As the Maholm/Johnson/Soto deals were breaking, multiple rumors popped up simultaneously about teams aggressively pursuing Matt Garza, despite his arm “injury.” Apparently, as I’d speculated, his bullpen session today – which manager Dale Sveum called “excellent” – may have turned a few teams’ heads, and caused them to reconsider their stance about picking up an “injured” starting pitcher.

First, in a report from Bruce Levine, the Blue Jays and Rangers (best. farm systems. ever.) are pursuing Garza, despite his injury. From the Rangers, the Cubs are interested in third base prospect Mike Olt (whom the Rangers are not crazy about moving). From the Blue Jays, the Cubs like low-level, high-upside pitching prospects Aaron Sanchez, Justin Nicolino, and Noah Syndergaard. I reported Ranger and Blue Jay interest in Garza all Winter long, so it isn’t terribly surprising to learn that they’re back at the table.

Then, in a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Reds – about whom we’ve heard nothing to connect them to Garza – are also in pursuit.

Recall, the Dodgers have been connected to Garza post-injury, as well.

The Cubs aren’t going to take a discounted offer to deal Garza, even after the injury, so you can expect that, if he’s dealt, it’ll be for an impressive haul.

Jayson Stark cites an executive, for what it’s worth, who says there is a “very high chance” that Garza is ultimately dealt. Stark mentions, specifically, the Blue Jays …

UPDATE: Travis Snider was just pulled from the field by the Blue Jays, and got the teammate hug/handshake treatment. So, the 24-year-old formerly-top prospect is going to be dealt somewhere. Is that relevant here? Odds are no, but, you never know. The Cubs don’t really have a spot for an outfielder, and they’ve already got a soon-to-be-24-year-old outfielder (Brett Jackson) who was pulled from his game tonight, despite there not being a place for him in Chicago (yet). The Cubs have hinted that Jackson is not being called up, by the way. Why was he pulled? We don’t know.

UPDATE 2 (at 11:34pm CT): That was fast. Snider being pulled was unrelated to the Cubs (sort of), as he’s been dealt to the Pirates for Brad Lincoln, a 27-year-old starter/reliever-tweener. Lincoln has mostly been relieving for the Pirates this year (quite well), but it’s fair to wonder if the Blue Jays might try to return him to a starting role. If so, would they still have interest in Garza?

UPDATE 3 (at 11:55pm CT): Danny Knobler also reports that the Blue Jays and Rangers are in on Garza, but says the Reds are not a very likely destination.

UPDATE 4 (at 12:26am CT): Well, it wouldn’t be a rumor if there weren’t conflicting reports. Jim Bowden says the Reds are in, as are the Blue Jays, but the Rangers are not. He adds that the Red Sox, the Braves, and the Nationals aren’t in on him, either.

UPDATE 5 (at 2:05am CT): Ken Rosenthal now says the Rangers are looking unlikely, as they’re having a hard time finding a fit with the Cubs. I would imagine that Olt or Martin Perez are the primary hold-ups there. He calls the Reds and Blue Jays “more realistic.”

  • Garrett

    Brandon League to the Dodgers for 2 minor leaguers, the question…. which ones, does this effect the Cubs??

  • Damon

    Dodgers acquired RHP Brandon League from Mariners for OF Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom.

  • Shawn H

    Hope the Rangers and Jays are both in on Garza. A bidding war between those two is a very good thing for the Cubs. Like others, I like Olt from Texas, but love the pitching the Jays have to offer.

  • Cyranojoe

    Good luck, Brett! Turning in soon… zzzz…. Garzzzzzz…. Bluejayzzzzmumble mumble…

  • Ron
    • Nomar’s Left Glove

      Thank god for Hoyerpstein, they actually pull the trigger when it makes sense.

  • Oswego chris

    This is great and all….but there has to be somebody we get back that can pitch for us for the rest of the year…I love how we have been playing and would still like to watch…here is an out of the box slim possibility…nothing to go on but hunch…Justin Masterson from Clev…former Sawx prospect…

    • bbmoney

      I don’t think Thed is that worried about who pitches in 2012. I’m glad of that.

      • Jeff

        Heck Ya, we will soon be back in first place for the #1 draft pick as soon as Dempster and Garza are traded.

        • bbmoney

          Houston beat us to the punch with that strategy, they’re going to be tough to catch.

        • Oswego chris

          You still have to be able to compete on the field…you want Rizzo…Barney…Castro to have a chance…you are not going to contend…but you just can’t punt the rest of 2012…I say Dempster or Garza stays….

          • Mike

            Rusin and Raley will get called up, maybe we see the knuckle baller Joe Zeller. Nick Struck should see some action. Lets see what that great farm hendry left us has to offer.

            • Scotti

              Part of that great farm turned in to what many consider as guys we shouldn’t move: Castro, Samardzija, Barney… Theo also used that farm to get Rizzo. The farm was also used to get Garza. On the farm right now there are a lot of Hendry guys who people are excited about that he drafted/signed (Baez, Szczur, Vitters (yes there’s a lot to like about Vitters), Jackson, Maples, Vogelbach, etc.).

              While one could reasonably argue that the minors don’t have any top of the rotation guys in the upper classes it can also be said that Hendry left Theo with Samardzija and Garza/Dempster.

              Starting pitching is a plus for the Cubs. If you wind up trading AWAY 2/5 or 3/5 of any starting rotation no team’s system will be able to make up for that.

      • Nomar’s Left Glove

        This guy’s a winner…[img][/img]

      • Slim

        Or 2013 for that matter. They are building for several next years from now.

  • Jeff

    Anybody see the Arizona/Dodgers highlights? I wish the Diamondbacks would get into the Dempster derby sweepstakes, they have some nice pitching prospects and they need another good starter. They could get back in it and we could throw in Lahair for a left-handed power hitter. It would be nice to piss Colletti off after he’s been lowballing us on Dempster

    • MightyBear

      Great point and dempster would probably go there since he has a house there.

  • czechxican

    Ok, Sori—exactly how is San Francisco not “a Good City” or “a Good Team”? That was your stipulations, were they not?

    • bbmoney

      Breaking news: Soriano terrified of earthquakes.

    • kubphan82

      SF has the FEWEST HR/Runs of any park right now… A hitter, especially a senior citizen to the OF, would not want to go to SF… Do we have to be mad at every player who rejects a trade not good for him?

      Tho I would argue Dempster would have been fine in ATL.

  • DCF

    I read on MLBTR that Soriano allegedly told the Cubs he wouldn’t accept a trade to the Giants. Not sure what to think of that, but it might be a little tidbit that explains why it seems so unpossbile to trade him?

  • CubsBearsHawksBulls

    For Garza to Jays. We get Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard/Daniel Morris, Jays get Garza and Baker
    For Garza to Reds. We get Billy Hamilton and Robert Stephenson, Reds get Garza and a medium prospect
    For Dempster to Nats. We get Anthony Rendon and Sandy Leon, Nats get Dempster and Soriano/Lahair
    For Dempster to Red Sox/ We get Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley. Sox get Dempster and Soriano and Baker
    Feel free to tweak the trades to your satisfaction/ tell what you think we could get for Dempster and Garza, more or less

    • Matt Emigh

      I like these ideas but i think i would rather have mesoraco from the reds than i would hamilton just because we already have a solid thing with castro and barney up the middle and with soto gone mesoraco could fill right in

      • CubsBearsHawksBulls

        maybe we could throw in somebody else to get mesoraco, because as much as i like darwin barney, hes not an everyday 2B. Yes hes a beast at fielding, but I feel hamilton would be a huge upgrade

        • Matt Emigh

          maybe like a matt Szczur?

          • CubsBearsHawksBulls

            I would rather trade Vitters or Lake

            • Matt Emigh

              i would be fine with vitters

            • CubsBearsHawksBulls

              Because if we did that wed have 1B Rizzo, 2B Hamilton/Baez, SS Castro, 3B Hamilton/Baez, OF Soler Almora Jackson/Szczur. Id keep Szczur just in case Jackson does bust

              • Matt Emigh

                i like that lineup and you make a very good point on Jackson. and i think it would be Hamilton at 2nd and Baez at 3rd just cause Baez has the power potential to play third and the weaker glove

        • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

          Barney IS, and will be our everyday second baseman for a looooong time..

          • CubsBearsHawksBulls

            Barney is a great defender, I do however think that he is more of backup. On almost any other mlb team he would be a backup and billy hamilton is a huge upgrade. Although barney was a double away from the cycle tonite

            • Jeff

              If Barney keeps swinging the bat like he has the last few games, he will be a top 2B in the NL.

              • CubsBearsHawksBulls

                but thats this season, we are looking ahead towards the future hamilton is 4 years younger than barney and will most likely be better than him in the future

          • czechxican

            I agree on Barney. He’s turned a corner this year and is definatly above average now as a complete ballplayer. As long as he provides good punch with the bat, his defense saves games, no doubt

        • Mike

          Call me crazy but I like Torreyes more then Hamilton. Better glove at 2b and better hitter. Hamilton is all speed nothing else.

    • CubsBearsHawksBulls

      Or a trade for Garza to Royals. We get Wil Myers and Noel Arguelles, and the Royals get Garza and Dave Sappelt and Baker

      • Matt Emigh

        Myers would be nice to have but i think that the cubs already have enough outfield prospects that will be decent enough. the biggest needs right now are Catching, Starters, and a third baseman. Also dont forget Baez is still in the minors and a move to either 3rd or 2nd base is probably in his future.

        • CubsBearsHawksBulls

          Yeah, maybe we get Matt Barnes and Ryan Lavarnway, and the Red Sox get Garza and Soriano

      • Matt Emigh

        I also apologize for shooting down some of your trades. They are good ideas that your having though.

        • CubsBearsHawksBulls

          Thats ok a lot of them are unreasonable and too lopsided

      • Oswego chris

        There is no way the Royals trade Will Meyers….he belongs in the Bundy, Profacar(sp) list of guys whose names should not even be mentioned….

    • whodeyx

      You guys are smoking crack if you think the reds are giving up hamilton (period), much less stephenson. No way in hell. The deal would most likely include Mike Leake and potentially a young marginal prospect.

  • adam

    Btw mlbtraderumors ain’t got squat on you! Just a bunch of crap.

  • Matt Emigh

    Brett, you really need to put a like button on here for these type of comments.

  • CubsBearsHawksBulls

    For Garza to Jays. We get Travis d’Arnaud C and Noah Syndergaard RHP/Daniel Morris LHP, Jays get Garza and Baker
    For Garza to Reds. We get Billy Hamilton SS, Mesoraco C and Robert Stephenson RHP, Reds get Garza, Vitters and a medium prospect
    For Garza to Red Sox Matt Barnes RHP and Ryan Lavarnway C, and the Red Sox get Garza and Soriano
    For Garza to Rangers. We get Mike Olt 3B and Jorge Alfaro C, Rangers get Garza, Soriano/Vitters, Baker/medium prospect
    For Dempster to Nats. We get Anthony Rendon 3B and Sandy Leon C, Nats get Dempster and Soriano/Lahair
    For Dempster to Red Sox We get Matt Barnes RHP and Jackie Bradley OF/Ryan Lavarnway, Sox get Dempster and Soriano and Baker/Vitters
    For Vitters to Padres. We get Austin Hedges C, Padres get Vitters and medium/low prospect

    Updated possible trades, add your own, fix these if needed

    • whodeyx

      Honestly, where are you getting this stuff?

      Why in the hell would the reds trade their top prospect and their future all-star catch for a dinged up garza who is only going to be under team control for 1.25 seasons. There is zero chance in hell you get EITHER of those players. Literally you are smoking some serious dope if you think your reds scenario has any legs. Also, you do realize that the reds have one of the best records in baseball, they aren’t looking for prospects in return.

  • Mike

    True cubbies are gonna be with you all night! Let’s
    Go cubbies it’s time to lace up!

  • Ryan G

    Rosenthal reporting Dbacks doing something big as far as pitcher. Matt Garza?

    • Jeff

      Dempster would be a good fit in Arizona. He can lead that staff along with Saunders. Just give us Bradley back in a trade

  • Adam1680

    I’m not crazy about Billy Hamilton.. He’s Tony Campana part 2..

    Reds I’d like to see Robert Stephenson and Brodie Greene (and some lower level pitching possibly) (assuming they’re not letting Devin Mesoraco go in a trade)

    Jays have tons of pitching. Most of their top prospects are pitching, so take your pick.

    • Matt

      Yeah, Billy Hamilton is Tony Campana part two. Except for the part where Billy Hamilton is actually capable of hitting.

      • Adam1680

        He’s got his issues…

        against LHP: .200
        Strikes out 21.1%

        He’s having a good year though.. Although only 30 AB at AA..

  • scorecardpaul

    just wanted to say I’m still pissed at dempster

  • Corey

    A commenter over at CubsDen, referencing a local Cincinatti radio station, said that the Reds rejected a Garza trade that would have sent back Hamilton, Sulbaran, and Cingrani. Man, wouldn’t that have been sweet.

    • MaxM1908

      No wonder they rejected it.

      • MichiganGoat

        and i really hoped that Baker would do anything to get a fresh arm to destroy, oh well

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  • MaxM1908

    Update 5 sounds suspiciously like posturing to me. I don’t buy that the Rangers aren’t interested in Garza, they’re just trying to drive the price down like any good business person would. But, you can guarantee they’re still in it. They’re just trying to force the Jays and the Reds to show their hand.

    • Jeff

      Max on top of his game, even at 4am :)