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With a hearing looming (today), the Chicago Cubs and Matt Garza have agreed on a one-year deal for 2012. Garza will get $9.5 million, with the possibility of additional performance bonuses.

Garza, 28, in his third of four arbitration years, had requested $12.5 million for 2012, while the Cubs had offered $7.95 million. Given Garza’s lofty request, it’s no surprise the two sides settled below the midpoint. It’s still a win for Garza, whom most thought would get around $8.5 to $9 million for 2012. You have to wonder: who blinked at the last minute?

With the signing out of the way, the Cubs can now theoretically resume trade talks about Garza, presuming his price tag isn’t too lofty for interested teams. Otherwise, the Cubs might instead prefer to continue dialoging with Garza’s camp about a long-term extension.

  • http://Thebigdealchicago.com Justin Koehneke

    Trade him before his value goes down!

  • EQ76

    nice!

  • Deer

    C’mon Toronto, make a better offer and let’s get this done.

    • DocWimsey

      heh, you do realize that there are Blue Jays fans saying “ay, Anthopoulos, make this happen!”: by which they mean, make the other GM realize that our offer is too good as it is!

  • Fishin Phil

    I think that is a fair number.

  • die hard

    good move by FO. However, need more info on bonus terms as they could make him untradable which is good too as he should stay to be anchor of staff.

    • King Jeff

      I’m sure if the bonuses are good enough to pay him like an ace, then he will have to pitch like an ace to get them.

  • Michael Vazquez

    Now give him an contract extension, please!!!

  • MightyBear

    You know I’m fine if they keep Garza. I’m fine if they trade him as long as good return. Payroll should be set. Is it 110 Millioon? Is that right?

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    Not bad. I suspect Detroit and Toronto are both still in play for Garza after this.

    • CubFan Paul

      who would you prefer prospect wise as a trade partner? jays or tigers

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Jays, unless the Tigers are going to give up both Turner and Castellanos (they aren’t).

        • CubFan Paul

          i lean Tigers because they have more ML ready pitching prospects ..i think

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          I’d be just as happy with Turner+Smyly.

          • JulioZuleta

            I juat don’t want a deal where Drabek is the best piece.

        • WGNstatic

          I have a really hard time seeing the Jays making this trade.

          Their division is just brutal. Heck, even with an extra wild card, they could win 90 games and their odds of making the playoffs might be no better than 50/50. I’d bet they are more likely to be looking for guys they can control for longer than 2 years.

          I still wonder if the Red Sox wouldn’t be the most logical trade partner. What about Garza and Vitters for Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman? Barnes would need to be a PTBNL. This, plus perhaps a few $$, and call it a trade and Theo compensation.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I don’t totally disagree – problem for the Jays is their window is going to be very dependent on Bautista, who’s already 31. If they don’t go for it in the next two years, who knows when it comes around again.

            • WGNstatic

              They are definitely in a tough spot.

              I wouldn’t say they won’t go for it, but I don’t see them signing Garza to a long term contract, so, any trade would be for only 2 years. It will be interesting to see what they choose to do.

          • JulioZuleta

            The fact of the matter is that the Blue Jays need to try to make the playoffs. That division is never going to be easy and these next couple of years could represent their best chances in a long time. Their farm is very deep, I think they could offer a very good package, get a front end starter, and still not mortgage the future by any means.

        • Boogens

          I do believe it’ll be the Tigers and I do believe that we’ll get both Turner and Castellanos. Their owner put their GM, Dave Dombrowski, in a very bad and tenuous position this season by over-riding him and agreeing to the riduclous deal with Prince Fielder. They have to win now and will have to give up their prospects to shore up their pitching to do so. Garza’s the only proven commodity left. Despite his irresponsible actions, the owner will not hold himself accountable if the Tigers fail. It’ll be on Dombrowski.

          We may have to sweeten the deal a bit to get it done but I believe that essentially the key players will be the three that I mentioned.

          As an aside, I don’t want the Cubs to have anything to do with the Jays because I’m afraid that Drabek will be part of the equation and I believe that he’s a bust at this point.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Depends on the package. I could go in either direction. I like Detroit’s offerings slightly more, but either side could put together a group that would interest me.

        I think Toronto is more motivated, though. They thought they would be able to compete in the AL East this season, and the Yankees reinvented their rotation over a weekend. Not the Jays look like they are back to fighting for third. Adding Garza changes that equation somewhat.

        • WGNstatic

          I am just not sure that AA will see Garza as the guy to put them over the top. He seems to be a VERY cautious GM, so I just don’t see that happening.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        I’d rather the Jays because I don’t think DET will move Castellanos and I’m not impressed with their other guys.
        I would love Marisnick from TOR.

        • DocWimsey

          I agree on Castellanos, but I also think that they do not want to move Turner because Turner could help them win this year. If you are going all-in for 2012, then it is one thing to trade a guy like Castellanos who might start helping in 2 years; it’s quite another to trade a guy who might help in 2012.

          What is Smyly’s ETA?

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      Detroit should definately still be in play – they offered Oswalt $10M for 1 year. Here they get a more durable pitcher and another year of control.

      • Brady

        “Detroit should definately still be in play – they offered Oswalt $10M for 1 year. Here they get a more durable pitcher and another year of control.”

        Not to mention half a mil cheaper as if that REALLY mattered. Oh, Garza also has a great goatee. I don’t know why but I think his and Reed Johnson’s are awesome. Maybe our entire team can grow goatees. That probably wouldn’t work as I doubt Castro and Campana probably cant grow much facial hair let alone a goatee. What were we talking about again?

      • Matt

        As much as I want a trade with the Tigers Hansman, I don’t think you can look at it like that though. Oswalt was just money. That isn’t giving up top prospects. Prospects are far more valuable than money. That is why it needs to be the perfect storm of need, cost, and flexibility. Imo

        • Mick

          You’re right that, “it needs to be the perct storm of need, cost, and flexibility”. That’s why it makes too much sense for the Tigers to be the ideal destination.

          Need-Verlander is their #1 but after that its Fister, Scherzer, and Porcello. Garza is easily the best of the rest not to mention he has experience in taking down the AL East.

          Cost-If the Tigers can offer $10 million to Oswalt they can obviously afford Garza.

          Flexibility-Trading Castellanos would not fall within the Tigers organizational flexibility because Detroit has no depth at 3B. For that, I can see Detroit only trading from their SP depth. Turner or Smyly might not even win the #5 spot because of the way Duane Below pitched last year and they also have Oliver, Crosby, and Flynn in their top 10 prospect rankings.

          If I were the Cubs, I’d let them keep Castellanos but I’d be asking for Turner, Smyly, and another prospect. Yea buddy, 2014 Cubs, we’re coming!!!

          • Ryan

            Where is Castellano’s going to play for Det. They have said Caberea will play 3rd thou I just don’t see him being able to. But if he does then there is no where for him to play for the next few years.

            • http://Www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              They have plenty of time to decide on castellanos, my guess would be third with victor martinez leaving the team in free agency

      • Chaz

        Oswalt at 10 million only cost them the money. Garza would cost them money and prospects. You can’t compare the two.

      • DocWimsey

        People are touching on an important point that is too often forgotten. People often contrast signing free agents with developing players as if they were opposites. However, signing a free agent means that you get to keep your prospects. Sure, you might trade prospects later for another player: but that means that you have two established players instead of just the one.

        • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

          I guess I wasn’t clear enough, they have the money to spend to acquire Garza. Now the justification behind it is a different story and one that I will save for another time.

        • JB88

          Well the other side of that coin is that by adopting a philosophy of signing FAs you are limited by who is a FA. Trades enable you to acquire a host of other semi-known assets for money and less-known assets.

          And, with the FA market, you are typically forced to overpay in pure dollars for the assets that are available. For example, there is no question that Oswalt is not currently worth $10MM, rather he is worth much less than that; whereas if Garza was a FA, he’d command far greater than $9.5MM.

          • DocWimsey

            I agree, but I’d further this line of thinking. How much is it worth to Detroit to have Oswalt and keep (say) Turner as opposed to having Garza and no Turner? I know that it never can be presented in arbitration this way: but part of what the Tigers would be buying with Oswalt is the value of the players that they’d have to surrender for Garza.

            The Tigers are in a tricky spot. They are in a position to be “all in” for not just 2012, but 2013 – 2015 at least. Going with Oswalt for a year might improve their chances over the duration.

  • WGNstatic

    In the end this might be $1M more than most projections, so no big deal.

    If I had to guess, I think this indicates that a trade is less likely to happen. The odds of the Cubs losing this arb case seemed remote. The biggest problem with going to arbitration, it seems to me, is the negativity involved. If you have a player you are hoping to keep around for a while, that is a problem. If you have a player you are going to say bye-bye to, then you don’t care and would likely rather keep the $$.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Could also be mere risk aversion – even if the chance of him getting $12.5 million was small, if that would have meant no trade is possible, settlement could also suggest a trade.

      In other words – I’m not sure it really suggests anything one way or the other.

  • aCubsfan

    It’s absolutely ridiculous. There’s no player that is worth a 200% YOY increase. I think the Cubs made a very bad decision that is going to hurt them in the future in similar situations.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not sure about that math – $5.95M last year, $9.5M this year is like a 59% raise. Still quite serious, but not 200%.

      • T Wags

        I think aCubsfan was saying that it was a bad decision by the Cubs to settle with Garza because he had no chance at winning the arbitration case because he’s asking for (over) 200% of his 2011 salary, so they should have taken him to arbitration and won.

        Having said that, I disagree with him, and think the Cubs made the right (and fair) decision.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I thought about that – but even that wouldn’t be a 200% raise. It would have been just a hair over 100%.

          • T Wags

            Correct. Not a 200% increase, just 200% of last years salary

            • BetterNews

              Wags-Come on man! @200%, Garzas’ salary would be 5.9*2=11.8 mil! 5.9+11.8 would equal 17.7 mil for next year. Invest in a new calculator for heaven’s sake.

              • hogie

                At 200% of last years salary he would make 11.8 mil. Garza’s request of 12.5 mil would have been more than twice what he made last year, meaning over 200% of last years salary. Wags clearly corrected any confusion that there would have been if you weren’t, you know, a troll trying to pick fights. So betternews, to use your needlessly cocky phrasing, invest in a new hobby for heaven’s sake.

                • BetterNews

                  Hogie-He said 200% raise. Get off the sauce!

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Nice to see BetterNews is back to being classy

            • BetterNews

              I never realized how bad people are at math until the last few comments.

              • DocWimsey

                heh, try teaching rudimentary statistics to undergraduates and you will learn that in a hurry. I once learned that division was “higher math” that way…..

      • BetterNews

        It’s approx. a 62% increase in pay(5.9 mil*.62=3.69 mil). However, if we look at what Dempster was signed at for a #2 rotation guy(14 mil), can one seriously state that Garza is being overpaid? I think not.

        • KCubsfan

          There is a big difference between a FA signing and a guy under control.

          • BetterNews

            Yes. I understand. It’s resolved now and I’m happy with the outcome, as any Cubs fan should be. Let’s move on now as I’m looking forward to April 5th! It’s right around the corner.

  • DocWimsey

    aCubs is confusing 200% increase with 200%. (Of course, the actually number is 159%, so his rounding is a bit off, too!)

    aCubs is making another common mistake of confusing relative with absolute in another way in that performance should be worth X dollars, not X% of what you made the prior year. That is all an arbiter would have been considering, and Garza’s performance was well in-line with other $9-10M/year pitchers.

    And, had the arbiter focused on FIP stats rather than Topps stats, then the Cubs just saved themselves nearly $3M.

    • BetterNews

      What? A 200% increase is a 200% increase. Not the case. Don’t see how you could confuse anything, quite frankly.

  • florida Al

    not sure how i feel about this..i like garza…but if we are going nowhere for a few years i say trade him for some top prospects…but then again we need that stud at the top end because dumpster is past his prime and then who we got? wells….samardzija…wood…doesnt seem to me anyone there is a stopper……but again maybe we can find lightning in a bottle for a couple of years..

  • rbreeze

    Who would you rather have?  Garza at $9.5 mil or Edwin Jackson at $10 mil?  I say Garza.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Easily Garza.

      But Jackson was a free agent. Different ball of wax.

  • DRock

    Ok, time to trade him for a top pitching prospect and a top 3B prospect. Are there any other top 3B prospects that might be possibilities other than Castellanos from Detroit?

    • WGNstatic

      Boston has a couple of 3B prospects

      • DocWimsey

        I think that relations between the US and Cuba will thaw before relations between the Cubs and Sox, which could put a scarper on any deals…. ;-)

        I’m not too sure where the Cubs go for a young 3Bman. Castellanos is a couple of years away at least, and Detroit’s plan is to play Miggy at third until that time, then move Miggy to DH (VMart will be gone) and give Castellanos third. So, it is not as if the Fielder acquisition secondarily blocked Castellanos.

        Historically, third has been a tough position for a lot of teams to fill for more than a couple of seasons. The Cubs had a huge gap between Santo and Ramirez, but a lot of teams are working on comparable gaps. Who have the Dodgers had since Cey? Who has KC had since Brett? Since Brooks, the O’s really have had only Ripken: but Cal was playing on his HOF creds by then. Since Schmidt, the Phils really had only Rolen, and then only for a couple of years. Getting and keeping a 3Bman is really, really tough: it seems that most All-Star 3Bmen either are on another team or playing first within a couple of years.

        • WGNstatic

          We will see about the Cubs Sox relationship. I don’t think it is as bad as folks make it out to be. Heck, Theo just had a fundraiser for his charity at Fenway, that doesn’t sound like “the Sawx HATE Theo”. The compensation is certainly drawn out and contentious, but that is a pretty unique situation.

          As for 3B… there is no other position in baseball with a bigger gap between expectations and reality. The belief seems to be that 3B is a power position, comparable to 1B or a corner OF. When the reality seems that it is much more like 2B.

          • DocWimsey

            That is a good point. However, I think that the Sox brass would be reluctant to trade with Theo & Hoyer right now because if the trade backfired, then it would appear as if they let those two take advantage of their knowledge of the Sox system. It wouldn’t really add up: the current Sox brass is mostly people who’ve been with the team for years, and Theo really does not have “inside” information that they do not have. However, Joe and Jane Public do not think like that.

            That being written, I don’t think that even last September can make Sox fans forget Game 7 of the 2008 playoffs. They (we) would love to have Garza pitching for the Sox instead of against them.

            As for 3B, yes, historically it has not been a high offense position. However, one trademark of many of the “dynasty” teams was having a good hitting 3Bman. It sticks out in your memory that the teams making the playoffs year-after-year have good hitting 3Bman, so you quickly think: “hey, we need one, too!”

            • WGNstatic

              Your point regarding Theo’s knowledge of the Red Sox system is a good one. Certainly the Cubs brass knows more about the Sox’ system than the Sox brass knows about the Cubs’, which does give the Cubs an advantage in any trade with them.

              Regarding 3B, I will follow that up with a further 2B-3B comparison. I would be interested to see a comparison of HR totals between 3B and 2B over the last couple of decades. For some reason, the likes of Brooks Robinson, Ron Santo, George Brett, etc. seemed to have defined the position. Whereas, Ryne Sanberg, Joe Morgan, Jeff Kent, and Roberto Alomar haven’t similarly defined 2B.

              Just look at the Cubs heading into 2012. The FO seems content to role the dice with Stewart at 3B, with the hopes he could turn into a big bat, yet are content (relatively) with a slap hitter in Barney at 2B.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I think a power hitting corner outfield prospect should be higher on the priority list than 3B. Cubs are pretty deep in 3B prospects right now (Vitters, Lake, Amaya, Baez, Candelario).

      • JulioZuleta

        We need power hitting corner OFs, second basemen (although we do have some a couple years away), a solid Catcher, and of course, lots of pitching. We’re solid at First, third, and Center, adn we really don’t need a SS prospect for a good 10 years or so most likely.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          Cubs have some very nice looking catching prospects deep in the system, and I’m starting to suspect Castillo could ably replace Soto if the Cubs made the switch. Castillo+Clevenger should be a pretty decent combination behind the plate.

          I agree on second, though. Watkins is the closest, and he’s no sure thing. DeVoss could the position if he can stick at second, but he’s probably two years away.

          • Kyle

            I’m not really all that excited about either Castillo or Clevenger as No. 1 catchers.

            Castillo turns 25 early next year, and an .876 OPS in his second run-through of AAA doesn’t translate all that well as an MLE (that dirty PCL inflating offensive numbers again). Clevenger is a little older and pretty much in the same offensive boat.

            2012 ZIPS projections:
            Castillo: 243/294/395
            Clevenger: .272/322/369

            Either of them would make a fine backup catcher, or could be a Barney-style starter (fine to hold the position down cheaply because we suck anyway and are waiting for something better to come along). But a long-term solution at the position? I don’t see it.

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              Yep. Soto is so inconsistent, though, I think that could replace him. I’d rather have an All-Star candidate behind the plate, but I’d be alright with a Castillo-Clevenger platoon until they find one.

              Either one will be an improvement over Koyie Hill, and that might help Soto out. If Soto can get some extra days off because a good backup, maybe his numbers will stabilize a bit.

              Neftali Rosario is the catching prospect that me the most interested right now. He’s very young, very raw, and very far away, but there are some promising indicators there.

            • JulioZuleta

              I agree. Both Castillo and Clevenger seems like solid backups to me at this point. Castillo is only 25, is not a great defender other than his cannon of an arm, and is a 20 runner. He is 25 years old and is already Molina-slow. To me, that just doesn’t bode well for his athleticism and long term viabilty. He’s so slow a runner could score from first on a passed ball.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              Baseball Prospectus has Castillo #3 in the system saying 20 homer power with an arm that controls the running game. I think that’s a good start to a catching solution.

              • JulioZuleta

                I agree, I’m not completely down on him. His defense with a young pitching staff just worries me. Also, it’s very hard to project numbers from a second time through the PCL to the major leagues. Hoping for the best though.

            • Mick

              Catcher is the one position where offense should be looked at as a bonus. I’d rather much rather have Joe Girardi than Damon Berryhill (I loathe you Berryhill!).

          • JulioZuleta

            Yeah, I’m excited to see what Rosario does this year. For being billed as a defensive C in the draft, he sure put up some solid offensive numbers. I believe he was on 17 on draft day too. I wasn’t a big fan of the Marra/Lopez picks in the mid teens. Catchers typically move so slowly and I think they both were already 23/24. Rounds 15-18 are a little too early to be drafting filler to me.

            EDIT: If you think about it, it’s VERY impressive that a 17 year old has the baseball acumen to be described as a defensive minded catcher. Man, literally every team is going to be fun to follow this year.

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              I’m not sure I’d write off Marra and Lopez as filler. I wonder if the Cubs aren’t half intending to move one or both of them. They are said to have some of the better bats the Cubs took in the draft.

              It’ll be interesting to see where they are playing (and at what level) by years end.

              • JulioZuleta

                Whoa, I was way off on Marra. I don’t know why I thought he was old. He was drafted out of high school from Canada. He’s only 19. I guess I don’t follow Canadian draft prospects closely enough.

      • Cedlandrum

        Luke you really do a nice job of breaking down the system. Bravo.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          Thanks.

      • DRock

        Hope one of these 5 pan out at 3B( Vitters, Lake, Amaya, Baez, Candelario). I believe it is an important position to solidify in our lineup- more important than corner OF. Not sure Ian Stewart is our guy and Vitters hasn’t developed as quick as we would have wanted. Baez sounds like he could potentially be our guy, but we’ll have to wait a while to find out. Haven’t heard much about the other 3. If we could get a TOP 3B prospect back in a Garza deal, I say do it.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Something to keep in mind on a Garza trade – we’re just about to enter the time when draft picks from 2011 can finally be included in trades as players to be named later (mid-February).

    • WGNstatic

      Can you see the Red Sox giving up Barnes in a Garza deal?

      Lots of talk about Toronto, but Boston is a team that lost last year due to a lack of SP and all they have done this offseason is lose Lackey for the 2012 season.

      Even ignoring the Theo compensation nonsense, a Garza to Red Sox trade just seems like the kind of deal that they would be looking to make.

      • JB88

        You are assuming Cherington is in control and that the Sox are being rational. Both of which I don’t believe. Lucchino is in control of that organization and he certainly appears to be in full-on “cutting-off-nose-to-spite-face” mode. IOW, I highly doubt the Cubs and Sox will be trade partners anytime soon, even if the trade would potentially help both organizations.

        • WGNstatic

          As I said above, I just don’t see the Sox-Cubs animosity as being as bad is it is portrayed. Theo used his old office to finish the Marshall trade. He just had a fundraiser for his charity at Fenway. There is plenty of evidence that the relationship is fine.

          As for the compensation issue, it is testy, but that isn’t really surprising. What we are seeing is a relatively public and very drawn out set of “trade discussions” where, oddly, one side has already gotten the asset they are trading for. Thus, I am not sure that we should be looking at the Sawx-Cubs relationship through this lens.

  • jandersonjr81 father of Caden

    I wish the Cubs had went all the way. I’ve always liked Garza, but now I’m starting not to for some reason. Don’t know why. I say trade him. If nobody ups their offer, take the beet one the day before ST and move toward.

    BTW, Anyway we send the Sox Volstad for compensation. I think this settles our comp and the rotation. I would rather lose him then a prospect.

    • Brady

      No offense but I don’t think trade negotiations really work that way. For example, if I was the other team and I gave you my best offer a month ago and you said it wasn’t enough, then came back today and said you thought it over and you’ll accept that trade now, I would think you were desperate to move the player and lower my offer. Maybe that is just me but I think other managers would realize that you want to move him and then lower their bid. The only way you get what they offer is if you take it when they offer it.

    • TWC

      “Anyway we send the Sox Volstad for compensation…. I would rather lose him then a prospect.”

      Yeah, we know you feel this way, kid.  You’ve made it clear.  Crystal.  Clear.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Lmao.

  • die hard

    If going to trade him, Cleveland needs to get more righty at positions….say, Garza, Soriano, Soto and Barney for LaPorta and 5 AA/AAA prospects if Cleveland eats 50% of Sori’s salary and let Lahair compete for LF

    • Brady

      Baseball, in Cleveland? I didn’t even know they had a team! Apparently they’ve got uniforms and everything.

    • Brady

      oh and that would never happen. First of all Cleveland only has about 7 mil or so open because they are a small market and the player formerly known as Fausto Carmona will probably be spending the year in a Dominican judicial system rather than playing. If they made it work, they may get Garza but most of their prospects are now in the majors and they cleaned house during another trade somewhat recently (can’t remember which but my buddy is an Indians fan), anyway, they only had 1 prospect in the nations top 100. So I doubt we will see a major trade of any kind with them. Also as long as they dont collapse like last year, they may have a fair shot at beating out Detroit. A very small, unlikely chance, but still a chance. They have a lot of young talent and continue to surprise.

      • yield51

        Ubaldo Jimenez?

        • Brady

          No not Ubaldo, Fausto Carmona aka Roberto Hernandez Heredia.

      • die hard

        Getting those players from Cubs could put Cleveland in WS!!!….problem is what do Cubs get back, I agree….but as it appears 2012 is being written off, i am sure there are good prospects even in A ball that Cubs, based on todays signing and recent signings, seem willing to gamble on…..key is absorbing Soriano’s salary but all else is doable…Cleveland could agree to base its % of Soriano’s salary on how well Sori does and how well the team does over next 3 yrs….anything is negotiable.

        • Brady

          No doubt it would put them well in contention however its like me wanting to drive a Mercedes. I may drive a car, however don’t have that kind of money so I am resorted to making the best with my beater. The Indians are the beater of baseball. They get you from point a to point b and occasionally bring you a very enjoyable trip, however they are inconsistent and for the most part run about the middle of the pack giving you a medium experience overall. To finish the analogy I’d say that the Yankees are the bugatti veyron. They are extremely overpriced but are very nice. They tend to get you to point b but only at twice the cost and if you are fine with that great, if not you are sensible.

    • DocWimsey

      Also, the Indians basically already have Soto in Carlos Santana. Now, good OPS catchers are really hard to find, so having 2 birds in the hand would be great: but it’s a rather oblique path to take!

  • ferrets_bueller

    This link has nothing to do with anything here, but i thought it was a little interesting- moreso than when i first clicked on it.  I’m firmly on the ‘keep trout’ side. http://www.halosheaven.com/2012/2/3/2768528/trades-that-make-sense-trout-for-harper

  • JR 1908

    I don’t want to sound negative on the front office becasue they are great, but i was really hoping they would have taken Garza to arbitration. By all accounts it was a sure thing they would have won, and Garza at 7.9 mill is way better/more vauluable than 9.5. Even if they made him mad it seems worth it in my opinion. I’m sure these players and agents know Theo won’t take them to arbitration. Thats why they are asking for the moon…

    • JB88

      Rarely do two winners emerge from an arbitration hearing. Rather, someone is pissed while the other side has been taken through the ringer.

      Settling preserves the relationship and both sides may be initially upset but usually a fairer result is the byproduct. Cubs might have had a dead-bang winner, but if they decided to try to extend Garza, the relationship may have been strained and it may have been harder to hammer out a fair extension.

      • JR 1908

        I agree with that. But doesn’t Theo have to take someone to arbitration at some point, just so everyone knows he will? If I was an agent I would sure ask for more from the Cubs F.O. then I would from a team that isn’t afraid to take players to arbitration. This seemed like the slam dunk case that could make a statement.

        • JB88

          Why do you need a statement? Why would you seek one with your best player? Do it with a nobody like Ryan Theriot, not Matt Garza.

          • JR 1908

            I would seek one from my best player because he was being rediculous with his 12.5 mill. request. If agents see that Theo took Garza to arbitration, they know to be fair with their players requests in the future. Trust me i get what you are saying, and love Garza. But his request was unfair and stupid and should have been treated that way. Instead they settle at a still high amount.

  • Camiata2

    Looks as if the money I spent on a Garza alternate jersey won’t be a wasted expense, for the time being at least.

  • http://bleechernation frankhutch

    I think they should lock garza up. They have alot of position prospects up and no pitchers really. If u can go out and get a cain greinke of hamels next year u will have a good 1-2 punch and alot of young position players under control for many years. In july 2013 or 2014 even make a move for king felix. The system should be loaded by then. Felix hamels and garza equals world series by 2015

    • KCubsfan

      Because depending on FA to make it to the Market is always a save bet. Trading Garza will get the Cubs prospects that can develop int useful pieces or be traded later and obtain useful pieces later. I dont thin Cain or Greinke will make it to FA and we will be fighting with The Yankees and Red Sox for Hamels and could very well lose.

  • T Larson

    On a local sports show, here in Phoenix, they were discussing Hamels. It was brought up that the Blue Jays are gearing up to sign him the next off season. Supposedly they have the money to go all out for him.

    • DocWimsey

      Well, people might suspect that the Blue Jays are gearing up for Hamels (or anybody else), and they might well be right. However, the Jays themselves cannot confirm this: that would be called “tampering.”

      I think that two issues are being conflated here. One, should the Tigers sign an available free agent or make a trade for a better pitcher that will cost them more when you combine dollars and the value of the prospects that they will lose. Two, should the Jays, Cubs or any other team make plans for 2013 on the possibility that Hamels or anyone else will be a free agent?

      There is not an obvious “right” answer to #1: either will draw criticism or praise. However, the answer to #2 is pretty obvious: no.

  • KCubsfan

    They may haved to break their 5 yr rule to get him.

  • BetterNews

    A Garza extension will be coming, not a trade.

    • MichiganGoat

      Really? I would have never of thought you’d say that. Well I guess since you haven’t said that in about a week you can have on more, but let’s not get back to 5-6 a day.

      • BetterNews

        MG-Seems like you don’t like when I’m right. I’ve also been saying for quite some time that Garza would not go to arb. Now that it turns out I was RIGHT, you make absolutely no reference to those comments.

        • MichiganGoat

          Congratulations you won a coin flip that was highly weighted to your choice. You chose red with a wheel that was 95% red, and you actually won! Way to go here is your prize
          http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/048/783/a_winner_is_you20110724-22047-1nd3wif.jpg?1311564834

          You are a WINNER. So let me quess your next prediction: the Cubs will win a game!

          • BetterNews

            I guess what I was trying to say is you should be “even-keeled” with your comments. If you’re going to criticize comments a person makes that you don’t agree with at least acknowlege comments that person makes that’s within the “bullseye.”

            • MichiganGoat

              It wasn’t about agree or disagreeing with you or you being right. It’s just that you said this 1000 times and now your asking for people to awknowlege your coin flip prediction.

              • BetterNews

                MG-You’re way off base, again! My Garza prediction is not a coin flip, maybe that’s where you’re going wrong. It’s based on sound “reasoning” including what I see, what I read, and what I hear.

                • MichiganGoat

                  You have only two choices: trade or not trade. Your choice is more likely since a trade requires more to happen than keeping him. To write here on a weekly basis that you predict, promise, and project that Garza is not going anywhere and then ask everyone to be in awe of your wisdom is true lunacy. Everyone on BleacherNation knows where you stand, we hear it all the time. So if your right then congratulations “You are a Winner,” but stop saying the samething over and over.

    • KCubsfan

      If it took up to the deadline of his ard hearing to hammer out an one yr extension. I really dont think I multi yr is in the cards man.

      • BetterNews

        KCubs-What reason(s) do you have for not thinking an extension is being considered?

        • KCubsfan

          I didnt say it wasnt I just think that there will be a cut off date from the Cubs and I will be soon before he looses more trade value. It is all about options and what direction has more value. Lets say they cant get an extension done under the new CBA they dont get much value for him in return and they really should have traded him. It weighing the risk in the situation, if they have been working on this extension for a long term deal for as long as they have been talking about it? Why isnt it done and the fact that they were as far off number wise for Arb show you they arent as close as you seem to think they are. I know they came to an agreement but I think it had more to do that all of the player that went to hearing have lost so far and Garza just want to make sure he made the max he could.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        i kinda think that you could get a few indications for the future based on the settlement coming prior to arb. for one the cubs handed garza more $ than they would have, had they won in arb.nobody is really gonna argue that the cubs would have won and ended up paying a slightly pissed garza 2M less for 2012. keeping a player in good spirits is not always gonna mean they want to extend him, but you do leave the door open to revisit the terms of a new contract by skipping arb. and giving up a considerable amount more in the process. i think the split is still 50-50 weather he gets traded or extended. but if we do extend him we wont be talking to a player that is upset with how hes been handled financially.

        • BetterNews

          loyal-I agree with everything you said, except the 50-50 split on whether he gets traded. Going back to Theos’ comments, he said Garza is a pitcher you want to build your team around. That comment in itself shifts the percentages to at least 60-40 in favor of an extension.

          • Matt

            You truly believe he meant that? Ok, how does that help the trade value when he comes out and says, “first come, first serve, this kid has to go since he is a trading chip…” Come on, think about it. At the same time he said that, he also said he would listen to offers. I think that says more than that comment you pulled. But, I guess whatever makes you feel better about this when he gets traded.

            • DocWimsey

              Theo can both mean what he said about Garza and be considering trading him. If Theo truly thinks that Garza is a pitcher around whom you can build a staff, then Theo is also thinking that Garza is worth a bit in terms of prospects. If nobody on your team is “untouchable,” then what Theo is saying is: “I value Garza highly and he’ll cost you to get him from us.”

              A common mistake is to assume that if a team trades a player, then they obviously see some flaw in that player. Teams trade value all the time in order to get value. Yes, they want to come out ahead: but if everybody is just peddling damaged goods, then the trade market would have stopped a long time ago.

            • BetterNews

              Matt- You, like so many others have “vivid” imginations. Nowhere has Theo suggested Garza as a trading piece and has said, in fact, he is NOT. Stop trying to read between the lines and find something that is not there.

              • KCubsfan

                When did Theo say that he “will not Trade Garza”? He didnt He said Garza is a pitcher “you want to build around” there are key things in this. He said you not we and want not will. He could of replaced those words and you would be right that would end the discusion period.

              • Katie

                You might try taking your own advice. If there’s one thing we know about the FO is they keep their cards very close to their vest. As many people have explained on here and you ignore, what do you think Theo should do? Give interviews and say we’re trying to trade Garza, Byrd, Soto and Sori? And since when should we take things FO personnel say in interviews as gospel? Are you that naive?

          • KCubsfan

            Here is the flaw in both of your thinking, if the Cubs dont extended by the June he will be traded at the deadline. It may come down to more then just what the Cubs want to do. It also has to do what Teams are willing to offer for him. If other teams dont value Garza that highly then that may force an extension. Because as good as Garza is he is not a true Ace, he is a #2.

    • Stinky Pete

      Just wondering if you stocked up on Garza jerseys. They are significantly cheaper than the rest.

  • Cheryl

    If Garza is traded, fine. If he is not, fine. We will still have a team on the field with or without Garza. I’d much rather see what the next steps are for the cubs then keep on discussing Garza.

    • KCubsfan

      What if what happens with Garza is the next step?

      • Cheryl

        Than if it happens we cross that bridge and are done. If he’s traded, he goes on to another team and we concentrate on the other pitchers.

        • BetterNews

          Can you give me a name of a pitcher that could step in as a #1? Trading Gaza would amount to total implosion in 2012, and Theo knows this.

          • KCubsfan

            Losing Garza may make maybe a 8 win difference between him and one of the other guys that could be in the rotation.

            • BetterNews

              What are you saying? You’ld be O.K. with the Cubs finishing 30 games under .500?

              • KCubsfan

                What is the real difference between being 20 games under .500 and 30? Its a better draft pick thats all.

                • BetterNews

                  Higher draft picks don’t always pan out as you know.

                  • KCubsfan

                    Whats your point? Whether the Cubs are 20 or 30 games below .500 they still dont make the playoffs. So get a higher draft pick and they do have a higher sucess rate the lower picks.

                    • BetterNews

                      My point was that without Garza the Cubs could be 30 games under .500 and I don’t think a higher draft choice would mean anything.

    • BetterNews

      Cheryl-I think the reason Garza is so widely discussed is because he is the 2nd best player on the team, probably with only Castro ahead of him as things now stand and definitley the #1 on the starting rotation.

      • Cheryl

        So? Then lets spend more time on some of the other players. I would agree he is a very good pitcher. But we’ve heard that so many times that I’d like to hear about the other pitchers. How many times can you go over and over one player? There was a settlement with him prior to the arbitration hearing. Concepcion was signed. There will be some changes in the 40 man roster in the next few weeks. Who’s in and who’s out? Any further news on the compensation question? There are plenty of other topics brewing. Let’s let Garza rest for a while.

  • North Side Bum

    So when does he actually sign a big name free agent future hall of gamer that is our answer for the future? Any care to venture a guess?

    • KCubsfan

      What if he doesnt do it through FA? What if he does it through trade and the Draft?

  • North Side Bum

    I don’t

    Mind if the cubs rebuild but I feel betrayed by the front office for not signing or trading for 1the proven star that is our future.

  • North Side Bum

    Kcubsfan. I don’t care how he does it just go out and get 1championship big name future hall of gamer and every fan would give him a break. But what’s been done so far is not what was promised by rickets in august when henry was let go

    • KCubsfan

      We will see in the draft there are some very good Young Players in this year’s draft.

    • MichiganGoat

      So what’s more important: 1-Building a sustainable ball club that will a consistent contender every year or 2-Over paying for a big name FA that becomes a hindrance three years into his contract but makes fans excited.

  • North Side Bum

    I just think Rickets made promises to the fans in August and those plans have not been fillers through with and the only thing that happed was he signed Epstein and his crew and that has to be what changed and rickets needs to follow through when he says he is going to go get top notch players. The players signed this offseain have not been top notch and we don’t have a Firstbasemen

    • MichiganGoat

      Theo talked about paying for future performance instead of past and so far we have been trading for players that fit that model. Rizzo is a top prospect and projects to be a superstar.

  • North Side Bum

    Goat I never once said to over pay. But these players are investments and you have to give big name stars money sometime or they will go to another team

    • KCubsfan

      How many big stars do you think want to come to the Cubs in the state they are in Now. Not one that cares about winning. You get FA when you are missing one piece that can send you over the top and the Cubs are no where near the top.

    • MichiganGoat

      Seemy above response about paying for future performance, when you sign a big name FA you pay for past. Ask the Angels and Tigers in a few years how these contracts are doing.

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