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stoveRounding up the latest rumors from the second half of the week, and there’s plenty to discuss …

  • Buster Olney says the Diamondbacks do like Mike Olt, which would seem to make a Justin Upton trade with the Rangers plausible, assuming the two sides could make the other pieces work. Obviously this impacts the Cubs, who are believed to have interest in Olt, a natural third baseman who is blocked by Adrian Beltre on the Rangers. Of course, just a couple days ago, we learned that the Rangers made a “final offer” to the Diamondbacks, which was rejected. “Final” is rarely “final,” and the Diamondbacks are nearly certain to move Upton at this point. If the Rangers could actually get Upton for a package where Olt was the center piece, they’d do it. I doubt that would be enough, though.
  • The Mets are apparently interested in Upton, too. Before you call that crazy, they’re in a similar rebuild spot as the Cubs, so I suppose I can understand them wanting to pick up a 25-year-old corner stone. Makes you wonder about their pursuit of Scott Hairston, though.
  • Bruce Levine chatted this week, and among his thoughts … (1) the Cubs and Phillies talked seriously about Alfonso Soriano eight weeks ago, but nothing has changed since then; (2) the Cubs need an annual “small man’s camp” to teach their smaller, fast players how to best utilize their skill set (this is obviously a Tony Campana question); (3) Carlos Zambrano will have to take a minor league deal or wait for a rash of injuries to find a job; (4) Bruce has heard the Cubs/Tigers/Orioles/Porcello rumor, but has not been able to substantiate it; (5) it’s hard to see Robinson Cano coming to the Cubs next year unless they really look like they’re going to be competitive in 2014 (or unless they really overpay); (6) Travis Wood will have a chance to earn a spot in the rotation once again in Spring Training; (7) Bruce re-emphasized the tricky spot the Cubs are in with respect to Matt Garza (more detailed thoughts on that here); (8) with health, Bruce sees the Cubs as a 75-80 win team; and (9) Bruce thinks other organizations probably like Josh Vitters better than the Cubs do.
  • MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith also chatted, and … (1) Giancarlo Stanton trade talks probably don’t really heat up until next offseason; (2) Andre Ethier probably does not get traded; (3) Kelly Johnson might have to settle for a minor league deal or a very small guarantee (there isn’t an explicit Cubs connection there, but if he comes dirt cheap, he’d be an interesting bench/flip option); (4) Ben thinks 75 wins is a fair over/under for the Cubs, and he’d take the under thanks to the weak offense and some question marks in the rotation (I agree on all counts); (5) it wouldn’t surprise Ben to see the Phillies trade for Alfonso Soriano; and (6) a team trading for Matt Garza is probably going to want to pick him up before Spring Training ends, so that he can qualify for draft pick compensation if he walks at the end of the year (players traded mid-season do not qualify for compensation).
  • That Mike Napoli deal – three years, $39 million – which the Red Sox have not yet been able to finalize thanks to concerns about his hip, it could be changed dramatically, if the Red Sox get their way. Jim Bowden says the Red Sox are trying to reduce the deal to a mere one-year pact. If true, it’s easy to see why the two sides haven’t been able to come to an agreement. The Red Sox have also recently been attached to trade rumors involving Michael Morse.
  • Remember the deal rumored this week that would have seen the Cubs get together with the Orioles and Tigers on a three-way trade, netting the Cubs Rick Porcello? Well, a component piece of that was shortstop J.J. Hardy heading to the Tigers. Manager Buck Showalter was asked about the possibility of dealing Hardy, and he responded by asking what would be a word stronger than “overwhelmed,” indicating the extreme unlikeliness of a deal involving Hardy.
  • Jim Bowden writes that the Cubs and Mariners are the most logical fits for Michael Bourn, but neither is willing to surrender the draft pick required to sign him. I still think folks are making too much of that issue (there’s a difference between recognizing that a draft pick shouldn’t be surrendered lightly, and being completely unwilling to do so), but obviously I’ve said my piece on Bourn (unless the Cubs can get him on a very friendly deal, it’s probably not a great idea). Wherever he lands, it isn’t going to break my heart.
  • In the same piece, Bowden mentions the Cubs as a possible fit for a Shaun Marcum or Joe Saunders, which seems pretty unlikely given the pitching depth. That is say, if I’m one of those guys, I’m not signing with the Cubs unless they paaaaaaaay me. And the Cubs won’t be doing that.
  • The Rangers say they’re OK with opening the year with their rotation as it stands, but, boy oh boy do they not sound convincing about it.
  • @cubsfantroy

    Unless the Cubs can get Bourn for 4/40 I don’t want him. That is under what most people would be willing to do, but I’m not a huge fan of him for the years and money he wants.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Nor are most teams, judging by the fact that he hasn’t yet been signed.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      The cubs are not going to sign Bourne. Its a silly thought. A team that is rebuilding doesn’t sign a 30 year old, one dimensional player for 40 or 50 million dollars.

      • Marcel91

        For once I completely agree with VOR. I want no part of Bourn at the years and money he wants. Rebuilding or now.

  • Demarrer

    Brett. What do you think will be the next big event for the Cubs organization? Wrigley renovations approved, major trade or the draft?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good question. I’m going to go with “major trade,” so long as you consider a Soriano deal a major trade (or Garza, perhaps). Marmol probably isn’t a “major” trade, but that might be the first move.

      Fingers are crossed, though, that we’re going to hear something positive about the renovation this week, because that’s easily the biggest/most important story long-term.

  • Blublud

    Shout out to my N.C. State Wolfpack. It seams all my favorite teams are in the middle of a rebuild. Cubs, T-Wolves, Buccaneers, N.C. State basketball and football.

    Hopefully, My Cubs come out of it looking as strong as my Wolfpack.

    Oh, and theo is probably not concerned about the draft. But if you state your concern, maybe it brings the asking price down.

    • Carew

      Man, it’s cool that State won and all, but that created an annoying buzz around here haha. It’s that all 3 big schools are head to head again though

    • SirCub

      I think state is already rebuilt.

    • ncsujuri

      Yeah, it was a really good game. We rarely beat Duke & UNC but generally when we have its been alot more flukey and they had to play down to us…this was different, this was two heavyweights having a slugfest and us just simply wanting it more and being the better team. We definitely shouldn’t have fallen as far after those two losses early on, we are a top 10-15 team quite easily when we play like we are interested (unlike the first halves of the games v. GT & BC)

  • Rcleven

    Don’t see Texas going into the season with the current rotation. May be not Garza but they can’t depend on their current four and five.

    • Marc

      Same here. No way the Rangers are staying pat before the season starts in the rotation or their roster in general.

      I would like to land Leonys Martin.

  • Muck

    My preposition I don’t know if this would be smart but if we’re getting Bourn, what if we did Garza and Brett Jackson for Olt and maybe Derek Holland. There would maybe be a few more pieces added on to even things out but. Yeah

    • Muck

      *proposition not preposition

    • BleedingCubbieBlue

      How about Garza, Vitters, Jackson, and Soriano ( with cash) for Olt, Perez and Wilmer Font.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Don’t think the Rangers would want Jackson or Vitters (and the 40-man spots they’d require). So that’s probably a little too steep from the Rangers’ perspective – and that’s if they even want Soriano to begin with (and if Garza shows he’s healthy).

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Why do people continually talk about the rangers taking garza for olt?

      Garza missed half of last year with arm trouble. If the rangers wanted a starter they could sign a free agent without trading olt. Or, they could get a starter better than garza that would not require giving up olt.

      Some cubs fans act like garza is the last starter out there. There is much better out there that would cost much less than olt.

      We don’t even know if the rangers are in the market for a starter

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        No they couldn’t. Garza’s career numbers are far better than anything out there. Olt is being blocked by Beltre. He is expendable. The reason nobody is responding to you is because of the amount you overvalue prospects. Garza when he proves he is healthy in Spring Training would bring back more than Olt. If you don’t understand that, then sorry. But please, quit posting the same nonsense. People have responded to you on this and you act like nobody is.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          I’ve never been quite clear on how Garza is supposed to prove he’s healthy in spring training.

          If I’m trading for a guy coming off elbow injury, being able to go 2 innings in a Cactus League game isn’t going to make me feel better.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Well, velocity I would think is a major thing. I am thinking he will go a little longer than 2 innings toward the end of spring training. If teams want a look I could see this FO letting him go 4 or 5 toward the middle. Guess we will see, but that is what has been out there all offseason. You know that.

          • DarthHater

            Yea, I think Garza has to show some extended success in the regular season before he becomes tradeable for anything significant and by then his remaining control time will be even less, further diminishing his trade value. It’s a Catch-22. More likely that the FO will assess Garza’s performance with an eye to deciding whether to try to extend him.

          • JR

            Yeah the whole pitching in spring training thing is weird to me. Garza is a risk for the team trading for him no matter how you look at it. Hopefully someone is desperate enough to take the risk Garza brings to the table (which is entirely possible). But if the Cubs were acquiring a player with his issues while giving up top prospects I may have a bit of a problem with it.

          • Boogens

            That’a a really good point, Kyle. Taking it a step further, do the Cubs take a risk and try to extend Garza’s spring training outings longer to demonstrate that his arm is healthy? It’s possible that extending him could cause him more arm problems.

            The other side of the coin is that he’ll need to be able to go 5 or 6 innings by the start of the season so maybe there’s no real risk. Either his arm is healthy & he can do it or it is not.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            In game, side sessions, special throwing demonstrations (if required), velocity, “stuff,” etc. Plenty of ways to demonstrate it – it’s not like he’s coming back from shoulder surgery here. He simply has to demonstrate that he doesn’t appear to be affected by the layoff. No one’s saying he’s going to be able to last 200 innings in 2013. Heck – no player can demonstrate that. There’s always risk, and for Garza, it’s going to be slightly higher regardless of what he does in the Spring.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Thank you Brett.

            • DarthHater

              I see your point Brett. But, if I were being asked to surrender one or more blue-chip prospects for Garza, I would like to first see some indication that he can handle the grind of regular starts without a recurrence of last season’s injury. I’m note sure that side sessions or special throwing demonstrations satisfy that need.

              Theoretically, Garza could demonstrate the requisite fortitude by having longer outings in spring training games, but pushing him too fast could itself reaggravate the injury. It seems to me that the Cubs have to bring Garza along cautiously and it won’t be until well into the first half of the regular season that he will have had an opportunity to demonstrate that he is handling regular starts without any problem.

              • ncsujuri

                Darth, there is the draft pick compensation part to think about too though. Team’s may be more apt to not ‘need’ to see him pitch regular season, multiple starts because they have to have prior to the start of the season in order to get compensation if he leaves at the end of next year.

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          I post the same response because people post the same trade…. Garza for olt.

          You do understand that…

          1. Garza missed half of last year with arm trouble
          2. He is in the last year of his contract.
          3. He makes a lot of money in hismfinal year and coming off arm problems in which he missed half of last year.

          Knowing that, you’re still going to tell me that garza for olt is a good trade for the rangers? Knowing that louse puts up comparable numbers and didn’t have arm trouble?

          I overvalue prospects? What in my posts leads you to believe that I overvalue prospects?

          I can’t wait for your response!

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            1. Yep, been responded to.
            2. Yep, been responded to.
            3. Yep, been responded to.

            Yep, been responded to.

            Because you think Olt is way too much by himself for Garza.

            There it is.

            • BleedingCubbieBlue

              Yup thank you

          • Blublud

            Everything that you just stated doesn’t change the fact that Olt is not equal in value to Garza. Olt is an old for his level, underwhelming but solid 3rd baseman. Despite his high ranking, he’s not an elite prospect. It will take Olt plus another good prospect to get Garza.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Agreed. This is why I said I think he is overvaluing prospects. He just chooses to ignore that. Plus the prospect is blocked. Kind of like us getting Vizcaino after TJ. Olt plus another prospect is a lot better than if he was for sure healthy. By all accounts they still have doctors to review the medicals, and scouts to review motion and velocity. I doubt it gets done, but to ignore the possibility because you overvalue prospects is ignorant.

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              @blue bud…. If you want olt and someone else from rangers for garza then garza isn’t going to the rangers.

              The rangers will find better value in return for olt than garza or better yet, they will find a starter better than garza and give up much less talent.

              Garzas value is way down. You do comprehend that, right? If garza proves he is healthy by all star break then he has value, but not enough value to get you olt. Garza is in final year of deal which hurts his value and teams will still question if he can stay healthy after being out second half of last year.

              Why is it that right now 6 or 7 people on some small website believe the rangers will trade garza for olt and no where else is it mentioned or talked about…. Yet I’m the goofy one????

              I’m just being realistic.

              Garza will not get you olt alone right now or this season. Yet people here want olt and more!!!’

              • yield51

                Since when did Olt become the next Mike Schmidt? Right now, even before proving he’s healthy, I would hope the Cubs would turn down a straight Garza/Olt swap. I’m in the small camp that hopes Garza is extended. Shark/Garza/EJAX are solid if not a good 2-4. Vizcaino is the wild card. The Cubs could then dangle Wood, the Scott’s, and hopefully Villanueva for another future mid rotation starter. Pierce/Maples/Underwood/etc. hopefully one of them will also turn out to be a mid rotation guy. Many people are hoping to trade for an Ace. There are probably onle 10-12 Aces in all of MLB, and the price tag of acquiring one will be through the roof. Their rotation will be good enough to compete without an ace when/if the offense is ready.

                • http://Isa Voice of reason

                  The rangers won’t make that trade. They can do much better than garza if they are trading olt.

                  • BWA

                    you are the only person who thinks that. I’m glad you know so much about Garza and Olt’s value.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Beating a dead horse comes to mind here
                    [img]http://awesomegifs.com/wp-content/uploads/dead-horse.gif[/img]

                    • DarthHater

                      There you go advocating violence again other hooved creatures again . . .

                    • MichiganGoat

                      GOAT SUPREMACY

                    • http://Isa Voice of reason

                      Garza for olt…. Garza for olt…. It’s totally beating a dead horse won’t happen.

                  • King Jeff

                    So Garza for Olt and Perez(rumored to have been agreed upon by Rangers in July) turned into Garza’s not good enough to get Olt because of a bone injury?

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      Elbow injury + 1 season instead of 1 full season and one second half.

                    • King Jeff

                      It’s also taking Martin Perez out of the deal. Olt might turn out to be great, but I don’t see him being much more of a prospect than Vitters. I just don’t see Garza for Olt as a big stretch.

                    • http://Isa Voice of reason

                      It stink, but that’s the facts!

          • Tim

            If they trade for garza during spring training they receive the compensatory draft pick next year if he walks. If he shows he’s healthy they will extend him

          • ncsujuri

            Signing Lohse who is comparable but not head and shoulders better or worse than Garza still costs the Rangers a draft pick, you always seem to leave that part out…

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          Pitching in spring training doesn’t mean a pitcher will be healthy all year.

          Come on man……

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            No, but that is what they will have to go off of. Have to trust their scouts.

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              Sure they will rely on scouts, but when looking at other starters.

              Rangers might take a flyer on garza, but not for olt!

              Let the olt for garza talk go…. It ain’t happening!!

              It’s ridiculous and shows the extent of ones baseball knowledge.

              After we trade garza for olt then can we trade soriano for stanton or would the cubs need more in return.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                You’re right. A healthy Garza for Olt trade would be silly.

                Because even one year of a healthy Garza is worth more than Olt.

                • http://Isa Voice of reason

                  So, Brett, you believe that right now the rangers would trade olt for garza?

                  That’s what you are saying?

                  • DarthHater

                    Obviously not right now, because Brett said “a healthy Garza” and it has yet to be established that Garza is healthy.

                  • Blublud

                    Without blinking, they would trade Olt for Garza.and for kicks, offer Theo free dinner for a year for such a nice gesture.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Is that what I said? Is that something I’ve *ever* said?

                    For the sake of clarity, I’ll say again here what I’ve said consistently: no team is trading anything of substance (that includes Olt) for Garza until/unless he clearly demonstrates that he’s healthy now, and projects to be healthy and effective in 2013. How he demonstrates that is up for debate, but Spring Training is an obvious starting point.

                    • http://Isa Voice of reason

                      Perfect, so you agree with what I’ve been saying all along!

                      The rangers are not trading olt for garza after he missed the second half of last year!

                      I’m glad you agree!

                      It’s just common sense!

                    • DarthHater

                      So now you are saying that you agree with Brett. Earlier, however, you said: “If garza proves he is healthy by all star break then he has value, but not enough value to get you olt.” That is the exact opposite of what Brett is saying. Void of reason strikes again.

                    • ncsujuri

                      Actually I am pretty sure he didn’t say that the Rangers aren’t trading Olt for Garza after he missed the 2nd half. What he said was it wasn’t happening UNTIL/UNLESS Garza clearly demonstrates that he’s healthy NOW. It’s called reading comprehension, you are gonna need to work on that for your SAT’s.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            If a team wants that draft pick and want a pitcher, the only time they get compensation is in Spring Training. Which is what Brett has said continuously. Nobody has said for sure anything is getting done, but that is the only way they get draft compensation.

            • JR

              Yes, I think everyone knows about the draft compensation thing, but that doesn’t make Garza any less risky.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                No it doesn’t. But, that is why you will see teams like the Rangers itching to make a move paying extra attention to him and every pitch he takes. If not then at midseason it will probably be a bidding war if he stays healthy.

  • Finner

    Thanks as always Brett.
    I never responded to your response to my question about your allegiance to an NFL team or the NFL itself.
    I had been a huge football fan, even bigger Bears fan and for the last 11 years a fantasy fanatic. I’ve always like baseball and the Cubs but did not have my heart in it like I did football.
    Over the last two-three years something has changed. Baseball and especially the Cubs have taken on the roll of favorite sport/team.
    I credit this change to a few things. I have much to still learn about baseball and feel as if I learn and/or see something new every game I watch. In some way I attribute getting old, but way that factors I’m not sure. The violence of football to me has become less appealing. Having married my wife who before she met me could care less about sports. Teaching her about baseball has been enjoyable for us both. She now loves the Cubs. And your blog. I look at BN multiple times a day. Thanks for providing sure a great site.

    • Finner

      *such

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for that, Finner. Very kind words.

    • Stinky Pete

      This is a topic on the message board. Agree very much.

  • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

    I really think the Cubs are going to have to extend Garza. If he can show he’s healthy and is willing to sign somewhere in the 4-5yr range for 15mil/year I think we should lock him up. Even if we have to wait till the end of the year to do so. If we offer him arbitration he might not get those big time deals from clubs because they probably won’t want to lose their first round pick. It wouldn’t cost the Cubs anything but money to resign him giving us a clear edge (something MLB probably intended to do with this new CBA). The only way I see him getting traded is if he starts the season off on fire and the Cubs tank. I don’t really see that happening either. I do see them trading Scott Baker and Dejesus at the dead line assuming they have value.

  • Marc

    Kelly Johnson on a minor league deal would be great since the team needs bench help.

    I want Rick Porcello to be a Cub, but I doubt it happens. I think he could take off here.

    This team needs at least one OF talent, preferably in CF, ASAP.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Finner,

    I echo your thoughts on football completely. I have always been a bigger baseball fan but used to really enjoy watching football. However, recently, with all the injuries (it seems like someone down on every play) and the concussions it has lost its appeal. The RGIII situation was particularly, sad and discomforting.

    Can’t wait for baseball season to roll around. I have taken to watching re-runs from last year. Not a lot of good material to choose from.

    • Finner

      I have MLB.TV and have been watching some Astros/Cubs broadcasts from last season. Getting myself familiar with Jim Deshaies…… Spring can not come soon enough.

  • #1lahairfan

    How about Jeff Baker?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I really don’t hate the idea. Still think he can rip lefties, and plays adequate defense at third, second, first, and the corner outfield spots. The Cubs could use a guy like that.

  • JR

    Yeah the draft compensation thing absolutely screws some of these free agents. I agree if the price is right the Cubs should sign him and give up the 40th pick. But man that would be tough to be the Mariners and give up the 12th pick and pay Bourn a good amount of money. If I was a team picking between 10-20 I would have a hard time with that..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, definitely a huge difference between giving up the 12th pick and the 40/41/42nd pick.

  • Kevin

    Off topic, but how many people here believe Phil Emery was a good hire for the Bears?

    • ssckelley

      Ask me in a couple of years.

    • Blublud

      I really think you guys should have hired Lovie Smith. He would have been a great fit.

    • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

      It’s still way to early but his first draft was a bust so far. He also failed to upgrade the line!

      • Doug

        You can’t argue that his first draft was a bust for at least another season or two. I do agree with your take on the O-Line though. I know his head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach all assured him that the problem wasn’t with the line. However if you watched at least five minutes of tape over the past two years, you would have seen immediately how wrong that was.

        With that being said, I find it unacceptable for someone who is supposed to be a great evaluator of talent to sit on his hands. He should have made every effort to upgrade the line through the draft or free agency.

        • JR

          I think Emery’s first draft was absolutely a bust. I guess a couple of the players could be ok eventually, but I was scratching my head after he drafted some of the players he did and still am. And I don’t care what he says, too not address the offensive line last offseason is an embarrasment.

          • Rcleven

            O line is an embarrassment but he did pick up a Pro Bowl receiver. Got to give him a C. Let’s see what he does going forward.

            • Drew7

              Pretty sure he *traded* for Marshall, and he’s the only Pro Bowl receiver on that roster.

              • Rcleven

                Traded two third round draft picks. Still brought him to town.

                • Drew7

                  Gotcha. I thought you were referring to the draft since, well, that’s what the original comment was discussing.

                  • King Jeff

                    When you trade your picks for a proven player, that is usually considered when grading a draft.

  • cheryl

    The cubs may be trying to put together a couple of packages for teams for the 2014 season. If so, who would they acquire and who would ne on their radar. Price and Stanton may both be available but as of nowI don’t see them in the ballpark with an offer for either.

  • Craig

    I wouldn’t call the draft a bust. Lots of injury problems but I think Jeffries will be a big time receiver and McCellen did decent

  • Mick

    Hey Brett, do you have any clue as to who the player(s) were that would have been going from the Cubs to the Orioles in that 3-team scenario? Would something like have worked?

    Vitters, Sczur, Dolis, a thow-in from the Tigers ->Orioles
    Hardy->Tigers
    Porcello->Cubs

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That is an awful lot for Porcello.

      • Mick

        But is it an awful lot for Hardy? In fact, should we cut out Detroit all together and just work a trade for Hardy instead of Porcello?

        I’m just kind of drawing a blank on the proposed playes that could have been going to Baltimore for Hardy to be going to Detroit…for the Cubs to be receiving Porcello. I guess the bulk of the prospects would need to be coming from Detroit instead? Could this trade have included Soriano???

    • JR

      Why do the Cubs want Porcello so bad? Isn’t he under control for only 2 more years and Wood has 4 years of control left? I like him better than Wood, but not that much..

      • Mick

        Porcello is at that place in his career where its sort of make or break. He’s shown flashes before, he’s obviously talented, and he’s still young but for one reason or another he hasn’t quite put it all together. I compare a proposed move for Porcello to Chase Headly last offseason and look how that turned out. That’s why I’m pretty willing to give up Szcur, Dolis, and Vitters for him, although it probably wouldn’t take that much.

  • JUICED1

    I thnk Jeffries can be a player

    • JR

      Yeah Jeffry was the one pick that was solid. He needs to get bigger, but could be ok.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    So, does anyone know if Garza/agent would even be willing to sign a long-term deal because his trade value and open market value aren’t where they will most likely be in a year. From the Cubs perspective, if the Cubs wanna extend him, we should do it as soon as possible to maximize our dollar value out of Garza. Personally, I think worst case scenario is he has a great year, we extend, then is injured the year after OR he’s not traded, then signs elsewhere and all the Cubs get is a comp pick…I don’t know, the Cubs sign him now=good for the Cubs, less $ for Garza, if he gets extended a year from now=risky for Cubs, Garza has it made in the shade! I think Garza is someone that should be kept around, but if we know he won’t be extended wait it out til he’s healthy and trade him. Prediciton, we trade him by end of Spring Training or we extend him.

    • Gcheezpuff

      In my opinion, If his agent believes he is healthy, no way he signs an extension now. He probably will be the best available free agent pitcher on the market next offseason. I also believe a team will take a risk and try to trade for him during spring training as he’ll be more valuable now then at the deadline. I’d imagine any interested team can and already has evaluated his medicals and maybe even sent scouts to watch his rehab. There is risk, but all teams have been through injuries with pitchers before. They are very good at evaluating risk and determining the severity of injury. The rangers, for example might have not made any major moves because they like Garza and feel they have enough pitching depth to wait on him and then pull the trigger on a trade in ST if he looks healthy. My guess is that they have already discussed what a trade would look like. Everyone is expecting Garza to be healthy as the injury was not severe.

  • Fastball

    I seriously doubt there will be a Olt for Garza trade. It’s just not in the cards for either team. Garza will most likely show he is healthy in ST. Teams won’t make the kind of trade for him that everyone on here wants. Our best bet is that we re-sign him on a 3 year deal or an extension whatever you want to call it. It’s a gamble but we would be asking any team wanting to trade for him to take the same gamble. Right now there isn’t another team desperate enough to go down that path. I don’t think the Rangers are going to come calling. The team I would look for a call from is the Yankee’s. They have been pretty quiet. They are pretty long in the tooth with their starting pitching. They might do a deal for Garza and Sori at some point. If they don’t score runs early on they might get a little nervous if the division starts out hot. And sure as the world is round Garza and Sori will go to the Yankee’s and get a WS ring this year.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      I agree! The Yankees could totally be a destination for garza!

  • CubsfaninAZ

    Everyone here is acting like Garza just came off of major recunstuctive elbow surgery. I mean i know the injuries to Prior and Wood killed the Cubs in the past, but this isnt major Labrum shoulder tears we’re talking about here. Garza is every bit as good as Anibal Sanchez, if we signed him you would all be stoked, but lets face it EVERY pitcher in the league is one pitch away from a major injury.Thats just the nature of the Beast. Garza could have likely came back last season and threw more, but because he is so valueable and young still, they shut him down because the Cubs were no where near playing meaningful games last year. He took the whole time off to make sure the stress in his elbow was completely gone. From his recent tweets sounds like he is throwing pain free and with ease. So the next step will be spring training when he’s throwing competitively, to make sure nothing pops up in that elbow again. I dont think the Olt deal will happen, not because the Cubs dont want Olt, but because the Cubs will want to extend Garza more. If the Cubs were so willing to go after Sanchez, you can believe they’re every bit wanting to extend Garza. The question the Cubs will need to know is if he’s fully cleared of the elbow problems, if he is I see them extending him, i mean the FO has said it before about Garza is still the kind of peice they can see having in the future. Whether Garza wants to test free agency or not is yet to be determined. If he is looking to test the FA market once his contract is up, then yeah he’s a trade candidate. If he truly wants to stay a Cub, I think this FO will extend him in a heartbeat once he’s healthy! Injuries can also be leverage for the FO to negotiate an extension at a lower price, Garza’s agent probably knows that so he wants Garza to prove healthy to raise his leverage back up, then the talks of extension can continue. Besides, Ian Stewart was everything Mike Olt has ever been, they both are at the same point of given a whole season healthy and they might just be your everday 3rd basemen. Mike Olt is no garunteed superstar, if he was he’d be a Diamondback by now, because they too have a glaring need at that position. So if the D-backs dont want an Olt centered package they want Olt to be a throw in , with the center package being something else! That should tell you all you need to know about Olt. He’s not considered anything better than a healthy Ian Stewart!

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      No, he did not have major surgery, but they thought it was bad enough to shut him down for the entire second half.

      Couple that withmthe money he is set to make and thus fact that its his last year with his contract,the cubs are in a pickle! He doesn’t have any trade value today. He might at the all star break, but at that time he is only under contract for halfmofma season which diminishes his trade value again.

      If he was healthy all of last year they could have gotten olt for him. That all went away with the injury and how his contract came into play.

      Just because they were going to sign Sanchez doesn’t mean they would have automatically extended garza. I bet they would have moved him if they would have signed Sanchez.

      Olt is much better right now than a healthy Ian Stewart. And, I’m not saying olt is anything special, though he could be. What I am saying is Stewart sucks.

      • Blublud

        Hey VOR, Olt was the 49 overall pick in 2010. If Texas trades for Garza for Olt straight up, they get a year of Garza pitching, and when they make a Qualifying offer following the season, if he leaves they’ll get a pick somewhere in the range of 30-40. That by itself, theorectically replaces Olt. Thats before you account for the season worth of Garza pitching that they would essentially be getting for free when the draft pick is accounted for. This is by itself, the reason why it will cost more the Olt for Texas to get Garza. Not to mention every other logical reason.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          The problem with that thought is that the vast majority of picks in that range do not end up as good as Olt.

          • hansman1982

            Olt still has only done marginally more than the 2014 Supplemental draft pick.

          • Blublud

            I agree kyle. But Olt is about what you expect in that range. Olt will basicly be an average to above 3B. Not a star, not a perennial all-star, though he may make once or twice as every above average players seems to do at some point. Replacing him is not hard.

            Besides, Im not so sold now that he’s much better then Vitters, who coincidentally, was born on the same day as Olt one year later.

  • Jason

    Love the olt stewart reference. Stewart is only a few years older too. If Garza were traded I’d rather it be for pitching.

  • #1lahairfan

    I think matt garza will be traded to the dodgers. Even thought they have like 8 starters! They will probably put up a good effort to get him. This is the only place we can swing a bulky return. Like say Zach Lee, Hyu Jin Ryu, and Chris reed and like a couple more prospects. This a little bit too much, but the dodgers really are trying to get better.

  • DaveY

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Zambrano ends up with the Yankees. Last I heard, Hendry and Rothschild are still in NY.

  • james

    I wonder if teams use the excuse of loseing an number one draft pick for a free agent alittle to much. I wonder how many teams are more worried about payroll and the shrinking fan base that is showing up at ballparks. I know some teams had spend money this year but so many havn’t. It seems like the same teams the Dodgers and Angels spending. The Cubs got involved because they had alot of payroll to work with. The only long term contract was for Edwin Jackson. The Cubs have alot of money coming off this year and the end of next year. To get back to what I was saying there seems to be to many top free agents not signed this late in the winter. If this upcoming year for the economy is just as bad or worse then last year, then were going be at a tipping point for free agents again for next season.

  • Xavier

    Cubs should definitely jump in on a three team trade. Lets say the Cubs trade: Darwin Barney, Josh Vitters and Steve Clevenger to the Diamondbacks and Matt Garza to the rangers in return the cubs get: Adam Eaton, Andrew Chafin, Cody Buckle, Martin Perez, and Nomar Mazzaro.

  • Rizzofanclub

    Why would Arizona want Clevenger, Vitters, or Barney?

    • MichiganGoat

      They wouldnt

    • Xavier

      They would be interested in Vitters because they’re starting 3b is Eric Chavez. Barney can play 2nd and Short. Clevenger is a good backup catcher.

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        That is a terrible trade offer and there is no way the diamondbacks would ever even consider it. They would laugh. If they did take it the gm should be fired on the spot.

        If it was that easy to make these crazy trades then the cubs would be world series champs this year.

        After we make your trade then we can trade Jackson for Stanton. Why wouldn’t theyndo that?

        Then we would trade soriano for cano since we would need a second baseman after you traded Barney….

        Do you see how silly it is?

  • Die hard

    Wonder what place in rotation SF QB Koperniak would have if stayed in Cubs organization?

  • Gcheezpuff

    Jus

    • Gcheezpuff

      Just heard on MLB hot stove this morning Cubs and Phillies talking Soriano. Not sure if this is a rehash of the existing rumor or new news of recent talks. It was treated as new news and discussed so hopefully there is something to it.

      • MightyBear

        Does anyone know if Soriano is cool with going to Philadelphia and is willing to waive is NTC? (He should but you never know with these ballplayers)

  • Internet Random

    Exactly.

  • Spencer

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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