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A couple of reports yesterday cast a gloomy shadow over the ongoing Matt Garza trade talks. If, that is, your inclination is to hope that the Cubs successfully deal their best pitcher.

First, ESPNNewYork reported that the New York Yankees aren’t crazy about the Cubs’ asking price for Garza, and probably won’t continue pursuing a trade if the Cubs don’t back down.

But the word out of Yankeeville– also known this winter as The Land of No — is that the asking price is out of the question. The problem is not money this time, at least not immediately — Garza will make about $8 million this year and is not eligible for free agency for two more season — but prospects; like everyone else in baseball, the Cubs are demanding at least two, and possibly all three, of the Yankees Holy Trinity of Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.

If the Yankees wouldn’t part with Eduardo Nunez for Cliff Lee, you can bet they’re not parting with even two of those three for Matt Garza.

Asking for all three of Montero, Banuelos and Betances is the kind of ask that gets you ushered out of the bargaining room by a host who might be slightly offended. But it’s not SO ridiculous that it tells your counterpart that you’re perversely out of touch and aren’t worth talking to. Keep in mind: these teams are approaching the Cubs about Garza, not the other way around. The opening ask should be quite high.

(By the way, until this report, it didn’t seem possible that Montero might theoretically be available. If he is, then Montero immediately jumps to the top of my list of the best individual prospects that have been attached to these Garza talks, ahead of Tigers’ pitcher Jacob Turner.)

And then there was the report from Ken Rosenthal, suggesting the Blue Jays, once thought the primary suitor for Garza, might be moving on.

The Jays were thwarted in their attempts to trade for right-hander Mat Latos and lefty Gio Gonzalez and obtain the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. They still could sign a free agent, but are unlikely to acquire righty Matt Garza from the Cubs, major-league sources say.

Latos and Gonzalez both are under club control for four more years. Garza is under club control for only two more, and the Jays aren’t as willing to give up top prospects for a relatively short-term addition, sources say.

Overly-simplified, immediate reaction: hey, Blue Jays, maybe you wouldn’t have been thwarted in your attempts to land Latos and Gonzalez if you’d stepped up with those “top prospects.” Secondary immediate reaction: since when did a guy under control for two years become a short-term addition?

Setting aside those initial reactions, I’m just not sure how much Rosenthal’s report is really telling us, and I don’t know what he means when he says the Jays are disinclined to give up “top prospects.” Are Travis D’Arnaud and Brett Lawrie “top prospects”? Or are Noah Syndergaard and Anthony Gose “top prospects”?

There’s just not a whole lot there to go on. I’m not saying the Jays aren’t “out,” but saying they’re unlikely to acquire Garza was always true. Even if the Cubs are presently guaranteed to trade Garza (they’re not), the Jays would have had, what, a 20% chance of getting him if four other teams are involved? Isn’t 20% “unlikely”?

I don’t want to blow sunshine where there’s none to be blown, but I don’t think we’ve reached a point at which any team, including the Yankees and Blue Jays, can be characterized as “out” on Matt Garza. Doing so implies that the two teams can’t come back to the table (of course they can), and that the Cubs are absolutely definitely going to trade Matt Garza (they might not).

Even if we take these rumors at their face, what have we really learned? Right now, the Yankees and Blue Jays are not willing to accept the Cubs’ initial, extremely high demands for Matt Garza.

That’s it.

Isn’t that how most negotiations start? Would we rather the Cubs were asking such a low price on Garza that every team immediately said, “Ok! Let’s do it!”?

There is nothing in either report to suggest that the Cubs couldn’t negotiate further or that the Blue Jays and Yankees couldn’t change their minds and come back to the table (if they’ve really left it). While it is valuable to have this information, it’s also important to keep it in perspective. The Cubs don’t have to trade Matt Garza. They’re listening to offers, and have very little incentive to take less than they’re demanding for him. Against that backdrop, teams are likely to be “in” and “out” of trade talks with regularity.

  • Joey Jo Jo Junior

    When leaks like this come out, it seems to me they usually have a purpose. In this case, they are trying to increase their leverage in the talks with the Cubs and lower the asking price for Garza.

    I agree that neither the Yanks nor the Jays are truly out. It’s all part of the negotiating process….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m sure that plays a role.

  • Cedlandrum

    I hope they get everything they can for Garza, but I am growing tired of waiting for this to happen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ditto on both accounts … but … it could still be weeks of these rumors. And then a couple months in the summer. And then another offseason …

      • Cedlandrum

        Oh yeah for sure. I know this could drag on for ever, but it is starting to turn into Brian Roberts Deux.

    • Lou

      Agreed.

  • EQ76

    So is it simply this for the Cubs… plan on keeping Garza unless they are absolutely blown away by an offer?  Sound wise to me.

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

      My feelings exactly.

    • BetterNews

      Yep!

  • Deez

    Everyone knows what it takes to get Garza & he’s definitely better than Gonzalez & Latos IMO! If they don’t pull the trigger, I think they are all going to regret it!

    • Lou

      Only if they get top MLB talent and hasn’t that been the point all along? Look, I’m also on MLBTR and it’s amazing that all the other teams’ fans want Garza for nothing and try to downplay him as a SP. Yes, other teams fans will most certainly do that, but it’s also amazing how Cubs fans on the message board are realistic about the asking price for Garza and have to keep defending how 2011 wasn’t a fluke season for him.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Good stuff. I like to think that many of us can be realistic about the value of our own players. And, when it comes to Garza, he’s extremely valuable. Less valuable than Latos or Gonzalez, in my opinion, but close. If I could only pick one for JUST the 2012 season, you know who I’d want? Garza.

        • BetterNews

          Garza is coming into a “new” age as far as his ability. I disagree Brett.

        • Hrubes20

          Garza DEFINATELY over Gonzalez. Latos is pretty close, though.

          • DRock

            Garza will have a great year in 2012 no matter who he pitches for.  Glad we are holding tight and demanding a high return for him.  He’s worth it.

  • Ivy Walls

    I think the Yankees are actually shopping Montero as he is of limited value since Cashman will not let him catch at the MLB level, it is the two young arms that the Yanks don’t want to part with, Epstein/Hoyer have to get Yankees back to the table if they want the Tigers to pony up which is where I think Garza is headed. The real item is the Cubs gathering the right prospect that SD wants as part of the Rizzo acquisition. Cubs want two splashes, a young pitcher who is 2012 mid season ready, (at least) Rizzo (at 1B) and another genuine prospect preferably a catcher or 3B. Tigers could provide the 3B and it is the second pitcher which is why Cubs want both the B’s from the Yanks, (who also have an infielder), trade one of the pitchers along with a player SD wants from the Cubs current stable for Rizzo and the Cubs get a 2 for 1.

    • Cheryl

      If the cubs are short on pitching why would they trade the second pitcher to SD? They can do without Rizzo. No need to give up pitching for him. LaHair is still an option at first base and they probably have another person at the minor league level that could play first in an emergency.

    • realist

      I get the feeling the Yankees may be changing philosophy lately. I think they want to stick with some of their guys instead of trading them for somone else’s. I think trading Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, Mike Dunn, Melky Cabrera, and others who have actually been decent to excellent is making them want to keep some of these guys. The only thing is that players like Jeter, Rivera, Rodriguez, & even CC are going to be either retired or winding down before some of the prospects really get it going.

  • OlderStyle

    Brett, as far as the Cubs being in and out of trade rumors on Garza when do you see them closing the door on it. What I mean is a timetable, of “ok, we couldn’t find what we wanted, let’s see about getting a Garza extension done”. Will this continue until ST and flare up again at the July deadline? Once the season starts I’m assuming his trade value will decline because of the clock ticking on his 2 years of control. thoughts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m not sure the Cubs will close the door until after mid-season. Garza could still have a great deal of trade value at the deadline this year (assuming health and productivity, obviously), and he may not want to sign an extension if the Cubs plan to keep shopping him (which is what reportedly happened with Sean Marshall). The time for an extension, obviously, is when the two sides are discussing his salary for 2012 (the arbitration process is fast approaching), so it remains possible that the Cubs will make a push to get a deal done within the next two weeks, and, if it doesn’t happen, they’ll start talking about an extension in tandem with the 2012 salary discussion.

      • OlderStyle

        Makes sense, thanks. Really appreciate this site, by the way.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thank you. Dig the name.

  • tex134

    Interesting scenario for Theo and the boys, trying to work with Cashman on a deal versus competing with him. Looks like alot of posturing to me trying to lower the Cubs asking price. Toronto’s top prospects don’t impress me enough, not enough pitching in return. Yankee’s look to have the prospects to get the deal done. If the return isn’t a grand slam no need to make a deal.

  • Mick

    If I were a Blue Jays fan I’d be red hot if we didn’t give up a couple of prospects to get Garza. Here you have the Red Sox and the Yankees finally curbing their spending and both with gaping holes in their rotation. The Rays have the best staff in their division but possibly the worst lineup. The Jays have a good balance of both starting rotation and batting lineup with a plethora of lower level pitching prospects. The names I keep hearing are Drabek, Norris, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Hutchinson, and McGuire. Their MLB rotation includes Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Cecil, and McGowan. Jose Bautista isn’t getting any younger and the next couple of seasons are the best chance in a long time for the Jays to win the AL East. This is Alex Anthopoulos’ moment to go from a good GM to a great one.

    • Hrubes20

      AA already made that leap when he was able to dump that Vernon Wells contract. He even got a good player in return. Jedi mind tricks, right there.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I think the Yankees are trying to get the price lower, because they know that they really need Garza.  They don’t want to have to give up Montero to the cubs, because they want to still have him next season to trade to Seattle for Felix.

    The Yankees don’t have a spot for Montero- He can’t catch, they’ve still got Teix’s huge contract at 1B, and they need the DH spot to be open for A-Rod’s eventual move there.  I’d be almost willing to guarantee that he wont be a Yankee by 2014/15.

     

    • BetterNews

      Absolutely! Everyone is trying to talk the price of Garza down. It’s business. This is why we hired Theo and Co., to make sure we don’t get taken to the cleaners.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Exactly.  These teams all know, at least now, that the Cubs don’t ‘need’ to trade Garza, and aren’t trying to ‘move’ him.  The price isn’t going to be what Garza is ‘worth,’ market value-wise, its going to be whatever convinces the Cubs to trade him. Which is going to be much more than what Gio or Latos brought, otherwise Garza isn’t going anywhere.

  • Spoda17

    Good morning all.  I think the Angels and Albert Pujols proved that everything can, and probably will, change right up until the deal is done.  Heck, Garza may end up in KC for all we know…

    If he goes for a good crop, I am fine with it, if he stays, I’m fine with that as well.  I actually would like to see how well he will perform with a real manager.

    Hahahaha… I just saw a commercial for the “Six Million Dollar Man…”  Barely a utility player… sha…

  • Ron

    I think the new CBA is the real reason this is taking so long. Because of it the Cubs asking price is higher and in turn other teams are less reluctant to give up the prospects.

  • realist

    What about this:

    Cubs get: Turner (Det.) & Rizzo (SD)

    Tigers get: Garza (Cubs), Headley (SD)

    Padres get: Castellanos (Det.), Oliver (Det.), Jackson (Cubs), Barney (Cubs)

    Crazy?

    • Wrigley11

      Essentially that’s the Cubs basically trading Garza straight up for Turner, which won’t happen, and Jackson and Barney for Rizzo, which is plausible, but still unlikely. Tigers need to give up more than that if they are definitely getting the best player in the trade, and you could argue Headley is the second or third best player in the deal. 3 team trades are tough to create

      • realist

        Ok, how about the Cubs throw somebody else to the Padres, say Logan Watkins and the Tigers send Andy Dirks & a low A type future guy to the Cubs? Does that make it any more feasible? Pads want middle IF, Barney is ML proven if not great & can play SS & 2B, as can Watkins who is a decent prospect, maybe a Top 20, albeit for the Cubs. Dirks would be useful especially if the Cubs move Soriano making it so they don’t have to get Soriano’s replacement in his deal. Whatever, just fun speculating. This trade could help everyone. Tigers would be a major threat for a few years with this I think.

        • Mick

          After looking at this trade and considering we take on Orlando Hudson for Jeff Baker we’d also be adding about $2-$3 million in salary. So, we should be entitled to at least a lower level prospect or possibly the Oliver piece of the trade.

          • EQ76

            I don’t see the Cubs trading their best pitcher, starting 2B, and top prospect for 2 prospects.. the Cubs would have to get a lot more or give up less, IMO.

    • Mick

      This is the trade right here that I’ve been thinking about for the last month but what we don’t know is how Josh Byrnes assesses Brett Jackson. If he looks at him as a 4th outfielder than I doubt he’d trade 2 of his best trade chips. Another hole to fill would be what the Cubs and Padres would then have to do to fill their new holes on their MLB rosters. For that, I think you’d need to have Orlando Hudson go to the Cubs and Jeff Baker to the Padres to complete this deal. The follow-up move for the Cubs would be to trade Byrd to the Nationals for either Steve Lombardozzi or Ian Desmond to add MI depth.

      • realist

        I could see maybe the Cubs sending a guy like DeWitt or Baker to the Pads as well, though they have Forsythe who could play 3B, actually he is a powerless 3B so it wouldn’t be that big of a move. I mean, Headley hit 4HR last year. As a Tiger I bet he could slug 12 to 15. I would bet Byrnes would be ok with Jackson. I mean, he’s pretty much expected to be an average type OF, what would that look like .270 15 HR 65 rbi then he does have speed, so say 15 sb. There’s no one in the Pads OF outside of Quentin now that has put up numbers like that. Power is like a non existent tool when hitting at Petco it seems. It saps the power out of the best of them. That’s why the Quentin deal seems weird to me. Then again, Jackson is a “prospect” and you never know. But so is Rizzo & most of the others. I like the Byrd to Washington for a guy like Lombardozzi. Putting Hudson in there to the Cubs might negate that though.

        • Mick

          The reason for the Hudson and Baker additions would be to give the Cubs and the Padres MLB replacements for the position players they’d be giving up. Orlando Hudson makes $5 million and Jeff Baker will make $2-$3 million and both are in the last year’s of their contracts. Lombardozzi is still young and giving him 1 more year as a MLB backup would do him good. Plus, with Hudson’s injury history he’d more than likely get more than just backup duty with the idea that he’d take over starting duty in 2013. Also, for the Nationals to trade us Lombardozzi, we might need to take on even more salary in LaRoche. But in 2013 our lineup would look something like this:

          2B Lombardozzi, RF DeJesus, SS Castro, 1B Rizzo, LF Soriano, 3B Stewart, Soto, CF Sappelt

          SPs-Turner, Wood, Wells, Cashner, Samardzija

          This lineup looks deplorable but our team payroll would be about $50 million with FAs like Kevin Youkilis, Brandon Phillips, Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Grady Sizemore, B.J. Upton, Shane Victorino, Andre Ethier, Nick Swisher, Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano, Shaun Marcum, Anibal Sanchez, and Jonathan Sanchez.

  • Gcheezpuff

    I don’t buy the Yankees are out. I’ve read multiply reports that they are down to Jackson or Garza but don’t want to make a long term commitment to Jackson. My money is on the Yankees making a big push for Garza before this is over. They just make to much sense and Garza is about as close as a sure thing as they are gonna find with his AL East experience, plus he was dominant against the Ref Sox. They’ll eventually pony up the prospects, this is just a negiotiating technique. On a side note, if they don’t want to give up all 3 prospects, why not try to work Brett Gardner or Hughs or Nova into the deal?

    • Jim

      I agree that the Yankees need Garza at this point. CC is not enough to get them to the World Series and you know they want to get one more title before Jeter hangs it up. Their pitching is just not good enough to get past Texas, possibly the Angels and if the Red Sox get their act together.

  • BetterNews

    Everybody is talking about the “value” in a Garza trade. What about the “value” he holds right here with the Cubs!

  • rbreeze

    IMO Garza is more valuable to a contending team.  Garza is only 28 but he has pitched some big games in his short time as opposed to Latos or Gio who have big league ability but they haven’t won the big game in the playoffs yet.  I’ll take Garza hands down over the other two if I’m the Yankees, Red Sox, Jays, Tigers or Rangers.  If the Cubs trade him they will have control for a couple of years and can always negotiate a longer term deal that he can easily fulfill.  I would like to see Garza stay but if Theo and Jed can get some can’t miss prospects, then lets go get them.  If Garza was anywhere else last year he would have won 15 games easily.

  • BetterNews

    If the Cubs had 3 Matt Garza’s in 2008, they would have won the World Series. Case closed!

    • Edwin

      Funny thing about that actually:

      Matt Garza ERA- 2011: 84
      Rich Harden ERA- 2008: 39 (For the Cubs, 48 on the entire year)
      Ryan Dempster ERA- 2008: 66
      Carlos Zambrano ERA- 2008: 87
      Ted Lilly ERA – 2008: 91

      The Cubs basically had 3 “Matt Garza” quality pitchers, and got swept in the first round. For that matter, the Phillies had one of the best 1,2,3 rotations of all time, and still lost in the first round last season. The only cool thing about having 3 Matt Garza’s is that in the history of the game there has never been a rotation consisting of 3 identical triplets all sharing the same name.

      As far as Garza putting forth his best effort in the postseason, he had 3 good starts, and 2 bad starts. the most innings pitched he went was 7. He pitched in the post season about how he did in the regular season. Very good, but not elite. I hope the Cubs trade him to the Tigers for that one guy.

      • BetterNews

        You crazy?

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        if they trade him, i assure you they get alot more than one guy! just a bit of advise as a cubs fan id turn that frown upside down its gonna get uglier before it gets competitive.

  • jandersonjr81 father of Caden

    He holds less value to a 70 win team compared to a 90+ win team. If we are going to suck for a few years, then give me the prospects.

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      this is very true… garza has crazy value to a contender thats gonna play in the post season…for an already competative team garza could be that finishing mesure on a world championship.prospects for a championship=yes prospects to get abit more competative= not quite the same

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        for the elite AL bunch bringing in garza makes you that much more relivent and for teams like the tigers and yanks, he makes you the favorites in your devision and a force in the playoffs.

  • d.

    Fangraphs Dave Cameron takes a look at Garza’s trade value:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/matt-garzas-trade-value/

    • Toosh

      Thanks for the link! Garza might not bring back what Cub fans think. Of course, that’s up to the team that might acquire him, and whether or not the Cubs trade him at all.

    • Jim

      Well that wasn’t very encouraging.

    • FromFenwayPahk

      Thanks for the link, d. Fresh perspective helps me contemplate this. Doesn’t an analysis like this make it seem more likely that they will keep this Cub a Cub?

  • oswego chris

    it’s a great day…Jerry Angelo is out!…we may have three competent front offices soon…(I count the Blackhawks as I like hockey more than the average guy)….

    • MoneyBoy

      Chris – True … the Bulls need to be included as GarPax have done a wonderful job surrounding DRose with a young talented group.

    • BetterNews

      Get rid of Lovie too!

      • Toosh

        Agreed! And Martz and any one who had anything to do with the Bears’ drafting.

        • BetterNews

          Martz and his “secret” offense. what a joke indeed.

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        git rid of lovie? what does lovie have to do with the way the season turned out? if anything martz and his outdated overrated and all to confusing big time O will not be missed. but lovie gets his players to suit up and play an extremely tough brand of football every sunday. and minus the injuries we would be right in the thick of the playoffs…

    • JasonB

      Woo hoo!!!  Maybe now we’ll actually have a 1st round draft pick that doesn’t woefully suck

      • Toosh

        Martz just resigned. Maybe Smith will be man enough, too. I doubt it.

        • ferrets_bueller

          I’m conflicted on Lovie.  In the past i have called for his firing.  But on the other hand…I love the way his defense plays.  In an ideal world, Lovie Smith would be defensive coordinator, and there would be a real head coach.

          Lovie makes absolutely horrible personnel decisions, He is a horrible talent evaluator. However…I don’t want to lose the defensive philosophy of turnovers, mugging every ball carrier, 11 guys flying to the ball on every single play, etc…

  • When the Music’s Over

    Overly-simplified, immediate reaction: hey, Blue Jays, maybe you wouldn’t have been thwarted in your attempts to land Latos and Gonzalez if you’d stepped up with those “top prospects.”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Either step-up or step-out.

  • Pingback: The Blue Jays and Yankees Are “Out” on Matt Garza? | Bleacher … | Yankees News Source

  • OHBearCub

    What it means is they aren’t interested at the Cubs asking price and they have worked against Theo for a long time. They don’t want to do business with him. Garza isn’t worth the asking price. Kinda like the house on your block that over priced and isn’t going to sell st that price

  • Tommy

    Hey, if we can’t trade Garza before the season for what we want, chances are we’ll get what we’re asking for as the trade deadline nears. I can’t imagine his numbers won’t improve with the new managements opinions on defense.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    garza at the deadline may not be the best pitcher availible… his trade value is at its peak now not to mention right now hes under team control for two years.

  • OHBearCub

    I think Hendry over paid for Garza. Now Theo is trying get back aghast was lost and that won’t happen. What’s bad is his value won’t go up this year with such a bad team behind him. Theo only hope is the Cubs are close at the trade dead line which might allow him to deal from a position of strength vs everybody in MLB knows he only has one chip that’s worth much

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    i think garza was over paid for and i also think that well get over paid on the return for garza

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    teams that over pay are usually counting on being contenders. thats why we got him and thats what another team almost certainly will do.

  • OHBearCub

    Garza is a good poker hand but Theo doesn’t h. Then it will have enough to run up the pot. He needs to buy a stud card that makes his hand look better …. Like Prince…. Then sign Crisp

    • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

      crisp is signing with the A’s

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