It’s another day and the same storylines … but now they’re all colored by yesterday’s big news.

  • In the wake of the Tigers surprisingly signing Prince Fielder, I did some digging into everyone’s favorite aftershock rumor: what about Matt Garza? As for the Tigers, I regret to report that the Fielder signing didn’t increase the Tigers’ desire for Garza. They feel pretty flush in the AL Central as it is, and, while they aren’t broke, the purse strings are suddenly being clutched even more tightly. But, hey, who knows? Last week Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski adamantly told Buster Olney that the Tigers had no interest in Prince Fielder on a long-term deal.
  • The other vogue Garza destination? The Kansas City Royals. I mentioned last week that a new team had come to the table with interest in Garza, and, now that every message board around is alight with speculation about the Royals, I can confirm that, yeah, that team I mentioned was the Royals. Two things, though. First, I’m told tip-top prospects Mike Montgomery and Wil Myers are not available. Second, the Tigers’ acquisition of Fielder could have muddied the waters. Let me put it to you this way: it wasn’t a coincidence that the Royals came to the table after Victor Martinez went down. Now that Martinez has more than adequately been replaced, will the Royals stay at the table? They might not.
  • That all said, I’m told any serious Garza trade talks are largely on hold until (1) the compensation issue with Boston is resolved, and (2) Garza’s arbitration case is concluded or settled.
  • As for the other ongoing story, there’s nothing terribly new to say about Yoenis Cespedes from last night. The news of his residency (and possibly also free agency) yesterday are causing folks in Florida to reiterate their “we’ll outbid anyone” stance, though. The Nationals probably aren’t terribly interested in Cespedes, given that they view him, long-term, as a first baseman or a corner outfielder (at which positions they’re set). The Tigers are also probably out on Cespedes.
  • Bruce Levine did his chatting thing this week, and the tidbit making people buzz is tied to a remark about Martin Prado’s availability, the Braves’ past interest in Marlon Byrd, and the Cubs’ possible desire to upgrade at second base. I don’t believe Bruce was reporting that the Cubs and Braves have discussed such a swap, though it might be of modest interest to both teams. Prado has been discussed here before, and comes with considerable risk. Further, the Braves’ interest in Byrd largely pre-dated their acquisition of Michael Bourn at the trade deadline.
  • Bruce added that he thinks the Cubs will either extend Matt Garza, or trade him by the deadline this year. He also thinks the Cubs’ front office would rather see Darwin Barney in a utility role, rather than starting at second base. (Hence, in part, the Prado suggestion.)
  • One other piece of fallout from the Fielder signing: the White Sox might push even harder to unload than they already have been. That means guys like Gavin Floyd – who’s no Matt Garza, mind you – could be made available at prices that further depress the market for Garza.
  • Of vague import to the Cubs: Roy Oswalt would reportedly like to pitch in Texas next year, or possibly St. Louis. The rumors of him going to Boston have died down a bit since they spent their “saved” money on Cody Ross.
  • Spencer

    Is Matt Garza a candidate to be traded? This is the first I’ve heard of that possibility.

    • TWC


    • SirCub

      Yea, it’s a pretty new thing. Apparently, teams other than the Cubs would like him to pitch for their team next year, and the Cubs are all like, “OK!” Deal should be done pretty soon.

  • Bill

    I think this will be the deal that haunts the Tigers worse than the Soriano albatross haunts the Cubs.

  • Edgar

    If he royals decide to for it which prospects would be a good return?

    id like to see prado here. if he puts 2010 number we have a number of positions where put him at.

    • Luke

      The Royals are loaded. Pick any two guys in the 5-25 range and I would have a hard time arguing. Off the top of my head, realistic targets could include:

      Pitchers: Yordano Ventura – hard throwing right hander, and Chris Dwyer – good lefty with some control issues.

      Outfielders: Brett Eibner – good power upside.

      Someone like 3B Chelsor Cuthbert would be nice, but is probably unlikley. Same with SS Christian Colon (who the Cubs would likely move to second).

      But again, the Royals are loaded. They’ll protect their best guys, but if the Cubs land any two prospects in the 5-25 range, I think we’d be fairly happy.

  • Luke

    I’ve seen some indications that the Braves are still hovering around Byrd. If Byrd is traded before the deadline (as he should be), I think they’ll be in the mix for him. There doesn’t seem to be much urgency there, though.

  • mpope30

    I really can’t make up my mind about Cespedes. I, along with pretty much every one else at this point, agree that signing Soler is a no-brainer. I hope they do everything they can to accomplish that goal. In my humble opinion, signing Cespedes ultimately depends on cost. If the Marlins are really that prepared to offer him crazy dollars, the Cubs should only remain involved to drive up the cost. I also I would love to see him in a Cubs uniform if the price is right.

    • ferrets_bueller

      I’m with you on all of that.  I think, if his price is in the 30 million ranges, give or take roughly 20%, I’m cool with it.  But if its double that…I’d have serious qualms paying him 10 million a year.

      Unless, of course, the Cubs are really certain he’s going to be a stud, and know much more about him than we do.  Which, of course, is definitely plausible.  From what I’ve seen, the guy really does look like he could be a monster…or a complete flop.  But the monster potential is definitely there, and if you can get him for 30 million…I definitely say do it, especially considering the new CBA.

      Soler is pretty much the definition of a no brainer.  I’ve said it before, and have now seen other post it as well- i wouldn’t put it past the Cubs to be trying to use Cespedes as a smokescreen to quell the market for Soler, if they have deemed that Cespedes is going to be a bust.

      • CubFan Paul

        established MLB center fielders are getting $20M a year (kemp, crawford, and braun). Cespedes will be a *steal* at 6yrs/$60M if he pans out ..he could be average (.260/.350/.450) and still be ‘worth it’

        • bob

          Braun’s not a center-fielder, and Crawford will almost certainly be moving to right very soon, but that’s just being picky. Calling those three “established” as a comparison point is not fair…they are top-tier, and have earned the right to be paid as such. Throwing that kind of money at someone unproven is the problem everyone here has. If you start his pay base that high and he does blossom into a star, when he reaches arbitration or free-agent eligibility, his price tag is going to be Soriano-like. (and at a similar age as Sori was when the Cubs signed him.) If we haven’t reached our goal by then, we may be pressured to overpay to keep him after that.

        • loyal100more

          those are very high assumptions… not to mention how many quality major league seasons have the men you speak of had? not one of them came into the league making anything close to even 5M a year… this guy has scouts all hot and bothered but he just embaressed himself in the VWL for the last to weeks. if he wants more than 6M a year someone will probably give it to him. i hope its not the cubs.

          • CubFan Paul

            Cespedes wont come into the league making anythign close to $5M/year. No cuban has. whatever (whosever) contract he agrees to will (1) pay him low salaries in the 1st two contract years, possibly the 3rd also, (2) have Club Options on the latter years to protect against him flopping

            why would Cespedes agree to this? a BIG signing bonus (the actual risk) in the Aroldis Chapman territory ($16Million)

            • loyal100more

              sounds about right and still sound to high for the club

        • juice

          crawford and braun are not center fielders. Crawford’s contract is considered outrageous and braun may be legit, but facing allegations. Either way, those numbers you supplied do not warrant $10mil/yr for 6yrs. Esepecially because he is already 26 (maybe older), and that would be a long stretch if he doesnt pan out.

        • MightyBear

          Crawford played left last year.

        • Wrigley11

          I agree with your sentiment regarding him being worth it at 6/$60 if he puts up those numbers. I understand why some people are hesitant in signing him with the question marks about his age and the competition he’s faced, but the fact of the matter is that none of us have seen him in person, and McLeod definitely has. If they plan on throwing money at him, they obviously like him, and the Cubs are going to do everything they can to make sure they have a good idea of what they are getting. Bottom line is if I have my choice between having him and not having him, I’d definitely go with the latter.

          • loyal100more

            hes had better than an entire off season to add to the hype. he may be a special player. he may look great tearing up cuban pitching. but the fact remains HE IS A GAMBEL. there is no getting around the fact that who ever pays this guy gets one of two things. a discounted star, or an over priced bust. that all goes away if you can sign him for the cost of an average CF, which because of the hype may not happen. if our clubs guys like him enough to give him considerable money im 100% behind them. ive got faith in our guys. but dont expect the cubs to go crazy just to out bid another team that does. as long as we show relevance in the bidding ill be more than happy. look for our bid to reflect what the club thinks of him, and hopefully thats enough.

            • Wrigley11

              Sorry, but I disagree. There are more ways to judge a player than as a “star” or a “bust.” Obviously I expect the Cubs to bid no more than what they think he’s worth, but I haven’t seen one expert say that this guy is either going to be a bust. Could he be? Of course, but that isn’t a reason for the Cubs not to attempt to sign him. They need to obtain as many “assets” as possible, and when you have a chance to sign a guy who could instantly be a top prospect for nothing more than money, it’s basically an expensive lottery ticket. We’ve seen Brett talk about this a number of times, but you obtain as many lottery tickets as you can, with the hope of one eventually cashing in.

      • loyal100more

        any more than a chapman like deal, and i would have to move on. (any more than 6M im out!)

    • MightyBear

      I totally agree with this analysis.

  • Michael R

    I think they should stop screwing around with Garza.
    Just avoid arbitration and sign him to a multi-year deal already.
    He is a good pitcher and a great teammate. Just like Theo said “he is the kind of player to build around”.
    The reason he is asking for so much at arbitration is because he sees the Cubs listening to deals and his stock is rising. Sign him and move on with other business.

    • rcleven

      I see no rising of stock. Other teams(at this time) don’t want to pay. He will be worth more at the trade deadline. Take to arb. Pay him his 8mm. Trade when others panic. He still is under control this year and next.

      • loyal100more

        give garza his money, resolve the comp. issue with boston… and then you can truely evaluate the stock. nothing good will happen before then…hell nothing will happen.

  • Brian

    As stated before, the Cubs do need some pieces now, so that they don’t have to be 100% buyers in year three to go over the top so to speak. So, extend Garza and move on already.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Michael R – You said EXACTLY what I have been thinking all along about Garza. I mean, rebuilding is one thing, and it is a good thing – but do we have to trade away EVERY solid player for that unknown quantity? Garza is solid; he’s here – he’s now. Let’s keep him.

  • Gabe

    i honestly feel like cespedes came out and said the cubs had been showing the most interest in him simply to drive the marlins bidding even higher. he’s probably known that’s where he was going to land for some time now. if it wasn’t for jason mcleod being so high on him, i’d say he’s highly overrated. especially for the 60-70 million that the marlins are about to sign him for.

    • loyal100more

      any team willing to pay him that kind of money… well lets just hope there not called the chicago cubs!

  • Mick

    The Tigers would be best served acquiring Garza now as oppossed to waiting until the trade deadline for these reasons:

    1. Garza will be starting this season with yet another different pitching coach (Chris Bosio) which will be his 3rd in the last 3 years. If he gets traded at the deadline that will be his 4th in 3 seasons. If I were Detroit’s management I’d want to get him as soon as possible to start building the rapport and analysis to be as prepared as possible for their post-season run.

    2. Winning the AL Central shouldn’t be a foregone conclussion. Many things can happen in a pennant race as demonstrated last season with suprise teams like the D-Backs, Pirates, and Indians. The Royals and Indians have up and coming rotations, the White Sox have a some good bounce back year candidates with some decent SP, and the Twins IMO have the best chance possible to contend as long as their former MVP’s Mauer and Morneau can stay healthy. Acquiring Garza now would bump the unproven Turner out of their rotation moving every other SP down a slot.

    3. Jacob Turner could flop seriously devaluing his trade value. A good example would be to look at what happened to the Blue Jays’ Kyle Drabek over the course of 1 season. He went from the organizations #1 prospect to ?. The Tigers are practically rolling the dice on Turner’s value by starting the season with him in their rotation.

    4. The Tigers’ owner is 82 years old and the Prince move is a serious win-now type of acquisition. At this point it’s time to push all of your chips into the pot and trade a few prospects. Turner, Smyly, and Castellanos are years away from making any type of impact whereas Garza would immediately become their #2 SP for the next two seasons.

    5. Finally, the Tigers don’t have much competition right now for Garza’s services. If they wait unitl the trade deadline there WILL be other teams involved, potentially even from their own division like the Royals, Indians, or Twins.

    • CubFan Paul

      agreed. The Tigers have some nice ML ready or near ML ready pitching that would come in any deal

  • Cubsin

    I have no way to judge if Cepedes would be a bust at 5/$30 or a bargain at 6/$90. I respectively suggest that none of us do. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason MacLeod and Ken Wilken are all respected professionals at evaluating talent. I expect them to make an appropriate decision on Cespedes. I also understand that, as with any prospect, their best judgment in this specific instance could be wrong.

    • cls

      And that pretty much wraps up any discussion regarding Cespedes. That is it, in a nutshell.

      • loyal100more

        couldnt agree more… but you know us micro-managers are gonna continue to throw down on the topic. but your statement bottles the absolute truth nicely.

  • Lou

    I totally agree with Mick’s comment about Garza to Detroit. But, as I’ve said before, I think the Rockies would be another SOLID trade destination for Garza. That team has acquired Cuddyer, who I think will have a big season at Coors, along with Cargo, Tulo, and the ageless wonder, Todd Helton. Offensively, there a team built to win now in a weak division this year. They could clearly use another solid SP and they have solid prospects.

  • die hard

    If Florida signs him, would Mark Cuban consider buying team to infuse cash and keep team solvent after Dodger purchase falls through…Marlins cant keep this up without a new investor

  • Michael R

    The Tigers would like Garza, but not at the expense of Turner.
    They just got Fielder and are looking for Turner to be the 5th man in the rotation.
    No way they take on Garza’s salary at the expense of Turner.

  • Troy

    Red Sox get Anthony Rizzo in compensation deal…

    • loyal100more

      no chance

    • Doug


  • Troy

    NOT…The Cubs should just have to pay what ever was left of Theo’s salary in Boston. I see some people talking like Garza or Soriano might have be going to Boston Bud isn’t going to make the Cubs give up a whole lot.

  • loyal100more

    not even a byrd or barney.

  • cjdubbya

    Is it just me, or did the Cespedes showcase video have the feel of the Kenny Powers comeback video? Miami, you’re Frankin’ out.

    • loyal100more

      all it needed was “the eye of the tiger” playing in the back ground!

  • morgan

    If we trade Garza, I want it to be to the royals, Get Odrozzi and Lamb even tho hes coming off tommy john, maybe escobar for 2b they got some players to give away, If they wont give um montgomery get the other 2

    • Wrigley11

      It’s not like Montgomery is the unanimous #1 pitcher in the Royals system. Goldstein has Odorizzi and Lamb above him, #6 overall in the system. Sickels has him behind Odorizzi as well at #5 overall. I have a feeling that if the Royals are a possible suitor, they’re more likely to go after Garza in July than February.

      • Lou

        I don’t see the Royals going after Garza at all. Why would they go after a pitcher getting paid in high arbitration years who’s going to be a FA after 2013? It seems like Theo is taking a page from the Royals and doing things from the ground up. So, if the unanimous posts here believe that a “ground-upwards” philosophy will achieve sustained success, then I’m sure the Royals have thought about this carefully. Why would that organization want to deter what they’ve spent years in building by trading away prospects? It’s not like the Tigers situation where they are ready to compete now.

  • Leotard

    I dont get it. You guys are crazy. If we dont get anyone, how can we ever win? WERE PUTTING THE SAME TEAM ON THE FIELD. THATS WORKED, HUH??

  • Jon

    I heard the Red Sox are comparing the compensation for Theo to what the White Sox got for Ozzie (2 of the Marlins to 10 prospects) and what the Mariners got for Lou (Former All-Star Randy Winn).

    • loyal100more

      or give em soriano and 5M… hahaha!

    • Toosh

      It’s out of the Red Sox’ and Cubs’ hands. It’s up to Commissioner Senile, I mean Selig.

      • loyal100more

        oh yea thats right… our fate is in the hands of our divisional rivals owner!

  • loyal100more

    give em a hotdog with extra sour kraut…

  • Kevin

    Why isn’t there any talk about the compensation the Cubs owe the Red Sox for Theo? I don’t understand why baseball is dragging their feet. The Cubs need to move on and the sooner they know the sooner they can plan for the future.

  • BetterNews

    there is NO WAY Milwakeee contends for anyting! They have Aramis Ramirez, the choke Emperor!

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