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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.”

  • MightyBear

    The Jays just pulled Travis Snider from game and he was shaking hands with his buddies.

  • KWD22

    I could see Snider as part of a package for Garza. They are going to need someone to take Johnsons place and Snider is still young with a decent upside

  • bmorecubsfan

    Travis Snyder just pulled in the middle of an inning for the BLUE JAYS!!!!

  • Dylan

    Few tweets said he’s headed to the Pirates, actually.

    • Lou

      That’s a good trade for them.

  • calicubsfan007

    What is Snyder’s upside?

    • Falselife

      It was considered very high at one point. Every year he is a break out candidate and it hasn’t happened yet. I wouldn’t be too pumped if we got him as I would prefer someone the Bluejays hadn’t messed up.

  • MightyBear

    Pirates got Snider. He’ll be playing against us tomorrow.

  • Patrick G

    Pirates for Lincoln

  • Olt > Vitters

    Olt is better than Vitters because he is a plus defender (Vitters is awful), he has great plate discipline (Vitters is awful), and he has a powerful stroke (Vitters doesn’t.) Not even close to comparable despite age.

    • djriz

      Okay, he’s better than Vitters. Why is he 24 yrs old and still in AA?

      • Whiteflag

        Drafted in 2010. 2007 for vitters.

      • CubFanBob

        block at 3b at the majors. Rangers have talked about moving him to 1st base or outfield but it’s a waste of his 3b skill set.

      • Drew7

        Olt is 23, and has just over 1000 PA’s in the minors. He didnt make his professional debut until 21, and is only in his 2nd full season. If he were repeating levels, it may be cause for concern, but he has mashed at every level so far.

        • djriz

          He has mashed at every level so far because he has been above league avg age at every level so far. He is also in the only league (Texas) that is better for hitters than the PCL.
          I’m not saying he’ll be bad, but something doesn’t seem right.

          • Drew7

            How is the texas league (.715 OPS) more of a hitters haven than the PCL (.780 OPS)? The Southern League (widely considered pitcher friendly) in comparison, has a .707 league OPS.

            You have a right to be skeptical, but your logic would make every player drafted out of college overrated, wouldnt it?

  • Ron

    Snyder to Pirates per K. Goldstein

    • Ron

      guess I type slow

  • WGNstatic

    Well, it looks like Snider is going to be catching a flight to Chicago…

    … Looks like the Pirates picked him up in a trade.

  • miggy80

    Keep up the good work Ace.

  • Dustin

    headed to pirates for lincoln

  • Tony S

    MLB trade rumors – Snyder to Pirates

  • cking

    Snider pirates MLB network

  • calicubsfan007

    So, Snyder is coming to Chicago. To play for the Pirates.

    • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

      So does this mean the Jays are out of the Garza bidding war since they picked up a starting pitcher? Hope not…

      • Mike

        Lincolns been working out of the pen mostly. I dont think that takes them out of Garza sweepstakes one bit.

        • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

          Sweet!

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    If you also trade LaHair you need another OF.

  • MightyBear

    Lincoln went to Jays. Is he going in pen or rotation? Does that take them out on Garza?

    • dudeski

      he’s in middle relief

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Meta: No surprise, but every single site record I can think of was absolutely obliterated yesterday. And they might be broken again today (it’s past midnight here).

    • dudeski

      hah, it looked like it was going to crash after the news that geo and reed were traded

  • Juicedconor

    Hows this trade scenario with the Orioles
    Cubs Get
    Manny Machado
    Dylan Bundy
    O’s Get
    Dempster
    Soriano
    and maybe Vitters or Garza
    This trade might work cause the O’s need to win now cause they havent been and need as much help as possible and Soriano will provide a solid DH and we get a future 3B/ 2B and pitcher

    • dudeski

      uh..

    • EB

      Lol

    • Whiteflag

      No.

      • Juicedconor

        why not

        • Whiteflag

          Because Garza alone should return something similar to that.

          • Drew7

            Stop that…

          • Juicedconor

            Garza would never return two top 10 propects maybe garza and demp and add vitters

            • Mike

              If you dont think we are asking Toronto for 2 maybe 3 of their top 10 guys for Garza you are mistaken. Depending on the source we are looking at 2 top 10s and a top 15 from Toronto. It would be similar with the Rangers.

              • Juicedconor

                jays have 2-3 top 50 prospects, and no top 10

                • Mike

                  im refering to their farm rankings, not all of baseball, and either way your trade is absurd. d’Arnaud Syndergaard and Nicolino is realistic for Garza and maybe Camp or Baker, and would be better for us in the long run anyways. Your trade gets us another SS and one SP, while combining all our assets.

                  • Juicedconor

                    Dempster would cover Bundy mostly and Soriano and Vitters would cover Machado. we pretty much already have an outfield in Soler, Jackson/Szczur, and Almora and Baez would play 3B, Castro SS, Machado 2B, and Rizzo 1B

                    • bbmoney

                      Bundy >>>>>>> Dempster. Not close.

                      Machado >>>>>> Vitters and Soriano…..maybe less close.

                    • Drew7

                      Dempster wouldnt come close to covering Bundy.

                      Soriano and Vitters wouldnt sniff getting you Machado.

                      You’re setting yourself up for disappointment by projecting lineups made almost entirely of prospects.

              • bbmoney

                Right..their top 10 guys. Bundy and Machado are top 10 (probably top 5) prospects in all of baseball. Not close to the same as we’d ask from the blue jays. So lets stop the madness.

            • Whiteflag

              Garza should return at least one. And if you trade garza and dempster separately you will get more in return. I don’t like this trade from the cubs standpoint, and I doubt the orioles would like it either.

              • Juicedconor

                how would this be bad, the cubs get a future ace in Bundy, and a future 2B star

                • bbmoney

                  It wouldn’t be bad..it would be squeal worthy…but its useless talking about. The O’s would laugh at that deal.

                • JP cubed

                  You mean we’d be getting Brian Roberts too? Finally??

                • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

                  We don’t need a second baseman anyway. We need a catcher, 3B, and more pitching prospects.

                • Whiteflag

                  If I had the choice between this trade and sending Garza+ to the Jays for d’Arnaud Syndergaard and Nicolino, and Dempster to another team for a pitcher I do that. I’m not for dumping Soriano either.

                  • Mike

                    if we could get a garza deal like that, a demp to the dodgers for Withrow and Gould wouldnt sting so bad anymore.

              • MaxM1908

                If that trade were offered, the Cubs would take it in a heartbeat. No questions. No complaints from anyone. That would be slanted HEAVILY in favor of the Cubs. Which, is why it will never happen.

        • Patrick W.

          The Orioles are not interested in giving up either, much less both, players, especially in exchange for huge contracts.

    • Adam

      I’m assuming this is a joke?

      • Juicedconor

        im just dreaming but has a chance

        • bbmoney

          No it doesn’t.

          • Juicedconor

            yeah it does

            • Chase S.

              0% chance. At any rate, Bundy is as close to untouchable as they come. O’s would be insane to trade him for that sort of haul.

            • bbmoney

              No it really doesn’t.

        • Blake

          At best the cubs would get machado alone for this deal. No way they give up both, could maybe get bundy if we throw in a b-jax plus a few other pieces and receive some low end prospects as well.

      • Drew7

        Because teams dont trade elite young talent for guys that will be collecting Social Security in a few years.

        • Juicedconor

          the team will probably not b as good as they are this year so they need to win now and getting sori and demp will raise their chances

          • Chase S.

            I understand your perspective but there’s no way the O’s give up an elite prospect for two over-priced and over-the-hill rentals. There’s way more value in holding on to him.

    • Cyranojoe

      If you’re serious… Sori blocked a trade to the O’s earlier in the year, I recall. Or was that debunked?

    • MaxM1908
  • MightyBear

    I am glad to see that every player we have gotten so far have been pitchers. Keep the pitching coming gentlemen.

  • Jared

    this blogathon is fun as hell man! keep it up brett!

  • Damon

    Do you think Sori and Garza to the jays, giving the jays nice OF prospects another year… Which is why they moved Snider???

    • Cyranojoe

      Nice idea. Not sure you trade away a young guy like that, but it’s conceivable.

  • Incredibad

    Brett, you’re awesome! Keep up the great work!

  • MightyBear

    has been a pitcher. Shoot I’m gettinng tired but I’m wide awake.

  • jungledrew

    Carrie muskat confirmed on the cubs site that jackson is being called up at the bottom of the soto, reed, maholm trade article

  • Matt Emigh

    ok im gonna shoot the baltimore trade in the face like right now. no way in the world would that trade happen because 1 dempster wont go there. 2 soriano may still not go there. 3 where would machado play if he came to chicago cause short is blocked by castro?

    • bbmoney

      4. Orioles won’t trade Machado or Bundy…even if Garza was included. Those guys won’t be moved. Similar to Profar for Rangers and Pirates refusal to move Tallion or Cole. All top 10 prospects in all of baseball…too good…too cost controlled.

  • Anc13nt Evil

    Blue Jays trade OF Snider to Pirates for RHP Lincoln according to TSN

  • daveyrosello

    Since BJax still hasn’t solved his alarming K-rate problem, why are the Cubs calling him up? Maybe they think instruction from a ML hitting coach will be more helpful than the instruction he is getting in Iowa?

    If AAA pitchers are striking out BJax at the rate of 33%, I shudder to think what things are going to look like when he faces ML pitching. 50% K-rate, is that even conceivable? I don’t think Adam Dunn or Mark Reynolds ever got over 33%, and unlike them, BJax ain’t gonna be bopping 40 HR/year.

    • Drew7

      If they are calling him up now, I have to think its because they believe he can still be productive despite the K’s.

      I do think you are underestimating his power though: hitting 25 HR in 140-something games at age 22/23 is showing really good power. He could develop 30-35 HR power.

    • Drew7

      If they are calling him up now, I have to think its because they believe he can still be productive despite the K’s.

      I do think you are underestimating his power though: hitting 25 HR in 140-something games at age 22/23 is showing really good power. He could develop into a 30-35 HR player.

    • art

      where did you read he was coming up?

  • Bundy and Machado to the Cubs

    I can’t wait until we get two of the top 5 prospects in baseball for a #2 SP, a fringe 3B prospect, and a 35 year old pitcher. It’s going to be awesome.

    • bbmoney

      hahaha. Oh crap its getting late.

  • SalukiCub

    If we are calling up both Sappelt and Jackson, one or more of our current starting OFs HAVE to be moving in an already agreed upon Dempster deal tomorrow…

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