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Yesterday, you could see smoke coming from the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field offices from miles away – and, no, I’m not talking about that electrical fire (I told myself I wouldn’t make a lame fire joke … crud). I’m talking about the Cubs’ trade talks with multiple teams about their staff ace, Matt Garza. That smoke picked up as the day went along, and reached a thick, billowy black by last night. Here’s the latest:

  • In case you missed the update yesterday afternoon, the thrust was this: a source told me that the Cubs were in serious discussions with multiple teams about Matt Garza, and the source’s best guess was that there was a 90 percent chance Garza wouldn’t be with the team come Spring Training.
  • From there, Dave Kaplan said: “Hearing that talks on Matt Garza are heating up. Lots of interest because he is under control contractually for two more seasons. Price though is incredibly high so not sure if a deal gets done. Toronto, Yankees, Boston are all involved.”
  • Jim Bowden chimed in to say plainly that the Cubs and Blue Jays continue to discuss a Matt Garza deal.
  • Jon Heyman said that the Cubs are focused on receiving young pitching back in a deal for Garza, and noted that the Blue Jays and Yankees would have what it takes to put a package together.
  • Heyman added this morning that the Red Sox remain a possibility for Garza after landing Andrew Bailey to fill their void at closer yesterday. Ken Rosenthal also noted Garza as a possibility for the Red Sox yesterday after the Bailey deal. For what it’s worth, none of the players in the Bailey deal were names I was hearing attached to the Cubs’ talks with the Red Sox about Garza. That is to say only that the Bailey trade did not necessarily remove any critical pieces from the Red Sox’s system.
  • For my part, I was up late last night pulling info. Two sources independently told me that, as of late last night, the Cubs were pushing teams to start putting together their best offer for Garza. Both sources indicated the teams most heavily involved as of that time were the Blue Jays, Tigers and Yankees (those are not necessarily the only teams still involved – teams seem to come in and out of the picture – but they are the teams most heavily involved at last check).
  • Does that mean a trade will happen today or even at all? Nah. Of course not. It means, at most, that the Cubs are coming to a crossroads where they’d like to move the offseason ball forward. Either Garza will or will not open the season with the Cubs, and the organization would probably like to know which direction they’ll be going sooner rather than later. In other words, asking teams to make their best offer is not necessarily a precursor to selecting the best offer.
  • But, like, yeah: a lot of smoke.
  • Louis

    completely agree with everything you’re saying Mick.

  • Mike S

    What package looks better?

    Toronto: Drabek, Gose, Hutchinson, and either McGuire/Marisinick
    Yankees: Montero, Banuelos and someone else…
    or
    Detroit: Oliver, Castellanos, Smyly

    I prefer the Toronto package. Not saying these are the only packages or anything but they are names being “talked about”

    • Hrubes20

      I think any Detroit package has to have Turner in it. Not sure any Yanks package would have Montero in it, either.

    • Wrigley11

      Of those packages, the Yankees. Two things though: 1. Detroit needs to include Turner in any Garza package, Smyly and Oliver aren’t enough, and 2. I highly doubt the Yankees would include Manny and Montero in one package, unless they were trying to get King Felix.

      I think if Tigers package Turner, Smyly, Castellanos, and another prospect, the Cubs will do that. If Yanks end up offering Montero and Banuelos or Betances, I think that’s the best package possible. Just my opinion though.

      • MightyBear

        Yankees aren’t going to include montero AND banuelos. Maybe one but not both. Two top ten prospects in all of baseball. No way.

        • Wrigley11

          I agree, I stated that in my post. I was just saying if they were willing to offer that, like Mike S asked, it would likely be the best possible offer.

    • ferrets_bueller

      The best possible package would be the Yankees, but its also pretty close to zero chance of it happening.

      The second best, with a decent chance of happening, would be McGuire, Hutchinson, Marisnick, and Gose.

      The third best would be another Toronto package, with Drabek involved instead of one of the other 4.

      Then the Tigers extremely top-heavy potential offers.

  • 2much2say

    So Montero would play 1st? Why would the Cubs take a chance on a guy with no position. He is not a target for the Cubs. He has to have a DH option. The Cubs fit best with Detroit as far as need goes.

  • joshyk18

    why not deal garza and Barney to the yanks for Eduardo Nunez, Banuelos, and montero. gives cubs solutions at 1B and 2B plus a stud young arm.

  • http://bleachernation Stephen

    I think everyone is so starved for baseball, any type of baseball, that we tend to want it to happen TODAY, RIGHT NOW….especially with todays technology and speed of media. It’s still December, and even though it’s not early in the off season, we still have a long way to go before you will hear “PLAY BALL!!!”
    That being said, I’ve made enough camp fires in my day to know there will be a blaze soon enough. Be patient my grasshoppers. Garza will bring us what we’re looking for, and we can continue on our trip to Oz with Theo.

  • Mick

    I like the Toronto deal especially if we’d be able to turn around a couple of those pieces to acquire Anothony Rizzo. If we somehow were left with Rizzo, Hutchinson, and McGuire that would be the best case scenario.

  • 2much2say

    Now Montero is a 1st baseman? Montero is the second coming of Travis Hafner.

  • joshyk18

    if the Cubs deal garza to Detroit they should get turner, costallanos, and smyly then flip costallanos for rizzo. padres want a power bat in return and cubs already have Baez as 3B of future.

    • Lou

      I agree with that if it could be pulled off. I think Rizzo and then Smyly and Turner from the Tigers would be the best trades. Plus the Tigers have wanted Headley so maybe there’s a deal between them and the Padres. I just don’t agree with others who say the Tigers have nothing to gain here by getting Garza. They’re interested in him and Headley.

    • Mick

      If the Tigers give up Turner, I wouldn’t expect any other prospect in their top 10. Turner has the potential to start the season as thier 5th starter or at worse AAA with a mid-season/playoff call-up. Turner has #1 stuff, will be under team control until at least 2015, and the Tigers are far and away the favorites to win the AL Central.

      • Lou

        Ok. What you just said makes completely no sense. Why wouldn’t they give us at least one more top 10 prospect, especially if the Jays are going to give us several (according to many others on this site)? Again, as I’ve said many times already, the Tigers have interest in Headley. They’re a win-now team if ever I saw one in a division that they’re favored to win with the AL Cy Young and IMO the true AL MVP in Cabrera. You expect them to keep a prospect, start him as their #5 starter (when Porcello could just as easily) and not get a #2 starter in Garza, which they really don’t have in their rotation. You act as though they’re a couple of years away from competing….huh?

        • Mick

          To clarify my point, I’m not so sure by September or October that Jacob Turner isn’t the better of the two pitchers. He’s got #1 stuff, 2 years of seasoning in the minors, and a September call-up for MLB experience. Give the guy a full season in the MLB rotation and you’ve got Verlander Lite. I was just trying to look at it from the Tigers standpoint and it makes sense to keep Turner for the long-term and the short-term. I hope the Cubs can pry away Turner in addition to multiple prospects but I think the Tigers are way smarter than that. Again, we’d be lucky to get Turner and any quality prospects but realisticly we should expect a team like the Blue Jays who don’t have any prospects immediately knocking on greatness’ doorstep for a deal.

          • JasonB

            Whoa – we’re talking about Jacob Turner here, not Sandy Koufax.  Turner is a nice arm.  Turner has some nice upside.  But 1) he is 21 years old, 2) he has not shown that he is ready to pitch at the MLB level yet and 3) Garza had better K/9, K/BB and FIP in the bigs last year than Turner had in AA.  I’m not quite ready to suggest that he’ll be a top 10 NL starter next year let alone an AL Cy Young winner – personally, I don’t even think he should play in the bigs next year.  More seasoning required.

            • Lou

              Yes, but that also means that MacGuire, Hutchison, Banuelos and Drabek probably shouldn’t be playing in the bigs next year either. So who do we start in place of Garza?

              • Matt

                As much as I hate to say it, it is going to be somebody like a Maholm. It isn’t going to be somebody as good for 2012. As much as I dislike it, that is the way it is going to be. They are looking to start becoming better in 2013 and beyond with a move like this. 75 wins with no upside apparently isn’t appealing to Theo. 65 wins with high upside beyond that one year is appealing to them.

  • Louis

    Everyone always puts the yankees prospects on a pedestal. Overrated!

  • OHBearCub

    Brett,

    Why do continue to write the same thing over and over again its buying as hell seeing the same speculation day after day. In my opinion if there is no news why write something also frustrated with disdain for Zambrano and
    Soriano. I’m leaving this blog in search of a more open mind. reporting on cubs players.

    Barney, LahIr

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      OHBearCub,

      Bleacher Nation is a Chicago Cubs News, RUMORS, and Commentary blog. At present, there is little in the way of news going on in the Cubs world, but there is a heck of a lot of interesting rumors. I enjoy them. Others enjoy them. They are important to the future of the Cubs, and they are the biggest thing going on in the Cubs’ world right now. So I write about them. If the options you’ve laid before me are to write about Cubs rumors or to write about nothing on a given day, I’ll write about the rumors every time. It’s, you know, kind of my job.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Brett

      • Tonycampanathebasethief

        Hey Brett I’m a younger person on this and I have been a cubs fan all 14 years of my and I love this website and I just wanted u 2 know how great your website is and that it reaches out to us young guys as well as the older guys

        P.s.
        Mlbtraderumors thinks that rizzo will be dealt in the next week or two to the rays which they then would swap him to the cubs

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    ahhh to be a cubs fan is to have lofty hopes and ultimatly get let down, as long as that doesnt happen here im on deck totaly…i mean i managed to stay loyal after the 84 nlcs!

  • jacob

    I know I asked about the Tigers yesterday, but it seems like they have been mentioned more and more. Are they actually any closer to him?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t know about “closer,” but they’re still involved (at last check).

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i thought the cubs aggreed to terms on big z trimming the outfield ivy and mowing the grass for 18 mill?

  • T Larson

    Someone mentioned earlier about Dempster being dealt. They said Arizona is interested. I am a Cub fan in AZ and I have heard no such rumor.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    oh actually scouts from the marlins think hed make a great addition to the greenskeepers team…they think the asking price is alittle steep

  • http://bleachernation Stephen

    Brett, you’re witty, intelligent, and almost as good looking as me. I’m rather new to this site, but I might just stick around if you continue to impress me with your handling of persons such as OHBearCub !!!

  • Louis

    The funny thing about OHBEARCUB is he would never say that to Brett’s face. Guarantee you!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The good news is that I’ll be at the Cubs Convention this year in case anyone does want to dump on me to my face!

  • BetterNews

    If I could be there, I would ask you(hate to bring up Garza again) how could you promote a Garza deal if he is indeed traded. If he is not, then I would ask you and so many others, what were you thinking. I would love to see your reaction.

    • Matt

      Simple, it is about making the team better for a collective run. Not having one solid player on a 75 win team. Trading him gives us the better chance and payroll flexibility to become better for the long term. You just fail to see that, because that is what you choose. If we didn’t have the possibility of getting better in the future from this deal, then I am with you. But, what does having Garza on this team help us for next year? Or even the year after? Next year’s free agency class wouldn’t allow the type of return we will see next year. That along with him being under control for two years. If you like the Hendry approach to keeping players with ballooning payrolls, only to see stretches like we have had the last 3 years that is fine, but there is a reason we haven’t sustained success, and it starts with the farm.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That is a cogent, well-stated response, Matt. Unfortunately, the person to whom you’ve directed it is not interested in hearing any of it. You’re better served ignoring him, at least with respect to Garza discussions, and saving your thoughts for others. Again: well-said.

        • JB88

          I don’t know what your New Years Resolutions are going to be, Brett, but I ask, respectively, that you don’t lose that snark. I love that you are willing to call out myopic posters.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Does correcting “respectively” versus “respectfully” count? :)

            • JB88

              Meh. If the most you are doing is correcting an incorrect word choice of mine as I leave my office for the last time this calendar year, I’ll live :)

        • BetterNews

          Brett– Your right. I am not interested in a Garza deal. I am a huge fan of his. He is a class act. A Garza move would hit me as hard as letting Mark Grace go. And Garza is only 28. And he’s only been here a year.

          • Rancelot

            Well that explains everything! I celebrated the day the Cubs rid themselves of Mark Grace. One of the most overrated Cubs to ever put on the uniform. Never understood the appeal in a punch and judy hitting 1B who singlehandedly (get it, single) played out the term “can of corn” on a game by game basis. He was his own biggest fan (just ask him) and he was a moth to the media’s flame. His cult following was downright eerie and unexplainable.

            • Rick Vaughn

              No love for the guy who created the slumpbuster?

            • Brian Myers

              I can think of two reasons. First he had an OBP of nearly .400 as a Cub and his career on base percentage was nearly identical to Tony Gwynn’s. He should have been a number 2 hitter his entire career, but some odd Cubs hitting combinations (and a man named Ryne Sandberg) kept him from hitting there the majority of the time.

              The second reason: Shawn Dunston. Not that Dunston made Grace better, he didn’t, but Dunston had a cannon for an arm…. but couldn’t hit a target if he stood 20′ from it. Grace saved so many errors from Dunston he looked like Superman with a glove and Cubs fans never forgot it. His defense was greatly overlooked particularly since he played next to Ryno (whom got the accolades, but Grace may have been the best at fielding on the club).

              • BetterNews

                Amen brother.

              • ferrets_bueller

                This. Favorite Cub of alltime.

            • BetterNews

              How old are you cuz?(Rantsalot)

              • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

                i for one am a big grace fan and loved him as a cub…i think the biggest reason he gets dumped on is for the rafeal palmero for mitch williams trade…palemero goes on to be a huge star( and a cheater!) and we get the poor mans edition… not to mention mark grace was a hitter and fielder that really with alittle pop could of had some people in cooperstown scratching there heads

  • Louis

    So simple….you trade Garza for four guys that can give you value at or above garza in the future.

  • MontelleW

    BetterNews – Thank God that Theo and Jed don’t give a crap about what you have to say. The Cubs Nation would be better served if you were to perhaps join a different fanbase. Perhaps the Orioles or Houston would suit you best? The rest of us here would rather see this thing taken all the way for once. Not another “NLDS and CHOKE/DUMP – Phailed Again, Hendry Style!” If it builds a better team with sustainable success – Any piece sold for the purpose of a better future is alright by me!

    -Go Cubs!

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      hold em down montelle and ill kick em

    • MoneyBoy

      @ MontelleW … this !!!

  • Cubs Vet

    Does anyone else feel like we are trading trash for trash?

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      What are you talking about?

    • ferrets_bueller

      that…would be a no?

  • lazrus

    Epstein could have got us all a championship by getting pujols and burly and keeping Ramirez he is just trying a hunch with the cubs not a proven system andt the cubs fan base deserves better

    • EQ76

      Who’s burly? Does anyone have spellcheck?

      • MoneyBoy

        Too ignorant to concern ourselves with … obviously edumakated in wizconsun

  • lazrus

    Ohbearcub these guys here can not be impartial they only can think epstien is so great but im here so when he falls on his face I will be here to say I told ya so.the cubs will never win with this loser at the helm who wants to play games and hunches instead of future hall of famers

  • T Larson

    Those 3 would not bring us a championship.

  • lazrus

    One dude here is so ignorant he doesn’t even know what players nicknames are.do u even watch baseball

  • lazrus

    And I will say it to anyones face at the convention ill be the one wearing cubs jersey the says save the cubs fire epstien and hover on the back and holding the rickets please sell the team sign
    What a bunch of losers who think its ok to lose for years

  • lazrus

    They should changed the name of this website to brett and the idiots

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Go be a troll on Cubs.com dude. Nobody wants you here if you’re just going to bash the site and all the REAL Cubs fans.

    • Rancelot

      Well, aren’t we a pleasant little fella. If this website gets you so upset and riled up, go find one that meets your needs, please. I am seriously concerned about the mental stability of this country. This is a sports blog website yet I have witnessed so much vitriol. Lighten up Frances!

  • Cubsin

    I was a Cubs fan before Ernie Banks was a Cub. I’m perfectly willing to wait five more years for a trip to the World Series. Star players are nice, but star players alone aren’t enough. A strong farm system is essential unless you can support a quarter billion dollar payroll.

  • kubphan82

    @MLBInsideNews: #Cubs source: Clubs final offers are in on Garza. Epstein and co. deciding which offer to go with. Expect a resolution soon.

    How true is this? How good of a position is it for Theo/Jed to say “Now” and it happens.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Considering this is the guy who ‘broke’ that longo wanted out of Tampa, and has since appologized, I’d say not very true at all.  Or at least not very credible at all.

      • kubphan82

        People get a bad source… It happens, and this could be bad too… But Scott Swaim hasn’t been a bad informant and has been pretty classy… Seems like he could be back on his horse.

  • Jeff

    MLBInsideNews Scott Swaim
    @
    @ndfootballfan25 traded… Tigers my guess
    2 minutes ago

    Going to bed, I hope I wake up to Turner, Oliver and some other nice goodies under my tree, if not I probably will be disappointed.

    • Rick Vaughn

      Just to avoid confusion, he was responding to the question

      ndfootballfan25Greg Ruetz

      @
      @MLBInsideNews Whats your gut feeling? Extension or traded and to who?

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