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,┬áJustin 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.”

  • Lazrus

    Oh ya i can feel it with all these moves the cubs will win the series next year with the youngest/cheapest roster ever……..They just picked up all the pieces they needed today………

  • bmorecubsfan

    Do you sit Lahoff or is he traded or maybe even Soriano? If this front office brings up Brett Jackson he plays everyday!

  • 2015 Series Champs

    Need a top 3b and a Top Catcher in any Trade for Dempster or Garza

    • Mike

      We have plenty of 3b prospects, we need Catcher and Pitching Pitching Pitching. Baez will be a 3b, Vitters will be up soon, and Candalario is also at 3rd. d’Arnaud should be our main target from Toronto along with 2 SPs of which they have a TON.

      • bbmoney

        I doubt Blue Jays would move d’Arnaud. He’s also hurt, just had knee surgury and is out for the year. Probably no big deal LT, but cather’s knees are important.

      • T Wags

        Agreed, this is why I’m hoping we deal Garza to the Jays. I’m hoping for d’Arnaud + 2 out of the Syndergaard/Sanchez/Nicolino group. I would be a happy camper with that.

    • CubsBearsHawksBulls

      How bout Demster and Soriano to the Nats for Anthony Rendon and Sandy Leon

    • Drew7

      I think you treat these trades similar to how you treat the draft: Tie going to need, but taking the trade that nets the most talent.

      I hate ro say it, but its fools gold to count on teenagers in Rookie and low A ball. I dont think you can ever be “set” at a particular position in the minors.

  • Grige

    Carrie did not mention anything about bjax beig called, if so I saw nothing…

  • mrmeyer2144

    I love this site have been on it almost all day. Great post thus far keep up the great work.

  • TKO

    Maybe the Cubs just keep Dempster and make him pitch every other day. Then, at the end of the season, they’ll say “Oh, sorry about the whole ‘arm falling off’ thing. I guess Atlanta doesn’t sound so bad now, huh?”

    • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

      Thumbs up!

    • MaxM1908

      Love it.

    • MaxM1908

      I really liked one comment about how Dempster will be watching from his couch in October as Maholm pitches in the World Series for the Braves.

  • Hatfield

    No way the B’more trade would happen, Bundy and Machado wouldn’t be nearly enough of a return for the Cubs. They would have to throw in Adam Jones as well.

    I thought this was a blogathon, but apparently I stepped into MLB the Show for the PS3.

    Brian LaHair has 42 HR,s 108 RBI and a .389 average thus far in my season.

    If one of you nerds can install a few actuators on the real life Brian LaHair and allow me to control him with a PS3 controller, we break the curse next year.

    So how bout it, that can be a thing right? Wonder what Bud would say.

    • McCoy

      I don’t like your kind ’round here, Devil Anse!

      • bbmoney

        haha, I didn’t quite catch that at first. But nice.

  • coal

    I like it. Ricketts could bring Dusty back as a moonlighting “special consultant to the pitching staff.”

  • RicoSanto

    I havent had this much fun since I took out the Wang sisters in high school and they taught the meaning of life. The Cubs and Theo are dominating the trade market !!Got to hit the sack

    • Hatfield

      I havent had this much fun since I took out the Wang sisters in high school and they taught the meaning of life. The Cubs and Theo are dominating the trade market !!Got to hit the sack

      So when you went to pick them up and their Dad answered the door did you say “Good evening Sir, I’m here to pick up your Wang.”

      I certainly hope you did.

  • mrmeyer2144

    I don’t get why some people are so hateful to Dempster. He has done nothing but great things for Chicago. Sounds like some are disrepecting like so many did to Soriano until this season that is. Now were all on Soriano’s “bandwagon.”

    • Mike

      I wouldnt say anything that Demp has done has been great, but ok!

      • mrmeyer2144

        My bad maybe great isnt a good word but has been way better than most pitchers we have had.

    • miggy80

      Some people don’t understand that LIFE is bigger than a game. Dempster blew the save at the only Cubs game me and my dad got to see together. I really didn’t like him for that. On the day of my dad’s funeral Dempster got the win that day, and I realized that baseball is just a game and LIFE is fleeting. I do not have any hard feelings for Demp for saying no to the trade he still has to live his life.

    • coal

      I like Demp. The heat he’s taking (deservedly or not) is for declining a trade to a contending team, which many fans have trouble wrapping their heads around. Soriano won’t be immune to the same scrutiny if he’s still here tomorrow night. It might not be fair, but I think both guys have dropped a couple notches because of this behavior that *felt* selfish. Totally their right, mind you, but they just acted in a way that was contrary to the public perception at a time which was high stress for Cubs fans. It will all fade, but he deserves to take some heat in the moment for a fairly significant PR gaffe which he, at a minimum, contributed to.

      • Cubbie Blues

        No, the crap he has been given is due to the fact that he stated early in the season he was going to pitch the best he could this year so he could help out the team and bring back the best trade they could. Then he reneged on his word. That is the reason fans are as upset as they are.

        • mrmeyer2144

          Hey maybe he felt they were getting the best what they could for him…We shall see tom.

      • Matty Ice

        I have no ill will towards Soriano, he hadn’t been saying for weeks beforehand how he would do all that he could to help the Cubs attain the best deal they could get for him, to only be full of shit the whole time. People hate liars. Dempster is a liar, Soriano is not.

  • Crazyhorse-Nice

    I can read the emotion…… nice.

  • yoga master

    Is BJax still batting .250, striking out 3 times a game. He’ll miss the flight at that rate.

    • mrmeyer2144

      That is funny. But would love to see what he could possibly do against MLB pitching even if it isnt great would be a great learning experience.

  • adam

    Brett!!!!! I am staying up with you through this! Just got done swimming with the fiance and i say shit!, i went swimming with the fiance to miss 2 fantastic trades!? Ive been up since 5 with the baby so if you need some help, I’m in!

    • Brett

      Don’t kill yourself…

      • adam

        30 hour days are my life.

  • bbmoney

    Dodgers pick up RP League. Blue Jays have traded 2 OF’s tonight.


  • SalukiCub

    More pitching depth for the Blue Jays… possibly to lessen the blow of low level pitching prospects leaving in Garza deal??

  • NCMoss

    Good job Knobler for pointing out that trading Garza to the Reds would be a metaphorical kick to the balls for years to come.

  • Oswego chris

    There is no way the Orioles trade Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado…..

    • mrmeyer2144

      Agreed they would be crazy to do that.

  • morgan

    i would love for garza to go to the reds for billy hamilton, hed be a beast at 2b for the cubs furture, also would love mike olt to, so i guess well see

  • Vladimir

    I cannot wait to see what we get for Garza, seems like he wasn’t going, but now the uptick seems like he might be going. Excited.

  • CubsBearsHawksBulls

    Dempster and Soriano to Nats for Anthony Rendon and Sandy Leon? Good trade?

  • Adam

    Wow the Dodgers gave up some decent prospects for a failed closer, average middle reliever who pitches in a pitchers park.

  • miggy80

    Aagghh, why I’m I still up! Bret can you sign a slip for me, so I can show up late for work tomorrow?

  • Damon

    I’m hanging with you Brett! The more updates the less sleepy, he’ll even if you have to speculate, keep those fingers rolling.

  • JoeyCollins

    Good luck Brett and everyone staying up all night. Loving the blogathon so far and il be back first thing in the morning.

  • Lazrus

    Well it’s good to see the river of Denile just doesn’t flow through egypt……….

  • Matt Emigh

    Would love to see the Yankees jump back in the Garza race and give up either Manny Banuelos or Gary Sanchez. Heck both would be awesome too.

  • Jimbo

    fading fast… damn you stone brewery. dam the kids waking in 6 hours too, go cubs go, see ya on the other side.

  • Matt Emigh

    Brett, wanna add any insight on possible trade packages including Garza to the Reds or Blue Jays?

    • Brett

      I’ve never been a fan of doing that – there are literally hundreds of plausible combinations. If talks get very serious with a specific team, I’ll look closer at the likely candidates.

      • Matt Emigh

        Fair enough, I just think I getting antsy for some new information and maybe trying to mask it for some false hope of good prospects lol shame on me

        • Vladimir

          Just salivate over Vizciano right now. Won’t be long on the rest.

          • Matt Emigh

            I’m trying I’m just looking at the reds prospects and honestly am stumped on what they could give the cubs that would be enough. Now if they include Mesoraco that makes that trade more interesting but i doubt the Reds will let their young catcher go.

      • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

        How about Assman22 giving us some news… Next to you, he is probably the most popular poster tonight!

  • cubsin

    I have no problem with Soriano exercising his 10/5 rights. I have no problem with Dempster exercising his 10/5 rights. But I do have a problem with Dempster publicly and privately (to Jed and Theo) expressing his willingness to go to a contender, then changing his mind.

  • Garrett

    Brandon League to the Dodgers for 2 minor leaguers, the question…. which ones