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The hits keep on coming.

Matt Garza, the Cubs’ most valuable trade piece by far, will not pitch on Monday – the day before the Trade Deadline – as hoped. Instead, thanks to an MRI that still shows fluid in his right triceps (can’t we stop bs’ing people at this point and just call it a triceps “strain” and not a “cramp”?), he won’t pitch again until late next week at the earliest, Dale Sveum told the media today. Garza suffered the “cramp” last Saturday in St. Louis. He’s been on the DL all of about twice in his career, so the timing of this injury is … unfortunate.

Where this leaves the Cubs if they’d like to trade Garza is anybody’s guess, but it’s certainly fair to guess that the answer is “nowhere good.” Without having pitched in a week and a half, and with “fluid in his triceps,” it’s hard to imagine any team ponying up the kind of return sufficient to convince the Cubs that it’s worth giving up Garza.

Instead, they’re much more likely to hold onto him until the offseason, and revisit trade talks – as well as extension talks – then. There remains a teeny, tiny possibility that he can still be traded – after all, Garza says he feels good, and Sveum apparently described the MRI as “clean” – but, the emphasis is on teeny and tiny.

Deep breaths …

UPDATE: Here’s your tiny consolation. The Cubs (currently) don’t plan to put Garza on the 15-day DL, even though, by the time he returns, he would have missed some 13 or 14 days anyway. The only reason to do that? No, it’s not because you can’t trade a guy on the DL – you can, and that’s sort of beside the point, because whether he’s on the DL or not, teams know his injury. It’s because, if the Cubs DL Garza, a theoretical receiving team couldn’t start Garza until his DL stint is up, which could cost them a Garza start (for example, on Wednesday or Thursday next week). It’s small, but at least it’s a signal that the Cubs haven’t completely given up hope that a team or two might make an acceptable offer by Tuesday. Keep in mind, with Garza, unlike with free-agent-to-be Dempster, not being able to trade him isn’t the worst thing in the world. Yes, he’s got more value now than he’ll have in the offseason, but it’s not like it goes to zero in November.

  • d.

    Rotten, rotten news.
    The only thing I could see happening w/ a trade now is maybe w/ the Blue Jays. They’re a team not buying so much for immediate help – but for next year’s team. …But still, hard to imagine Garza getting dealt now.

  • Jacob

    Brett, I was just tweeting at you but I figured this would be easier than a 140 character limit lol. I was just asking that if they did not put him on the DL, if that was a sign that they still think he could be dealt. And then, if he’s not dealt (which could mean the injury is worse than stated) they could retroactive him on the DL and bring up Casey Coleman, etc., for a spot start or two until he comes off the DL. Maybe I’m way off line and don’t know what I’m talking about. I’d appreciate your input.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      See the update.

  • The Pubic LaHairs

    Worst Case Scenario: Dempster and Garza don’t get traded. Dempster accepts Cubs offer in off season. We revisit this whole thing again next year.

  • Sosa23

    ive heard garza demp camp lake and reed for felix hernandez, anyone else heard that?

    • bbmoney

      I mean…do that in a heart beat. No way would Seattle though.

    • Patrick W.

      Any other voices in your head we should be worried about? ;)

      • Sosa23

        I have some, but i take the pills to keep them contained.

  • Ben in Nebraska

    This may not be the worst thing ever. Honestly, if the Cubs could land another big arm to go along side Garza and Samardzija and Maholm (if he’s not dealt) they’d be pretty formidable. There’s several holes on offense that need addressed, but that part is coming. At least the pitching could keep us somewhat competitive next season while some of our talent matures in the minors.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    the jim hendry curse continues trying to get rid of his junk and now we can’t even have that to smile about.:( watch all the idiots give dumpster a standing ovation today. outta here.

  • Cedlandrum

    well it looks like Maholm might be the only pitcher traded. Yippee, talk about a crap sandwich.

  • Fastball

    Not sure I believe the fluid in the triceps. I can believe fluid in the elbow but not in the triceps. Fluid doesn’t build up in a muscle it builds up in a joint. I think we are being misled. I don’t want it to be something other than minor but it doesn’t sound minor. It’s not like the Cubs FO history of the past or present tells us the facts.

  • MichiganGoat

    It’s offical all deities hate the Cubs

  • rcleven

    So much doom and gloom from everybody.
    The trade deadline is not the end of world.
    All the teams going after Greinke won’t get him.
    There is a silver lining here. We just don’t see it right now.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      To be fair, there really isn’t much of a silver lining to this particular news. Things might work out in the end, but there’s no real upside to this injury.

      • rcleven

        It may not be a immediate return yes but we still don’t know what will happen in the future. This is baseball and teams will always try to improve themselves. We have learned many valuable lessons in just the last few days. You can kick at the dirt and say aw shucks what could have been or learn from this and move on and make lemonade when dealt lemons.

      • WGNstatic

        There is one possible silver lining to the Garza news… It does increase the chances that he stays with the Cubs for a longer term.

        It is hard to focus on that now with the trade deadline and the chance for shiny new toys, but I think it is still quite possible that the best scenario with Garza would be an extension.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          To call that a silver lining, however, presupposes that extending him is the better option than trading him. For me, I’ve left those two things equal all along – by the injury, the Cubs have (possibly) lost the *option* of trading him. That’s not a good thing.

    • MichiganGoat

      True, but we are cursed.

      • FromFenwayPahk

        Goat.

        • Cubbie Blues

          BBQ time.

  • Barry

    Obviously, we are being punished for our views regarding Chick-fil-A…

    • TWC

      I dunno… are you familiar with the Chick-fil-A coffee story?

  • Brian Peters

    The Cubs are cursed, plain and simple, and I hate Dempster! There. I got it out of my system!

  • Fastball

    I guess we are screwed at this point. Didn’t really want to trade Garza anyway. Don’t like the idea of trading Maholm either. He is turning into a pretty good starter for us. So we are down to trading Soto, LaHair, Johnson and Baker. Maybe we can get some quality BP help. The positive in this is Greinke can only be traded to one team. So maybe at the deadline Dempster can be moved. I don’t have any confidence in that happening since he won’t approve any trade and he won’t have 5 days to ponder the situation so we are officially screwed.

    • andrew

      by BP do you mean bullpen or batting practice?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    My god this has been the worst trade deadline ever. Seriously I was looking to trade demp, and Garza for assets all year

  • andrew

    This may be a stretch, but couldnt we still try to trade garza after the deadline. If he gets claimed, we could try to negotiate a trade with that team or else just take him off waivers if they dont want to give anything up for him.

    • MikeL

      No, you would never get him through waivers to the team you want to get him to because he is cost controlled. Secondly, you would never get top prospects for him because another team might block those. So he’ll be a cub for the rest of 2012.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. He will get claimed by a crappy team (they get first priority), and they are going to have no interest in giving up enough to get him. Also, when it’s a valuable piece like Garza, you don’t get full value by negotiating with just one team (see, e.g., Dempster/Dodgers).

  • Sosa23

    Moral of story, shoulda traded them both earlier.

  • Kyle

    This actually helps the Cubs in trading Dempster to LA. Why would the Dodgers trade Webster for Dempster if they could trade Webster and another prospect or 2 for Garza? The Dodgers interest in Garza has been a giant road block for the Dempster deal this entire time.

    • auggie1955

      That’s a very good point Kyle. Maybe there is a silver lining to this after all.

  • RY34

    As a cub fan, i would love to say the shitstorm that this trade season has now become for the cubs surprises me, but that would be a lie. Expect the worst, hope for the best as a cubs fan! We will still be watching Demp and Garza as Cubs come Labor Day unless we fold the tent, wave the white flag and receive pennies on the dollar for the both of them.

  • http://www.dccoffeeproducts.com John

    It would have been nice to have traded Dump earlier but he was on DL- teams needed to see him make a couple of starts before deciding- then he decides Chicago is the place to be. I think he is a part time waiter/server at Ed Debevic’s. We can still trade shark for help?? Could we get the haul for him we thought we could get for Garza?? Maholm, Soto, Camp etc. can still bring back usefull pieces for the future- they are just going to have to be real creative in getting it done now. Just unfortunate the timing of the misterious injuries at this time of year.

  • Cub Fan Dan

    Here’s the trade deadline summary:
    1 pain in the arm + 1 pain in the ass = 0 prospects

  • http://www.dccoffeeproducts.com John

    Hey Brett- on another note- I am curious how a catcher(Moreno) for the Diamonbacks can get a huge contract and look like a summer league catcher against the Cubs? He was afraid of the ball- turning not sliding or blocking— you would think that Soto would have some appreciative abilities?? Just not sure why AZ value the effort behind the plate like they do and know one appreciate what Soto can do??

  • MikeL

    John,

    I had forgotten about Dempster’s 3 week stint on the DL….and I think at the same time Garza was not piching his best and his value was pretty non-existent at the time.

  • Njriv

    So is Dempster to Braves completely off the table?

    • TWC

      Yeah. Twist the knife, kid. Thanks.

      • Njriv

        f*ck

    • MikeL

      No,

      But highly unlikely we can get any worthwhile prospects at this point.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. But it’s “highly unlikely.” And, even if it does happen, I’m not getting my hopes up for Delgado.

  • Sosa23

    its simple trade soriano garza reed lake demp and vitters to the red so for becket ellsbury and pedroia and buccholz

    • bbmoney

      simple…………

      • Sosa23

        *it was an exponentially sarcastic comment.

  • Patrick G

    As much as I would of loved to get young top prospects for Garza, I think this could be a blessing in disguise. He is a top of the rotation starter, with Garza, Shark, maybe a quality pick up in the offseason, and maybe a ML ready pitcher in trade for Demp/Maholm could be a decent staff. Maybe sign him to an extension if he is willing to come down to earth a little bit.

    • Mat B

      I know most people think that. Am I the only one who thinks Garza is overrated and overvalued?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I think he’s underrated and undervalued.

        • Mat B

          Maybe last year, I’m not so sure this year.

        • Patrick G

          Same. I don’t think he deserves Cole Hamels money at all. But give him good defense and run support, he has the stuff to be an ace, just hasn’t showed it yet on the team we put on the field now

          • Mat B

            If he’d had this year’s defense last year, he would have had a much better record. I will fully admit that. I still think he cost the Cubs more than he has returned.

          • quintz

            Maybe I’m the only one who thinks he is just about what he is valued at. He isn’t Cole Hamels, nor will he ever be and he isn’t a back end rotation guy. He’s about a number 2.5 pitcher and that makes him very, very valuable. He’ll never have ace stuff, just won’t.

      • Njriv

        Probably

    • Sosa23

      whos shark?

      • Njriv

        Samardzija

    • Sosa23

      For some reason i just see him as an a.l pitcher not n.l

  • When the Music’s Over

    You can change almost all the variables in the equation, but the Chicago Cubs circus somehow seems to remain the same show its always been.

  • Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Dempster, Garza, Greinke, Shields, Johnson, Soriano, Soto, Kottaras | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Dumpgobbler

    Still think Garza gets dealt. 2013 + pick if not resigned are really big. You can play around with a PTBNL for how many starts he makes this year if you want.

    • MikeL

      Dumpgobbler,

      I think the PTBNL is a very creative option, but it can be problematic…..Garza would have to go to his new team before pitching….if he is healthy….great….and the cubs get a couple of good prospects. However, if he is hurt, there will be a fight over the quality of the PTBNL and the severity of the injury. What happens if he might be hurt for a short while? The cubs would get an mediocre prospect and then Garza might heal nicely and pitch lights out in 2013! The Cubs would’ve basically given him away for nothing.

      • Dumpgobbler

        Well, heres my idea.

        Get your framework 2 prospects in the MLB top 100 for Garza.
        The 3rd prospect we get is the PTBNL. He he comes right in and starts on the 14th day, that PTBNL is a decent prosepct. If he misses some starts and they only gte him for a month or whatnot, we get filler. Those anems would be agreed upon by the two orginizations beforehand. Lets look at the Nats for this deal, because they would make great sense IMHO for something like this.

        Cubs get
        Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer and PTBNL

        Nats get Matt Garza

        If he comes right in and starts right after the trade deadline, we get Sammy Solis as PTBNL. If he comes in, lays an egg and takes a month or so to get started, we get Wirkibn Estavez.

  • Doug

    I’m not one for fate or curses, but Jesus, Mary and Joseph…the Cubs can never seem to buy a break. I used to think it was because we had crummy ownership and a poor front office. I’m beginning to see it doesn’t really matter who we have running the show. The Cubs are and always will be a Murphy’s Law team. “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

    Sorry for the doom and gloom attitude. This has just been a really tough week for all Cubs Fans.

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