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Matt Garza trade rumors continue to swirl, as they should, what with the Chicago Cubs looking to restock their young player inventory and Garza being the best starting pitcher currently available.

The Cubs continue to hold serious discussions with multiple teams about Garza, and, as I tweeted this morning, a source close to those discussions believes there’s a “90 percent chance Garza isn’t with the Cubs come Spring Training.” While the talks are serious, they are simultaneously complicated because of the number of teams involved, the number and caliber of prospects involved (yes, the Cubs’ asking price is very high), and the Cubs’ continued desire to parlay some of those prospects into a player like Anthony Rizzo from the Padres (who are not, themselves, in on the Garza talks, but who might have interest in some of the prospects the Cubs would theoretically acquire for Garza).

The teams most heavily involved at this point shouldn’t surprise you: the Blue Jays, the Yankees, the Tigers, the Rangers (if they can move Matt Harrison), and the Red Sox (though another source tells me the Red Sox have been unenthusiastic about the Cubs’ initial asking price). I get the sense, though I’ve not heard outright, that the Blue Jays are the most aggressive suitor, with the Red Sox and Yankees somewhere behind. Dave Kaplan just said on Twitter a few minutes ago that he’s hearing something very similar.

I already know that many of you are seizing on that 90 percent piece, and letting your minds run wild. But, as always, I have to preach restraint. Because of the nature of these trade discussions, there are many sources close to the talks. And two smart, well-connected sources could have before them the same information, and come to two different conclusions. The point of passing along sourced information like this is not to convince you of its accuracy, but instead merely to make available to you whatever information is out there for consumption and evaluation.

And that’s neither a criticism of my source on this, nor a judgment on his read on this situation. It’s simply important to remind you that, when you hear sourced rumors about the contents of trade discussions or a likelihood of a trade, sources can be “right” about the content of their information, but that doesn’t mean the trade/signing/whatever will ultimately happen. I’m confident enough in this information to say that serious trade discussions are being had with multiple teams, and there’s a strong chance Garza could be traded. But, because of how complicated those talks necessarily are, the talks could fall by the wayside at any moment.

Speaking of complications, there’s another layer. Namely: what if the Cubs decide they’re better off extending Garza rather than trading him?

At 28, Garza obviously still has a number of highly productive years in the tank, and is coming off arguably the best season of his career. The Cubs have him under contract for two more years, during which he’s expected to make around $8 to $9 million in 2012, and $11 to $12 million in 2013. Even if the Cubs don’t expect to contend in 2012, adding on another couple years to Garza’s deal could make some sense.

MLBTradeRumors recently analyzed the prospect of a Garza extension through the lens of the White Sox’s John Danks extension, and concluded that, based on the similarities in the pitchers and their situations, the Cubs could look at giving Garza a similar deal. Danks got five years and $65 million, and MLBTR suggests four years and $52 million for Garza, which would buy out his two remaining arbitration years and two free agent years. Garza, the argument goes, would want the guaranteed money, and the Cubs would want the cost certainty.

But, if Garza is going to net about $20 million over the next two years anyway, is getting two additional years of Garza at $16 million per year worthwhile for the Cubs? If he were a free agent today, how much per season would Garza get? Yes, Garza is about to get expensive, but is an expensive bird in hand more valuable than three or four young, uncertain, cheap birds in the bush? These are the questions, in addition to the value of trading Garza now, that the Cubs must be asking themselves.

Thus, let the discussion of an extension serve as another reminder: the Cubs do not have to trade Matt Garza. While they might ultimately be convinced that trading him now is the best course of action depending on what offers land on the table, they might also decide that Garza’s long-term value to the Cubs is greater than those offers. Or, they might decide trying to trade Garza at the deadline this year is the best move. Or next offseason. You see how it goes.

  • deej34

    I love to micro-manage the cubs just as much as the next guy. Loved the cubs since I was 3 and just moved from Denver to within 3 miles of Wrigley. But I HAVE to believe that guys like Theo and Jed have a plan and maybe know a little more than we do… Maybe. I think maybe people are jumping the guy and calling for the end of the world a little too early. Who thought any one or two players or any one or two front office members were going to turn the cubs around in one off-season?!

    Didn’t we all bitch about Z’s and Soranio’s long, over-paid, contracts? Ramirez was overpaid. Guess what? Fielder wants a huge contract. So does Yu. Not to mention the $50 mill just to SPEAK to him!! As much as it will pain me to watch us struggle next year, I’m a little happy we aren’t just spending money today we will regret in 3 to 5 years.

    • Adam H

      Ramirez was NOT overpaid FYI. He earned every penny.

      • BetterNews

        Come on man! He one one of the biggest jokes in the 07/08 playoffs.

      • Bluekoolaidaholic

        How many pennies do you give him for not hustling?? How many games would we have won if he didn’t commit all those errors, and I mean all of them that weren’t called too?? How many times did he dog it around the base paths casually and turn singles into outs and doubles and triples into singles. And what about all those mystery injuries??
        See ya, Aram, hope you do well up there with the other fat guy.

        • BetterNews

          So true brother, so true.

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          aramis gave us his prime years and there is no disputing that, now weather his heart was in it is totally debatable. as far as him wanting to play for a contender good luck with that and i hope you enjoy playing accross town you trader!

          • BetterNews

            Wha chu talkin bout?

          • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

            aramis the cross lake trader

            • BetterNews

              I wouldn’t call him a trader. I call him m$#@^&F$%^&S^&*ABITCH! Sorry, but that felt good.

            • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

              sorry news in talking about aramis my emotions just got the better of me

              • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

                oh fa sho!!!!

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    in all honesty giving up our farm…really wasnt giving up alot. id rather have garza to try and deal now than have the package of prospects back. it just might all work out for the better in retrospect.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    well said dj!!
    we got theo this off season. the only individual pick up that can truly resape the orginization. never fear cubs faithfull!!theo will do more for us than fielder

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    oh my god!! its michigangoat and his boys at my door! is that big z with em…oh no its big z and fonzi to!!

  • BAMF

    Man, knock it off with the commenting. Reading what you are writing is making me dumber by the minute. I’ve been on BN for 45 mins and have already read countless posts you wrote about Garza not getting traded, you starting a one man boycott of Cubs games, being flabbergasted with comparing Matt Garza to a stock, and so on and so on. NOBODY VALUES YOUR STUPIDITY!

    • BAMF

      @BETTERNEWS

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      BAMF’d

    • BetterNews

      How about you knock it off!(I’ve heard you already knocked something, but I won’t go there). Everybody knows the value of my stupidity, it’s the stupidity in your comment/comments nobody can figure out.

      • BAMF

        ???

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        So basically your response is “I know you are but what am I,” the six year old is showing.

        • BAMF

          I’ll feel bad if it turns out he is 6.

      • ferrets_bueller

        ………wait.  You’re actually aware of your stupidity?

        • BetterNews

          Yep! Compared too you, I am a genius!

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    for 18 mill big z can trim the ivy in the outfield.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    thank you bamf. its like talking baseball with ben stien or something

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      The difference is Ben Stein is intelligent.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i seriously had a dream that the cubs signed yu darvish and he sucked…not to mention we signed prince and he was like mo vaugn all over again,and at the end of my dream bill murry shot theo

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    michigangoat i love the enthusiasm and share the enthusiasm…and promise to keep the faith right along side you brother! cubs in 2012!!!

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      You too brother, or should I say crony

      • HoustonTransplant

        Oh, oh…I wanna be a MichiganGoat cronie!  TATS, yo…tats.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    yea your right…and actually kinda cool in a nerdy sort of way…my bad to ben stien…i guess i ment more like mort on the family guy

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    CRONIE IT IS!! me you fonzi and big z… i think we better bring guns though…we could invite ben stein

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i tell ya what matt garza had better be a pretty good hitter too if he plans on winning any games with the offence were putting out there this year….yikes

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    lets try big z at 3rd…we know he can hit

  • ty

    LaHair just hit another to go along with a basehit. walked twice last night–if runners on they will not pitch to him’

    • BAMF

      How different would it be if LaHair found this swing 4-5 years ago? We would be looking at him as one of the first options instead of the last. Although I’m all for bringing in some more talent in the OF and at 1B, another part of me really wants to see him get a solid chance to play everyday. 250 major league ABs would give us a good idea of the type of player he could be. Unfortunately for him, I fear that may be asking too much.

      • BAMF

        …and of course, if the Cubs had him 4-5 years ago. I really meant to say if he was 4-5 years younger.

  • Oswego Chris

    Why does this have to be so hostile?…..a healthy debate on if the Cubs should trade/not trade Garza with comparative packages is warranted….the pissing contest on if its going to happen or not is stupid….I highly doubt that that Theo and Co. have decided either way….

    personally for me it’s not an easy call…some of those Torornto guys sound like great long range prospects(Gose and 70SB’s)…I would just like to see one MLB ready pitcher…which won’t happen because they are too valuable….I think the “propsect bubble” concept that was bandied about on this site last week has some merit…teams like Toronto have hoarded prospects and spent on the draft so much that they and baseball in general might overvalue their systems a bit….and with a lack of MLB ready guys, then the Cubs say “Okay, then we want D’Arnaud, Gose, McGuire”…Toronto says “no..that’s 3 of our top 5″(or whatever)…..it’s human nature….we overvalue what is ours…(hence the almost DeRosa like reaction to the trading of Sean Marshall)

    the Cubs have smart guys now….and if you don’t think so,  then F#$k off!( that was a joke….sarcasm it is called, after I chastised others for hostile behavior)

    • Cheryl

      Well said, Oswego!!!

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Great points Chris, myself and others (the Cronies) have fanned the fires of hostility. I’d never thought I’d miss grading papers but I can’t wait to return to my classroom and have civilized discourse again. So it’s back to ignoring the pissing contest and engaging in actual baseball conversation again. So everyone please ignore those who can’t have civilized discussions and stop feeding the trolls.

    • BAMF

      I’m with you Oswego, it should be about the Cubs. We’re all fans, thanks for throwing the BS back in our face.

  • ryan

    Very well spoken Oswego

  • Lou Cub

    For all of you guys who think that the Cubs shouldn’t trade Garza, think about it this way..If by trading Garza we can get 3 or 4 long term pieces it’s a win..The club saves money on Garza and on the kids aquired, it helps jump start the farm and increases the probability that the Cubs will be able to reallocate that savings into an impact free agent signing possibly a soon as next year..Bottom line we won’t win with Garza at the top of the rotation and all the holes that follow, we need depth and trading him will give us that depth..I’d wager that whoever TheoHoyerMcCleod will get someone as good or better than Garza as part of that deal plus others, it’s a no brainer…would you rather wallow in mediocrity or make a bold move and build this team right!!

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      i dont want the cubs to be in the position to have to trade him but the fact is we are,if we can get 3-4 solid prospect/players for him we mustdo it and we can sign a guy like jackson whos not that much worse until we get out of this mess…..hendry didnt mean to mess things up but he did and thats what theo an co. have to clean up.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Everyone please ignore the bait of “it”. just completely ignore.

    • Cheryl

      I know. He keeps kicking the same old stuff around.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Exactly it not worth the energy and engaging “it” only feeds the hostility. I won’t be responding to anything it says any more.

        • BetterNews

          Goat—Sounds like you. Look in the mirror.

        • Cheryl

          I will make one last comment and then follow your advice MG. Better News why did you come on this site? It seems as if your sole purpose is to not discuss but insult . If that’s your aim, then go elsewhere!!!

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            You nailed it Cheryl, now time to ignore.

          • BetterNews

            Then I must remind you to look in the mirror as the Goat should. Similar reflections, i’m sure!

      • BetterNews

        Crony?

  • OHBearCub

    I still say Lahair is going to be our 1st baseman unless he plays left field. He would be our version of Adam Dunn inthe left when he was a red. I think if we do a deal for Garza with the Blue Jays the are going to make them take Sorianoat a major discount so it doesnt impact the prospect haul. Then we trade Mcnutt and Byrd as well as Russell to the Pads for Rizzo. Sign Crispas a free agent. Jackson stays at AAA until he gets hot starting the season. If he breaks camp with the mlb club and struggles he will get persecuted and that cant happen. WE DONT NEED ARUSSELL MCNUTT AND BYRD.

    crisp
    Dejesus
    Castro
    Lahair
    Rizzo
    Soto
    Stewart
    Barney

  • MightyBear

    This whole thing is simple really. I don’t know what the fuss is about. The Cubs gave up 2 top fifty prospects for Garcia. If you can get 2 top fifty prospects in return, trade him. If not, sign him to an extension. You have the Danks contract as a go by. You have several young pitchers who were traded and the teams got a boat load of high level prospects in return. I will say this, Garza’s trade value is at its highest now. If you don’t trade him, do an extension.

    • BetterNews

      Who is Garcia?

      • TWC

        Jerry, dude.

        Sheesh!

        • ferrets_bueller

          This board needs lesh Dead references.

        • BetterNews

          Funny. Just about your “dead” jokes!

  • MightyBear

    Rumor has it the Cubs and Blue Jays are talking heavy duty about Garza. If the Cubs get Arnoud – C, Norris – P, Sanchez – P and McGuire – P, do the deal. That would be a nice haul for Garza and almost what we gave up (Archer, Rhee) to get him.

  • BetterNews

    Cubs are not talking “heavy duty”. Truth hurts, I know.

  • R.I.P. Santo

    The Rays farm system is so stacked the top cub prospects we gave up for Garza dont even show up on their top 20 list

    • BetterNews

      What are you saying Santo?

    • ferrets_bueller

      Not really sure where you’re getting that from, BA has Lee as #2 and Archer as #3.

    • http://bleachernation ferris

      thats how low our farm is though,they were many of our best….we gotta do it or spend several more years hoping to be avg. we can be avg. now an still build our farm,also the division w/o pujols an prince being on our rivals rosters,we can be avg. an compete.imo

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        this is true…the central isnt what it was just a year ago

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          the cards and reds are looking pretty impressive but by way of comparison the rest of the league looks much more competitive

  • ferrets_bueller

    That one random dude on twitter (MLBInsidenews) is reporting that the Yanks are making a push, and Banuelos is involved.  Now, I don’t put much weight behind anything he says, at all, at this point.  But, what the hell…I’m bored.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    if we get more than we gave up for garza (which im sure we will if we trade him) than we remedy the error we made in the first place by tradeing prospects in the hopes of contending.
    were not gonna contend this year why carry garza around unless theo and co thinks his trade value will increase near the trade deadline.teams making a playoff push after all are alot more likely to do something that hurts there future in hopes of winning a tital right away right?

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    hold garza till the deadline and maximize his trade value…is there a smarter way to do this….no just a more impatient way.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Thats not necessarily true.  First, the impatient way would have been to have done what the A’s and Pads did- trade their guy before Darvish was off the market, and before the other guys had dealt their guys.  He’s now the only available top of the rotation arm.

      Which brings me to point number 2….

      Its highly debatable to say that he’s going to have more value at the trade deadline.  Why? Two factors.

      One, he’s the only elite arm out there right now.  Thats not guaranteed to be the case at the deadline- any number of players could become available, as they do every year.  In fact, this may be a once in a decade type of opportunity- how often are there multiple suitors, with heavy farm systems, and only one guy out there for them to go after?  With a huge gap between him and anyone else?  Pretty much never.

      Two, whats to say the teams in on him will be at the deadline?  There really aren’t two better suitors for him than the Jays and Yanks.  The Yanks would possibly still be in at the deadline, but would the Jays?  thats a pretty risky bet, playing with the Yankees, Bosox, and Rays.  Detroit isn’t exactly an elite team, the AL Central is pretty much wide open- and the teams who could rise to the top aren’t exactly ones who throw prospects around.

      And of course, theres the chance that he gets hurt before you trade him.

      The market really isn’t going to get much better than it is right now.  I know it sounds strange to say by conventional wisdom, but right now its the perfect storm to deal him- especially with the three best suitors, farm system-wise, (Yanks, Jays, Red Sox) all in on it and bidding against each other.  Thats highly unlikely to still be the case later on.  Now is the time to move.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        point well taken… as the best availible arm it truely would appear that now is the best oppertunity…good insight my friend

    • BAMF

      I respect what you are saying and definitely see your point of view. Playing devil’s advocate, I think you could look at the situation like the commodities market with prices that are constantly changing. Right now we are actually holding the commodity in Garza and his perceived value is extremely high coming off of a career year and being the best easily obtained SP on the market. The future is always uncertain, but having a commodity, we are entitled the option as to if and when we sell. The question to ask yourself would be if the reward for keeping him until the trade deadline is worth the extra risk. My way of thinking is that if you can get a really good deal now, take it. Theo talks about prospects as the currency of baseball. If that is the case, you can maximize the potential value of the commodity that you own (without taking on unnecessary risks like injury and poor performance).
      In this scenario, the commodity the Cubs possess can then be exchanged for 2 different types of “currency”. The first would be a type of baseball “futures” if you will (as in commodity futures), or MLB ready prospects. They are ready, have a definite value, but must be executed in the relative short term. The benefit here is that you are getting an almost ready major league type player. What you are hoping for is that you are buying a commodity (signing a player) on the cheap and the player out performs expectations. Risk is that the market can drop further and you are left with a overpriced bench player you had penciled in to play 1-2 years down the road. The second would be in the form of derivatives (options) like young, raw, unproven talent. These are low cost, but extremely high risk. You don’t know if you are ever getting a major league caliber player (commodity). While options are in the money, there is intrinsic value, when they are not they have little to no monetary value. There is also a time value to options as well. The younger the player the more perceived total value.
      The basic idea of all of this is that you have to do your research and then develop your game plan based on the amount of risk you are comfortable with. SABR is Jedstein’s market research, let’s hope it has given them a good view on the market and they are able to maximize the value of the Cubs by adding pieces that make sense for the short and long term objectives of the organization. I know this isn’t a perfect comparison, but for what it’s worth, it helps me think of the business side as business, without the emotional attachment that we as fans develop.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i dont see the jays contending simply by makeing a move for garza…i only see them making the same mistake the cubs made by depleting the farm for the so called missing piece. however as a cubs fan i would be glad to see that situation remedied at the other guys expence!

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      well said

      • ferrets_bueller

        lmfao, complementing yourself, or forgot to switch IDs?

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          yea me!

          • BetterNews

            Keep going!

            • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

              running out of topics to grind into powder…or am i?

          • BetterNews

            You’re the best!

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      Very true. It’s going to take a lot for the Jays to truly compete in that division. Wait, did you just reply to your own comment by saying “well said”?

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        i did indeed sir

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          any true cubs fan must be fully equiped with his sense of humor…right?

          • BetterNews

            You’re not a fan! I know that already.

            • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

              not true sir!! ive been a fan sense ron cey was playing third base and ryne sandberg was a rookie….im a fan till the wheels fall off…and just maybe thats why im so tainted…but sense of humor i tell you keeps me loving these cubbies!

              • BetterNews

                O.K. I am believing you! Anyone that remembers Ron Cey with the Cubs has to be a fan. Sorry.

                • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

                  thank you boy did you see the amount of offense i took to that? im sorry i called you bartman…actually really sorry man thats harsh

                  • BetterNews

                    I’ve been called worse! We’re coool.

                • Lou Cub

                  I rememeber Ron Cey’s inside the park homer @ Wrigley and Harray Carray cheerfully exclaiming..:now I have seen EVERYTHING!!!!!

                  • BetterNews

                    Like yesterday!

                    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

                      the penguin is the reason i became a cubs fan…and than i discovered rye sandberg….what a ballplayer that was

      • BetterNews

        Yes, he did.

        • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

          for instance, shawon dunston with the first over all pick in 84….or mark prior ahead of joe muaer…are you crying yet?

          • BetterNews

            Nope!

            • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

              if that hasnt cost you any tears i ask are you the fan you think i am not?

            • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

              is that you steve bartman?!

  • HR Trucker

    Ok having read money ball and looking at the stats for not only the guys we are going after now and the Red Sox reaction to the still to be determined Theo deal. Lets just say these guys have the future as the best thing for the organization. They are not throwing money at guys for nothing (my wife will kill me for this) Aramis and company, who though good RBI guys its a ghost. We need guys who will minimize the cost of each out, not just swing away because it is sexy. Theo, take Wrigley down brick by brick if that is what it takes to give us a constant winning product to the field that may look ugly and not like a fat overpaid swing for the fence player like both Albert or Prince or even Sosa before. I want the guy who will study his hind off looking for the whole in their own swing that makes them dangerous and on base for the next guy doing the same. Which means winning and winning as a team which means an end to the Cubs long tiresome but faithful persuit of the dream.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      money ball…did you know jonah hill got like a tummy tuck or staple or somthing? its crazy the dudes not fat anymore

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i still think for 18 mill big z should trim the ivy in the outfield and cut the grass….maybe drag a rake over the infield…you know earn his keep

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