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.”

  • Daniel

    Let the bidding begin!!!

  • Jeff1969

    Was it Stark who said the Cubs weren’t going to get anything done by the deadline? Ha!

  • GeorgeHermanLaHair

    Olt would be AMAZING

    • jr5

      Very true, but if they weren’t going to deal him for Greinke, I doubt they will for Garza, unless they were willing to trade one of either Olt or Perez, but the Brewers insisted on both.

      • Dustin

        But Greinke is a FA at the end of the year. Isnt Garza locked up for atleast another year?

        • jr5

          Yeah, but objectively, he’s not as good of a pitcher, and is still hurt.

          • Vladimir

            objectively, Garza’s social anxiety could make him not pitch as well and is more of a risk in that regard, AND on top of that Garza’s new team will still beable to try to get a draft pick if he leaves. So Garza should net much more than Greinke.

            • Vladimir

              Lets try this again.

              bjectively, Greinke’s social anxiety could make him not pitch as well and is more of a risk in that regard, AND on top of that Garza’s new team will still beable to try to get a draft pick if he leaves. So Garza should net much more than Greinke.

  • Ivy Walls

    Garza trade will undoubtedly snag on of MLB’s most traded players, PTBNL or two, as for Dempster this reminds me of a Rebel Without a Cause and the game of chicken.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Oh hell yes. You know with the market it is it will be a huge haul. Hey Brett, if you had to guess would Jackson be in the Garza or Dempster deal if any? Lot of chatter.

  • Master Dan


    • http://bleachernation loyal100more


  • Spencer

    Ugh. I’m going to be bummed if Garza gets traded.

    • Juicedconor

      its kind of a no loss situation (unless the prospects dont pan out) if he gets traded we get great prospects, but if he doesnt we have our solid pitching block

    • cubmig

      Get ready to be bummed.

  • ToRqUeMoNsTeR

    Go Jays!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mike

      yes, id rather get d’Arnaud and something like Sanchez Syndergaard or Nicolino

      Olt is great but we have plenty of 3b options with Vitters Baez and Candalerio. We have nothing at Catcher except for Kristt.

      • djriz

        You nailed it. We need a solid catcher. Obviously Olt has power, but why is he still in AA at 24 yrs old?

        • Drew7

          He’s only in his 3rd professional season, including the season he was drafted. He’s also been hurt, I think. Cubs fans are just used to seeing prospects get whiplash moving up the system!

  • emrac

    hit the jackpot theo

  • AD

    Cody Buckel and Olt for Garza?

  • elephanthole

    Even with his injury I think Theo still trades Garza. My source (Brett) even thinks so after his successful bullpen session.

  • Raaptor13

    At this point I would take a Garzafor Olt and a few low level pitchers!!!

  • Jerry McClellan

    If the Cubs can get Olt in a deal, I have to believe that Vitters will be sent with Garza.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Jerry: good point, I imagine us getting a couple low a pitchers with Olt in return for Garza and Vitters.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I would be more concerned about a Brett Jackson type.

  • ToRqUeMoNsTeR

    Travis d’Arnaud and Drew Hutchison would be nice for Garza….

  • Sosascorkedbat

    We want Olt, we want Olt!

  • dudeski

    my head is going to explode

    • Hee Seop Chode

      • Hee Seop Chode


        • Whiteflag


        • Brett

          Always good.

  • Jimbo

    squeal…….. ummm, taking first offer from jays or rangers, hurry up boys.

  • Joshua Edwards

    I think the Cubs “secondary” offer with Atlanta shows they won’t be squeezed by shenanigans on trade deals (aka the Dempster Debacle).

    I’d say the Braves deal makes it appear the Cubs/Theo/Jed are serious: they will keep a player they don’t need rather than deal them for prospects they don’t want. (Pay attention, LA.)

    That puts the onus back on the teams that want Cubs’ players. That’s where it should be, from the Cubs’ perspective.

    • calicubsfan007

      To quote Super Troopers: Captain O’Hagan: I swear to God I’m going to pistol whip the next guy who says, ” Shenanigans.”

      • Whiteflag

        I think Brett could probably use a liter of cola….

        • calicubsfan007

          Aww, Brett’s our Farva! Haha! Only love for you Brett!

  • Joepoe321

    Brett Jackson was pulled from game is it a call up or is it a trade.?…
    If it is a call up who do u think gets traded? Dejesus lahair or soriano? Becuz they said if Jackson was called up he would start not sit.

  • Sosascorkedbat

    I know this is totally off topic but i had to share this with all the Cub faithful, Big Z was just moved to the bullpen

    • Kurt

      He pitched in relief tonight and got touched up a bit, but no broken coolers at last report.

      • Sosascorkedbat

        I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before those water coolers feel Big Z’s wrath

        • calicubsfan007

          Those poor, innocent water coolers…

  • Whiteflag


  • Joshua Edwards

    And for the record, I remain unconvinced BJax will ever exceed what the Reds have in Drew Stubbs. (And he might strikeout even more, but provide better defense and speed. Real life tip: you should be worried Jackson will never climb above 4th OF ranks for most MLB teams.)

    So, would you trade a potential Drew Stubbs/current-Brett Jackson and Garza for Olt?

    With Soler in the fold? And money off the books? And maybe some low-level upside guys? I’d consider that…

    • Jay Floyd

      Jackson would give the Rangers flexibility in negotiations with Hamilton?

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    dodgers better step up…or get left with no starting pitching upgrade

  • Lou

    Here’s something: OF Snider for Jays has just said goodbyes during the Mariners game. HMMMM…

    • Lou

      MLB Network is reporting Snider has been traded.

      • calicubsfan007

        @Lou: To whom?

        • Lou

          They don’t know. Brian Kenney was just discussing it.

      • aCubsFan

        Snider goes to Pirates

  • daveyrosello

    I don’t understand the Olt love, if people are going to diss on Vitters for being a 22 yo in AAA, how can you simultaneously covet Olt, who is 24 yo in just AA?

    I’d rather get a catcher and a pitcher or two from Toronto for Garza. Or 2-3 quality pitching prospects from the Reds.

    • Drew7

      Much better numbers, half as many games. Age isnt as relevant as repeating levels. Also, if Olt is 24, then Vitters is 23: Olt is exactly 1 year older than Vitters.

      I’d like to see pitching coming this way, though.

  • Dylan

    Garza/Jackson to Blue Jays for Snider?

    This is just purely speculation on my part.

    • bbmoney

      Snider…and…..there’d have to be more.

    • Lou

      Gotta be more than that. Sorry.

  • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

    Travis Snider just pulled from Blue Jays game!

  • Dustin

    I’m not a big fan of Snider,so hopefully he isnt coming to the Cubbies

  • TonyE

    Travis Snyder pulled from jays game

  • Kurt

    Snyder was just removed in the Toronto game but I can’t see the Cubs being involved unless there’s more than one team involved.