusing to be trade. There were +s and -s and I think they fairly well evened out. But had there not been no-trades in these contracts, Hendry still wasn’t going to go trade guys who were on good terms with the team without their input.

  • john

    The fact that Garza is being brought up is an encouraging sign on the Darvish front. You would think they would wait to see how that shakes out before dealing Garza

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Garza was being talked about before Darvish was even posted.

      And with the rumored posting bid that has been talked about for Darvish, I hope the Cubs didn’t win the bid.

  • ferrets_bueller

    While Headley hasn’t been mentioned…I’d still love to have him.  If you could get Headley, Rizzo, and an arm for Garza and say, Vitters, I would be extremely happy.

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      Our GM has announced who our 3B is. I think it’s time for us all to set aside Headley.

  • john

    I bring up Hudson to offset the money SD has to take on in trade. He is the only player SD is burdoned with.

  • john

    Garza’s value increaes the minute Darvish is assigned. Why trade him now? The Cubs know what they bid.

  • john

    If the Cubs won Darvish would Garza’s value decease?

  • john

    decrease

  • john

    The Padres have holes to fill too. You trade for Garza to have a piece that gets you other pieces. If you think about their recent haul, they still get to keep most of it and get Garza.
    We should get Rizzo and Headley minimum

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      I agree totally -

      Acquire pieces in order to acquire other pieces.

  • fromthemitten

    I could see the possibility of the Cubs “overpaying” for Rizzo as part of the compensation package for acquiring Hoyer.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    If Cubs could pull off some type of 3way between Pads and Rangers by sending Garza to texas and getting Robert Ross from Tex and Rizzo from Pads and then Tex send something to Pads for giving Cubs Rizzo.

    I dont know exactly how it would work but Rizzo and Robert Ross would be great peices to get back with maybe another arm in there somewhere.

  • john

    Maholm? Rizzo? Garza? No interest in Fielder? Spells D-A-R-V-I-S-H

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Are you D-I-E-H-A-R-D?

      Open your eyes dude. Cubs have been shopping Garza, Anyone would want Rizzo, all the Fielder talk is back and forth yes and no, and Cubs would be after a Maholm type regardless if they get Darvish or not.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Some of the other names I’m hearing bounced around in the CHI/SD talks include O. Hudson, C. Kelly, K. Sampson, Simon Castro, J Gyorko, R. Erlin, J. Weiland. Obviously the Cubs wouldn’t be getting all of them (or even most). These are just some of the names that the Cubs are interested in, or – in Hudson’s case – that the Padres want to ship back to the Cubs.

    • LJ

      Brett,

      I am unfamiliar with most of these guys, could you tell me a little about them? Which ones would be most likely for the Cubs to acquire?

      Thanks

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Because there are so many names at this point, I’m not going to go into much depth on any of them until the list is narrowed a bit. Erlin and Weiland were the two good pitching prospects the Padres got for Mike Adams this summer. Kelly was a top 40 prospect in baseball going into 2011 – came over from the Red Sox in the Gonzalez trade. A very well-regarded pitching prospect. I don’t know much about Sampson, other than he’s a young, good-looking pitching prospect. Castro may be the Padres’ best pitching prospect, right up there with Kelly (seriously: the Padres’ system is loaded). Gyorko is a decent 3B prospect.

        • LJ

          Thanks, Brett.

          • JasonB

            Castro’s prospect profile has really taken a beating – his other pitches haven’t developed as scouts had hoped.  Erlin, Weiland and Kelly are pretty widely considered to be their top pitching prospects right now.

            • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

              Agreed. Simon Castro took a step back; but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be interesting as a third piece in a deal. Jed knows all these guys, too, so he may know more about SiCastro than we can hear through publications like BA and Sickels.

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Go to Baseball-reference.com and search there names it’s help full because you wont have to wait for answers and can check out there complete stats.

        • LJ

          I’ll do that, thanks.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I’d love to see Kelly and Gyorko come here with Rizzo.  Wishful thinking?

    • http://CubbiesCrib.com Luke

      I agree with Brett – there are too many names to profile all of them at this stage.

      I think from those names we can get an idea what the Cubs are looking for, though.
      – Rizzo, for sure.
      – At least one nearly ready, high ceiling starting pitching prospect who could go into the rotation in 2012 (Kelly or Castro most likely).
      – Additional pitching, either nearly ready mid-level or lower level, high ceiling.
      – Additional players, probably in the mid to low levels of the minors, but with a high ceiling.

      Also, Orlando Hudson. The Padres want to unload him due to salary, but he’d instantly become the best second baseman on the Cubs, and I think he would fit pretty well in the Cubs lineup. He’s only about average, but he is a switch hitter and he would allow Barney to go back to the bench as a back up infielder.

      The way it is shaping up now (in the very early stages of rumorisms), I strongly suspect the Cubs will come out of this with a starting first baseman, a starting second baseman, a starting pitcher, and at least one additional high ceiling or nearly ready prospect in the minors.

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      It’d be interesting if Theo and Jed wanted Kelly back since he hasn’t developed as hoped.

  • die hard

    trade shows that San Diego thinking long term by improving club in many ways thru one player…trade Castro will do same for Cubs

  • mister_rob

    Its being rumored that TOR was the other team in the latos derby up til the end, and that they were offering a similar package
    Does anybody think TOR would offer a package like that for a SPer if they thought they were getting Yu? Why would they use all their trade chips and 100+M bolstering the rotation, while still doing nothing for the offense or pen?

    just struck me as odd

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Eh, I could see them going for a pitcher like Latos regardless of Yu. In fact, pairing Latos with Yu – similar age – and adding them to Romero would make a lot of sense. Gives you a clear, multi-year window.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I think its more evidence towards my theory- Toronto is out, and they know it.  All the early reports were that they had bid higher than 40 million, but less than 50.  Then we had the reports that the bid had surpassed that which Dice K received.  Putting 2 and 2 together…Toronto couldn’t have won with a bid below 50 million.  My money is on Cubs or Yankees, the two teams no one has talked about.  Although I agree with Brett, toronto could have wanted both.

  • Dumpman

    Very exciting. Obviously we take back Hudson as a salary dump. What everyone should understand is the Pads may have the best farm system now after that Latos trade. They have some very good prospects there. I still think a 3 way trade would be the way to go.

    • Toosh

      I’ve always thought that, too.

    • Andy

      When in doubt, go with the 3-way

    • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

      Yes and no. The Padres system has a lot of good talent, but it lacks elite level talent. You’d really like to snag an elite level player if you can. But I’m not sure you can- for Garza, at least. And if we can’t get elite, then working with the Padres and Rangers, we should get a really solid haul, maybe better than we gave up.

  • njriv

    I would hate to trade Garza in this situation if we don’t get any pitching back. We can’t deal our ace in a rotation that lacks depth and not get any pitching back.

  • Ashley

    I like this trade idea. I think it is a win- win for the Cubs, although I hate to get rid of Garza. I really like him and think he is going to have a killer year. If we have to give him up to get good young guys that will make us better down the road and can also build up our farm system than I am all for it.

    I also heard today that someone on twitter mentioned maybe a Zambrano for Volsted trade with the Marlins. Anyone have any thpughts on this deal? I would love the deal just becasue I am so tired of Zambrano and his antics, I just want the Cubs to wip their hands clean of him.

    • Toosh

      I agree. Zambrano must go.

      • Dougy D

        Me three.

    • jandersonjr81

      Zambrano must stay. Anybody who says trade Zambrano is illiterate to baseball and a hypocrite. Trading a guy who you have to eat 80%(14-15 mil) of his salary, in a contract year, who just over a season ago finish 8-0 with a stupid low ERA, cares more then anybody on the team, who numbers are mostly bad because the defense behind him was horrible, and was right in every situation he was involved in(even though he handled it wrong) when there is no way to replace his production with what you save would show that Theo, Jed and company are a bunch of stupid execs. JUST SAYING.

      • Dougy D

        I personally don’t want a quitter on my team. Zambrano is a ME FIRST type of player. Look back at him picking a fight with guys like Derek Lee. Even if Lee made an error, it’s not like Zambrano has done anything to hurt the team. Hasn’t he been sent home each of the last 2 seaons for being a shitty teammate? If you don’t see it, than I guess we just disagree. I certainly don’t see him being with the ball club a year from now. Hopefully not a week from now.

        The front office says that they want to change the chemistry of this ballclub, and this is a great way to do it. It looks like that at some point he will go to the Marlins. I think that both clubs are just waiting to see what he does in winter ball before making the deal. Hopefully he does really well so the Cubs and get an OK return.

        • jandersonjr81

          I think your opinion is crazy. Zambrano was the one didn’t quit. I agree with him, I would rather retire then play with a bunch of bum ass quitters. That the players we had last season. I am willing to bet Zambrano has a better season then Garza. If anything, keep him. Let him have a great/good year and.possibly receive type B status and gain q draft pick when he signs with Miami next year. Gotta be smart. Screw an attitude. I work with people I hate everyday.

          • Dougy D

            How can you say that he wasn’t the quitter. He gets taken out of the game and pitches a fit like a small child. He claims he is going to retire and then figures out that he won’t be able to take the fans hard earned money if he doesn’t come back and play. I don’t think he wants to be a Cub. If he did, he wouldn’t consistently talk shit and act like a baby. He is payed a king’s ransom to throw a baseball, but he can’t act like a man.

            • jandersonjr81

              That’s the problem. Fans think they pay salaries. You don’t pay his salary. Sponsors and TV money pays his salary. Second, he lasted longer then I would have. I would have demanded a trade as soon as he finished 2010 the way he did. Our players are incompetent guys content with collecting a paycheck who are happy to lose. Zabrano grew tired of it and lost it. I don’t blame him. As for the Derrick Lee incident, there is no way Lee shouldn’t have made that play. I might have smacked him too. The only players who should be back are Garza, Castro, Byrd, Soriano and Zambrano. Soriano only cause the contract would cost to much to dump.

              • Dougy D

                Aren’t all of those other guys quitters though?

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Would be hard to generate TV and ad revenue without any fans…

              • njriv

                Wrong again. Derrick Lee was the leader of the club house and one of the best defensive first baseman. He was the most respected player in that clubhouse. Z went after him and lost respect by is teammates (again). Shows little respect to his teammates. You don’t call out other teammates during the game, you do it after, again showing little respect and immaturity.

                • jandersonjr81

                  I recall him saying something to Lee, Lee popping off at the mouth, and Zambrano responding. Lee was also an overrated defender. Good glove, not good range. Doesn’t change the fact he should have made the play. BTW, not a big Zambrano fan, just a realist. Mainstream media doesn’t effect my.view.

                  • Dougy D

                    It’s funny that you say that you aren’t a big Z fan, and that you say that Lee was popping off at the mouth and not Z. It seems that you don’t see things the same as others. I don’t recall ever seeing Lee in an argument during a game except for that instance. Zambrano on the other hand, I recall him swinging at another player as well as him having words with others multiple times. Maybe you aren’t a Zambrano fan, but it sure seems like he can do no wrong the way you talk about him. By the way, I don’t let mainstream media affect my view of the situation either. I am just going by observation and the facts. I guess that I can just hope that he will be gone and be someone else’s headache, at the same time you hope he remains a Cub. And the fans do pay their salaries indirectly. The companies that advertise and other businesses as well as the city of Chicago all benefit from the Cubs. They have money that goes to the team, which in turn helps pay the salaries of the players, managers, etc.

                    • jandersonjr81

                      If we trade him, I hope he pitches the a shutout against us that keeps us out the playoffs or series. That teach us not to make stupid trades.

                      When he’s 18-6 next with a 3 something ERA, I don’t want to see one person on this site cheering for him.

                    • ThereWillBeCubs

                      I remember an argument that Derrek Lee got into:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVEQrKNuTwA

      • njriv

        I agree, the Cubs cant afford to cut a pitcher on a team that has zero pitching depth and he can still produce. But what he did in ATL was totally inexcusable. He gets into physical altercations with teammates and he walked out on them. He pitched a crappy game and he left his teammates out to dry to watch and dig him out of hole he dug them into.He showed how much respect he had for his teammates and the organization that gave him so many chances. Even the Cubs can still use him, he crossed the line for the final time. You NEVER, EVER turn your back and leave your teammates like that. They have given him so many chances, and he has failed all of them, he needs to go.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s a bit strong. There are legitimate reasons to keep Z. There are legitimate reasons to deal him.

        • jandersonjr81

          Sorry Brett, there is not one legitimate reason to deal Zambrano. I heard he a clubhouse cancer. I say if you can’t do your job because of the next man, then you should be let go.

          • Toosh

            Wrong. There are many reasons to trade Zambrano, the main one being in a team sport one player cannot continually place his interests above those of the rest of the team.

            • Cerambam

              I don’t want to perpetuate an argument but I rather win with a bunch of ” me first players” that have bad attitudes than lose with a bunch of great
              Guys… The cubs are lovable losers because of the attitude of those of you that want to trade Zambrano.

              • Toosh

                That’s just it. No team ever wins with players who are “me first players”.

            • Kyle

              Unless he’s Ron Santo.

              (Yes, I’m going to bring that up *every time*. Every. Single. Time) :)

              • Toosh

                May he rest in peace. You should let him, as well.

                • Kyle

                  It’s not about him. It’s about holding up a mirror to Cubs fans who can’t see their own hypocrisy.

  • Morgan

    Garza, Soto, Barney for Rizzo, Headley, Grandal, Kelly, and Hudson thats a solid deal
    Gives Cubs 3b, 1b, C, adn SP for future and two are players tho drafted himself

    • Lou Cub

      Morgan in a Garza trade you’ll need to acquire Rizzo, Headley or Grandal plus Casey Kelly and another Robbie Erlin type starter with huge upside…one starting pitcher in a deal like that considering the Cubs holes in the rotation won’t cut it.. It’s a shame, the Rangers offered Robbie Erlin, Chris Davis and the other pitcher the Pads got for Mike Adamsfor Marmol and were turned down

  • Deez

    Cubs won the bid. Remember, Epstein & the crew were the ones who bid $50M for Matusaka. They would know it would take at least that much if not 10% more.
    Also, I thought our organizational goal was to “Grow the organization.”
    If that is indeed the plan, players like Rizzo, the Cubans, & Darvish are the key.
    We will not be a pennant contender with the holes we have as an organization & the plan we have, so, I do not feel w/ the acquisition of Fielder helps on long term.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      “Cubs won the bid”  Do you have a source? Or just flappin your jaws?

      • Deez

        Aren’t we all just flappin’ our jaws?
        Use a lil’ logic.
        Why would they bid under $50M?
        Ned & Theo knows if you’re gonna spend money, spend it on pitching & prospects

        • Cheryl

          Makes sense. But Theo and company play it so close to the vest we don’t know.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          So why would TOR and TEX bid under 50 mil? Or any other team that is seriously interested?

          I’m not saying the Cubs won or lost, nobody knows.

          • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

            There are a few reasons to bid lower.
            1) If you’d like to sign Darvish, you have no reason not to bid, even if you think your bid won’t be good enough. You lose nothing by bidding.
            2) Darvish’s dad said he wanted the bids to be lower, I believe. That may have been more significant/serious than we understand.
            3) Your analysis might say Darvish is worth a lot less than we’ve been assuming.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              Darvish doesn’t accept the bid, The Ham Fighters do and they want the highest bid possible. Darvish won’t see a penny of the posting bid. The reason he wanted it to be low is because the Japanese players don’t like there teams making all that money just for American team’s to negotiate a contract with the players.

              And I would have trouble justifying over 100million dollars(If it were up to me, which its not) for a pitcher that has never thrown a pitch in the Majors, But I think that’s because I’m a skeptical person.

              • The Omnipresent Mystery Team

                The bid is for the rights to negotiate a contract with Darvish. Darvish does not have to accept the contract offer. Darvish can wait to come to the MLB when he is a free agent.

                • Toosh

                  That is correct. Also, as I understand it, Nippon does not get to see all the bids. They are only told what the highest bid is and then have to decide whether or not to accept it.

  • Jacob

    Hey, newbie, but big Cubs fan. Anyone else think the Cubs want to trade Garza because they found out they won the bidding for Yu?..

    • jandersonjr81

      Garza has been on the block. Cubs don’t wanna trade Garza. They will trade him, however, if the return is tremendous. Infact, getting Darvish would be more reason to keep Garza. Nice Duo.

      • Dougy D

        Agreed. I think that if you can add another guy with potential number one stuff, that gives you a chance to compete in 2012. This is coming from a guy who has said that they wouldn’t be competing in 2012 due to the holes in the team. I think that if we can solidify our rotation, it gives us a chance.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t see a causal relationship there. I’m not sure I see a relationship in either direction, actually. I think the Cubs are shopping Garza for the mere reason that he has a lot if value, and the Cubs need a lot of pieces. And welcome.

      • jandersonjr81

        I don’t see one either Brett, but if there was, ut would be.more reason to keep him.

      • Dumpman

        Yep you were right brett. Some Padres dude is posting we want Kelly too.

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