Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Gonzalez, Fielder, Francis, Harrison, Crisp

Will the nature of the Lukewarm Stove take a turn now that Sean Marshall has been dealt? I tend to think not, as I discussed at length yesterday. The Cubs will continue to look at making moves via trade or free agency that improve the team for the future, with an emphasis on the long-term. That was always the plan.

  • The biggest piece the Cubs have to trade is, of course, pitcher Matt Garza. With Yu Darvish going off the board to the Rangers (even if they can’t ultimately sign him, the Cubs aren’t going to wait 30 days just to see if the Rangers re-enter the market for Garza – if Garza is traded, it’ll almost certainly be in the next 30 days), Garza’s market shrank a bit. The Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox make sense for a number of reasons, as do the Nationals, Marlins, Tigers and Orioles. Frankly, any team that wants to add a starting pitcher should have already been talking to the Cubs.
  • The White Sox just extended John Danks for five years and $65 million (one year of arbitration in there, four free agent years). It’s a decent deal for the White Sox, and Danks is only 26, but, like … rebuilding? What exactly is their plan? This will have an interesting impact on the Cubs vis a vis Matt Garza. Could the Cubs use that contract as a benchmark for trying to extend Garza on a favorable deal? Then again, it takes Danks off the market (probably), which helps the market for Garza.
  • Gio Gonzalez, the other big-time pitcher currently on the trade market, is close to being moved, says Buster Olney. There’s a chance he’s moved as soon as today. The bidding is down to two teams, according to Olney, the Nationals and either the Marlins or the Red Sox. Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Nationals are working hard to land Gonzalez. Because the Nationals have only vaguely been attached to Garza rumors, that should be your horse in the Gonzalez race. If Gio lands in Washington, all of the AL East teams outside of Tampa Bay remain in the market for a starting pitcher, and the best one available – Garza – is a guy they know well.
  • Jim Bowden postulates on the possible deals out there for Garza (subscription required).
  • The Cubs have talked to Jeff Francis as a possible left-handed pitching depth option. Whether the acquisition of Travis Wood scuttles those talks – or the ones with Paul Maholm, for that matter – remains to be seen. Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs will keep pursuing guys like Maholm and Francis, regardless of Wood. Check out Francis if you must. Depth is all he’d be.
  • Teams continue to wait for Prince Fielder’s price tag to drop. Whether or not the Cubs are “rebuilding,” until/unless they pull the trigger on a deal for someone like Anthony Rizzo, I will continue to believe they would be willing to sign the 27-year-old Fielder to a five-year deal. The problem is Fielder is still asking for ten.
  • Phil Rogers suggests the Cubs could go after lefty Matt Harrison if the Rangers make him available in the wake of the Yu Darvish addition. He says they could make the move for Randy Wells and Marlon Byrd, which I seriously doubt. Harrison, 26, is in his first year of arbitration, and is coming off his first truly great year (3.39 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, K rate climbing, BB rate falling, 131 ERA+). If he’s available, I’d certainly hope the Cubs would take a look.
  • The Cardinals are talking to theoretical Cubs target Coco Crisp, but seem to be more interested in Carlos Beltran.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

84 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Garza, Gonzalez, Fielder, Francis, Harrison, Crisp”

  1. Joey Jo Jo Junior

    Yes–Phil seems to be off his rocker. The Rangers would hang up on that Harrison deal in approximately 10 seconds.

  2. Boog

    Has Phil ever floated a trade idea that made sense for both sides?

  3. Fishin Phil

    Honestly, he seems to go further off the deep end almost every day.  I’m thinking of kicking him out of the Phil Union.

  4. Kansas Cubs Fan

    I would really like for the Cubs to get Harrison. I was hoping they would get him in a Garza trade, but a trade for someone else would be fine by me.

  5. JR

    I am relatively new to your site Brett. And i gotta say I really enjoy what you write, and your perspective on the Cubs.
    Do you think Epstein and Co. would really go thru a complete overhaul and be terrible in 2012? He seems to have to much pride for that… I think Epsteins feelings to win a world series you need to be in the post season often is right on. But i can’t wrap my head around them being worse than they were last year, and thats the way it’s looking..

  6. Jonski

    I would help Bryd and Wells pack ,but Theo and Jed would beat me to it if this rumor was close to being true .I like him and imagine what he could do in any other ball park besides the Rangers lol

  7. JR

    Kansas Fan I agree about Harrison. I almost prefer him to Garza considering his arb. status.

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      He hasn’t had as much success, but hes a power lefty. And the Cubs need one of those.

      1. JR

        Agreed, if they could some how work out a 3 team trade to get Harrison and Rizzo and only lose Garza that would be great.

        1. Kansas Cubs Fan

          Between Cubs, Rangers and Padres? Maybe if the Rangers don’t get Darvish signed they would want Garza. But I don’t think Garza fits with the Padres.

          Or 3 team trade with Rangers and one of Blue Jays, Red Sox, Or Yankess.

          Cubs get Harrison, TOR, BOS, OR NYY gets Garza, Rangers get the OFer they need. That the only other way I can see it working.

          1. JR

            Yep 3 way with Rangers and Padres. And the Rangers sending prospects to Padres. Cubs get Rizzo and Harrison. Garza and maybe couple middle tier prospects goes to Texas. Even if they get Darvish they may still want to upgrade the rest of their rotation.. Who knows..
            But the teams you mention may work as well.

            1. Kansas Cubs Fan

              Rangers need a CFer more than a starter. But who knows, I’m sure something could be worked out.

              1. 2much2say

                Josh Hamilton is Texas CF. Texas needs a 1st baseman and a good defensive catcher. Napoli/Young rotating DH while the other plays defense. Young has been a thorn for Texas. In that he has no where to play, since Beltre signed.

                1. Lou

                  Hamilton could be a FA though after 2012. And if the Rangers get Fielder, I don’t think Hamilton will remain with Texas. Too much worry over his injuries.

  8. Oswego Chris

    OKay..how can Phil Rogers be getting paid to be a baseball “expert” and print sh$t like that and none of us are?…..really….Wells and Byrd for one of the top young lefties…our worst posters come up with better crap than that…

    1. JR

      Rogers is clueless. He has the same thought process as Hendry…

  9. Sean Duffy

    I love what Joey Jo Jo said, that’s the perfect and most accurate response to that potential trade you suggested. Why on earth would the Rangers deal a quality arm like Harrison? Even if it were for Garza? I think the Cubs would do well to avoid signing Prince and just invest more money into their very thin farm system. They’re in no immediate state to compete – too much money must be cleared. I think they’d do well to sign a 1B to a year or two incentive-laden contract and deal for Anthony Rizzo. As a Padre fan, and in light of the recent acquisition of Yonder Alonso, the Padres could realistically move Rizzo, but they may not want to take on Garza’s contract, the Cubs’ best trade chip as far as I know.

  10. CubSouth

    I have a question for Brett or anyone else who knows how favorable trades work. I read where there are PTBNL or cash considerations when some trades are made, is it not conceivable that the Cubs could get Gio Gonzalez for a MiL prospect and alot of money? The Cubs have money, the A’s don’t, so why not pay fair market value (like the posting bid for Yu Darvish) and then try to sign Gio and if they don’t, send him back, or maybe keep the contract negotiations under wraps until a deal is made or not? I’m not saying this is how it has to be, just that money is what the A’s lack and Cubs have so why not make a deal solely based on that?

    1. Kyle

      The commissioner’s office will most likely reject a deal that is basically “buying” the player. You can include cash to pick up the player’s salary, or a small amount of cash, but you can’t just drop millions on a player.

  11. JulioZuleta

    mlbtr is saying the Red Sox are trying to get BOTH Gonzalez and Bailey in a deal. That could really make the Yanks feel the need to overpay for Garza. I think Once Gio is dealt, and Danks is off the market, Garza becomes the best available starter left by a long shot.

    They’re also saying the Yanks are shopping Swisher. Maybe Ship Garza and Byrd to the Yanks?? I think it makes a lot of sense.

    1. JR

      Jesus Montero!!

      1. JulioZuleta

        I think that’s very reasonable. His name has been dangled in rumors enough to suggest he isn’t as untouchable as many people think.

        1. JR

          That would be great on so many levels. Get a top 3 prospect who is ready to mash…

        2. hansman1982

          The only problem is his questionable fielding skills.  I believe I have read that the Yankees have all but given up on him being a Catcher

          1. Kansas Cubs Fan

            I was getting ready to say that. I wonder how bad he would be at first?

          2. JR

            Yeah, I hear u. That is a concern. But he is an absolute beast. Last i saw was Cashman comparing his d-fence to Posada when he was young. Cashman thought he would come around as a catcher.

          3. JulioZuleta

            Yeah, he’s kind of a tweener at this point. Maybe left? I’d rather not put him at first, I think there are some other good 1Bs out there.

            1. JulioZuleta

              All this has me thinking about the potential of next year. I think at this time next year, after the trades that’ll go down and another draft, in addition to the development of the bevy of our low level prospects, the Cubs will have a top 5, maybe top 3 farm system

              1. Kansas Cubs Fan

                Eh maybe, the kids we have now would have to play a big role. I would be VERY excited if our farm improved that much in just one year.

                1. JulioZuleta

                  I think it’s possible. When we trade Garza, we might add 3 new names to our top ten list. Who knows, maybe even one in this trade. I think that a few of the kids we drafted last year our going to have huge years. I think Ben Wells is going to have an absolute break out year, and I think some of the other A starters will break out. There’s not a doubt in my mind we’ll be in the top 10.

            2. ferrets_bueller

              As far as prospects go, I don’t think theres a better potential 1B than Montero.  Plus, he strikes me as a guy who definitely could not cut it in the OF.

              But if I could pick any (plausible- not mike trout) Garza deal…it would definitely be Montero plus arms.

        3. JulioZuleta

          Scratch all this, Gio to Nats.

      2. Lou

        Why he’s their future DH? I thought we wanted SP. Don’t think Yanks are giving us Baneulos and not high on Betances.

  12. BleedBlueinWNeb

    just making a change to my handle…oh yeah, we could use matt stairs!

  13. Jon Martin

    go cubs

    1. Caleb

      Well said.

    2. Ol'CharlieBrown

      Very well articulated. I couldn’t agree more. This may very well be the first comment on Bleacher Nation in which nobody can disagree ha

  14. Lou

    Well, Gio to Nats. Is Garza next?

    1. Toosh

      It will be interesting to see what Epstein/Hoyer decide to do with Garza.

      1. DRock

        He should be worth AT LEAST what A’s got for Gio.  If we are indeed rebuilding and throwing in the towel for the next few years, trade Garza and Marmol and Soto and Byrd and Soriano and Zambrano and Dempster now.

        1. JulioZuleta

          Three no trade clauses right there (Soriano, Zambrano, Dempster) I think the first two would accept a trade, but best case scencario for Dempster would be a trade to a contender at the deadline,

  15. kevin 3000

    I doubt the White Sox regret dealing Gio for essentially Nick Swisher.

    1. JulioZuleta

      Remember, Kenny Williams traded him twice.

  16. 2much2say

    Wow, now that I think about it Napoli and Young are Texas’s weakness? Solid Team.

  17. Ol'CharlieBrown

    “The Giants are talking to Boof Bonser about a possible minor league deal, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle”

    Boof Bonser, what a great baseball name. Looks like Darwin Barney has some competition…

  18. MrCub73

    Don’t know the validity, but Logan Morrison just tweeted that Prince to Seattle is a done deal. He is the only I heard to report such, so may be nothing

    1. Ol'CharlieBrown

      Very odd. I have a hard time believing that a Marlins player somehow is the first to break the news of a Prince deal. If anything, it would be a little more legitimate if it was maybe coming from a Mariners player, but Marlins? Strange indeed. Should be interesting to see if this deal truly does happen. If so, it looks like Morrison will soon be putting Heyman and Rosenthal out of business.

  19. JulioZuleta

    Jesus, after the package the A’s just got, I have to think the asking price for Garza just went up a little bit. The #3 #4 and #9 prospects plus another 10-20 level in a loaded farm system?? I know Gio is cheaper, but he also has more walks than anyone in the MLB the last 2 years.

    1. JasonB

      And the 10-20 guy may have been the one player that Beane wanted the most out of the deal.

    2. Shawn

      He is also under control until 2015, and a couple of years younger I believe, which adds to his value. Still a guy who has done it in the AL East should be worthy of quite a haul.

  20. 2much2say

    @MrCub73 is that you Die Hard? Logan Morrison?

    1. Kansas Cubs Fan

      @LoMoMarlins: Just heard from my boy that Prince to Seattle is a done deal…”

      Copied directly from Twitter. Know what your talking about before you call someone out.

  21. die hard

    right here

  22. Oswego Chris

    Gio is probably at least one prospect better than Garza…lefty…cheaper…more team control….

    if I were an A’s fan( there would be 76 of them, instead of 75) I would be plenty pissed off….what’s the point?…you had two very good to great starters cheap and under control….of the six prospects they got they will be lucky to hit on two….which is what they had…..

    “prospect bubble” is dead on…

     

     

  23. Norm

    I’d be pretty ecstatic if I were OAK. I think Gio is a bit overrated.

  24. tex134

    Twitter report on Fielder was a Hoax according to CBS

  25. goatbusters

    *sigh*

  26. OHBearCub

    I say we trade the following for Harrison.

    McNutt, Wells, Byrd

    McNutt hasn’t proven anything other than a lot of people think he is great. Ain’t done nothing at the big league level so trade him.

    Wells give the Rangers and extra guy for rotation depth. Like Theo says… you have to know who your 6,7,8 and 9th starters are going to be.

    Byrd gives them a solid outfielder in case one of their studs get hurt. aka Hamilton.

    Put your Salesman hat on Theo and make that deal happen.

    Can’t see myself losing any sleep over sending those boys to Texas. Probably sleep a lot better knowing they were all on the same flight.

  27. OHBearCub

    Come on Theo… your letting the Cardinals beef back up again. I thought you knew how to play this game inside your own division. Your making trades with the Reds and the Cards are signing Beltran. And on top of that they are probably laughing their azzes off right now.

    These two clowns that are coming from the Reds farm system had better be the Sh*t. I live in Dayton, Oh 45 miles from Great American Ballpark. We have the Reds farm team here in town. They have some pieces in their system. You better get them or your going to get outsmarted by the Reds and the Cards. If you get hood winked be these guys tell your wife to put the for sale sign back up in the yard. Like Zambrano says…. We will be a AAA team.

    That movie Major League is just a movie dude. You can’t build a team like that and expect anything good. I hope we get the Reds two best prospects otherwise I will be eating Sh*t again tomorrw morning when I show up at the office. I’m the only Cub fan in our company. I pissed them all off when I decorated my office with Cubs and Bears memorabilia. And my Soriano and Urlacher Fat Heads on the walls.

    Please do something smart.

    1. BAMF

      Be patient OH, give it a little time. Don’t go all Jannenga just yet.

    2. Cardfan

      I is laughing my azzes off.

  28. Katie

    Levine tweeted Cubs sign Manny Corpas to a one year deal.

    1. Ol'CharlieBrown

      What on earth is going on?

  29. J.B. House

    La hair homered again and is in left field again. I really wish someone would say who the two minors league players are even if it turned out to be wrong at least we could think we knew