Lukewarm Stove: A Lotta Matt Garza and Rick Porcello, and a Little Everything Else

stoveThe latest from around the rumor mill …

  • Although they would seem to merely be thoughts off the top of his head, Nick Cafardo discussed Matt Garza’s future in his recent Q&A, when asked whether the Red Sox should be interested in trading for Garza: “Oh yes, that’s always been on the back burner. Garza needs to show his elbow is OK. The Sox and Cubs could definitely be a good fit, but he fits with a lot of teams, so I think the Cubs will have a nice deal for him somewhere.” The latter thoughts are right on, from my perspective (i.e., a lot of teams would be interested if he shows he’s healthy), but it’s the “back burner” bit that caught my eye. Is Cafardo saying there have been affirmative discussions between the two sides on Garza, with a possible deal being placed on the back burner while Garza’s health situation sorts itself out? We’d previously heard suggestions of the Red Sox as a Garza fit, but I’m not sure that we’d previously heard of affirmative talks. Assuming the Sox don’t pick up someone like Kyle Lohse, this will be worth keeping an eye on next month (together with several other teams, obviously).
  • In the Nick Cafardo piece in which he discussed Alfonso Soriano (which spawned this piece), he also dropped some relevant thoughts on Michael Bourn (the market has shrunk considerably, and he’s likely to get far less than he hoped), Justin Upton (Mets, Rays, Red Sox, Phillies, and Orioles have all checked in), and Michael Morse (the Red Sox, Yankees, and Orioles are all interested, which could impact the Soriano market), among others.
  • The Rick Porcello rumors are picking up steam, though they aren’t necessarily involving the Cubs (in case you missed the Tigers/Orioles/Cubs three-way rumor last week). The Diamondbacks and Mariners have emerged as possible suitors for Porcello, though it seems unlikely that the Diamondbacks will land him (for that matter, given their densely packed rotation, I have to wonder if their interested was geared toward trying to pick up some other piece in a multiple-team move).
  • Jon Morosi adds that the Tigers are hoping to land a shortstop, a late-inning reliever, or a right-handed hitting outfielder in a deal involving Porcello. Assuming the Cubs aren’t interested in dealing Darwin Barney (who could be a shortstop to the Tigers), it’s worth noting that the Cubs do have a late-inning reliever likely available (Carlos Marmol), as well as a right-handed hitting outfielder (Alfonso Soriano). Various no-trade rights and contract issues could complicate a deal – indeed, if there was a clear fit, you’d figure a deal would have been done already – but, at least superficially, there’s a fit there.
  • Morosi goes on to say that the Orioles could just try and swap closer Jim Johnson for Porcello, which could interest both teams.
  • The Dodgers are considering Rafael Soriano, because sign all the players.
  • Jair Jurrjens says he’s healthy after an injury-filled 2012 season, and is already throwing off the mound. I still don’t think there’s as much upside there as people hope, but he’ll get a minor league deal somewhere (and will be one of the most talked about minor league deals, fairly or not).
  • The Rangers continue to monitor the Justin Upton and Michael Bourn markets. They’re going to do something before Opening Day. They just are.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

78 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: A Lotta Matt Garza and Rick Porcello, and a Little Everything Else”

  1. North Side Irish

    I think Garza’s been on the Sawx “back burner” since Cafardo’s “idea” that Garza would have been a good starting point for the Theo compensation.

    1. Carne Harris

      Oh my christ, I forgot that was him. Hard to give anyone that clueless any credibility.

  2. Chad

    YES! I checkis site every 10 minutes hopng for a warm stove update. Been really jonsing for one today though.

  3. BD

    Brett- if I have to hear about “sign all the players” I expect to see “sign all the players” to at least help me laugh through my hatred of the Blue Beast in LA.

  4. MightyBear

    If the Tigers want a shortstop and a late inning reliever or a right handed hitting power bat, I say trade Barney and Marmol or Barney and Soriano for Porcello. All three is too much. I’d do that deal today.

    1. Chad

      I’d try for Drew Smyly if that were the case.

    2. Demarrer

      I think I would be willing to do all three if the Cubs could get one more decent/solid prospect back with Porcello. I really don’t think Barney has near the value many people think he has. He is a good defender who can’t play offense.

      1. Blublud

        You are not serious, right. Barney, Marmol(+5 million) and Soriano(+26 million) will net you much more then Porcello or smyly. I thought fans over valued there players, but Cubs really undervalue our players. First Garza is not enough to get Olt, now Sori, Barney and Marmol with us paying 31 million of the 49 million going back will only net us 1 pitcher and a good prospect. Wow.

        1. JBarnes

          Porcello is better than you think. Groundball pitcher with a terrible defense behind him and being in the AL hurt his numbers. Move him to the NL with a defense like Castro, Barney, Rizzo and even Stewart behind him and he could really improve. He doesnt walk guys, doesnt give up HR’s and actually has a decent strikeout rate for someone who pitches to contact. Plus the guy is only 24…if we can somehow get away with trading Marmol and Soriano for him I think they should do it. I dont like the idea of Barney being involved in a deal for Porcello considering hes a groundball pitcher and Barney being excellent on defense.

  5. Voice of Reason

    I’d trade Barney, Marmol AND Soriano for their stud third baseman, Nick Castellanos and maybe another lower level minor leaguer or two?

    That would certainly put an end to our third base problem!

    They’ve, obviously, been hesitant to move Castellanos, but if they need a reliever and a right handed bat…

    The problem is getting that bum Soriano to agree to the trade with rumors being that he will only play for east coast teams.

    1. Blublud

      I don’t make that deal for just Castellanos. That deal had to involve another significant prospect coming back from Detroit. Not just a good prospect. I consider Torreyes a good prospect. Castellanos and Torreyes theoretically, would not be enough in a deal for all three if we have to eat the portions of Marmol and Sori deal that has been stated.

      1. Voice of Reason

        I don’t make the deal for just Castellanos either!
        I said we’d need some more minor league talent in return.

        Again, Soriano would have to waive the no trade. Don’t hold your breath! He should be with the Giants right now, but said no!

        1. Blublud

          It would have to be Castellanos and Smyly. Or something close.

    2. GeorgeHermanLahair

      Porcello and Castellanos for those three?

    3. Mick

      I’d pull the trigger on that deal even if the only thing we got with Castellanos was a fungo and a bag of shag balls. Don’t forget about the flexibility that deal would give us on our 40-man roster too. Castellanos isn’t even on the 40-man yet so we’d free up 3 spots in that trade scenario. We could increase our efforts to sign Bourn and possibly even Soriano to close. Who would you rather have Bourn, R. Soriano, and Castellanos or Soriano, Marmol, and Barney?

  6. Deez

    I think we should kick the tires on Jurrens.He’s definitely worth a non-roster invite and/or a minor league deal.

  7. @cubsfantroy

    I just got pushed off to a porn site on my phone while trying to read this.

    1. Voice of Reason

      Why did you leave the porn site?

    2. Blublud

      Was that RizzoPorn

    3. Patrick G

      Lol so did I, had to get my hot stove news tho

    4. Goldcoast cub

      iPhone? That happened to me yesterday morning. Glad I visit here on my phone from work and not my PC.

      1. dw8

        I believe you guys are visiting underthebleachernation.com

  8. Kygavin

    If the Tigers were to deal castellanos they could do a lot better than Marmol, Barney, and Soriano

    1. Voice of Reason

      Deals are about finding matches.

      If the Tigers are looking for a reliever and a right handed bat with the Cubs paying all or most of the tab for Marmol and Soriano, they would not find a better match to fill two holes with one trade than with that trade with the Cubs! And, the holes would be filled really well!

      Again, Soriano would be the major stumbling block as he would have to waive his no trade.

    2. Blublud

      I hivhly doubt it. Not for just him. Nobody is going to give you 3 proven Major leaguers for a prospect. That’s is unless they are willing to take a package of Campana, Volstad and Mather.

  9. Kygavin

    Castellanos is one of the top hitting prospects in the minors and you don’t think they could get more than a reliever who can’t throw strikes, a 2b who can’t hit, and an all bat old OF? Please

    1. Blublud

      More like a closer who was one of the most dominant the 2nd half of last year, 4-5 years of control ofa gold glove second baseman, who had a historical season from 2B and a 30 HR 100 RBI OF who is an above average OF and was one of the best defensive LF in baseball last year. Yeah, I would suppose Castellanos could be the starting point, but not the final package.

    2. Voice of Reason

      If Castellanos is that good then why are the Tigers in the market for a right handed hitting outfielder? They moved Castellanos to right field because of Cabrera.

      He is 20 years old. The Tigers are in the win now mode! If Castellanos is not ready for the bigs and they can fill a couple of big holes by moving him then they should do it.

      If the Cubs are going to pay most of the tab for Marmol and Soriano that alone should be more than enough to get Castellanos. BUT, when you throw in Barney, you’re pushing it to almost being a no brainer for the Tigers.

      Marmol has struggled with control, but can be lights out and COULD — I say could — emerge as the Tigers closer. Throw in Soriano and understanding that you are getting them without paying much salary at all…..

      someone get Jed on the phone!

  10. Fastball

    The tigers won’t trade with Theo. Dumbrowski won’t do it

    1. Blublud

      There is little to no chance an A. Soriano to Detroit deal will happen. But if the one we talked does happen, the Tigers would be getting better value for less. If they sign R. Soriano, yes they would still have Castellanos, but they’ll also still need a RH power hitting OF and a SS. I for onr, would hope the Cubs turn down a deal for Castellanos involving Sori, because I think the Cubs can make the playoff this as is. Add in Bourn, and we might be a challenger for the division.

      1. Blublud

        Meant for kygavin below

        1. Kygavin

          I think the Cubs are a 75 (give or take a few) win team just on the strength of their pitching but I don’t see playoffs which is why I have no problem dealing for other assets that are younger. I get what you are saying though and I would most likely have the same opinion if I thought they were a playoff team

          1. Kygavin

            Also agree A Soriano to Det would be unlikely

      2. Voice of Reason

        Wow… some people on this website love drinking that Cub Kool Aid!

        The Cubs will lose at least 90 games this year. It’s a really bad team that has a terrible offense and not much of a bullpen. The starting pitching has depth, but is it good depth?

        And, the front office expects to lose 90 games as they didn’t sign any free agent bats to help the offense.

        Make the playoffs this year? Losing less than 90 days would be a really good goal as the rebuilding continues.

        1. BT

          Finally, a voice of reason! Someone who is realistic and thinks the Cubs will win only 72 games this year, as opposed to the “Cub Kool Aid” drinkers who are predicting a laughable 75 wins!

        2. EQ76

          “The starting pitching has depth, but is it good depth?”

          - True.,. Remember last year we had the ERA leader for much of the year (Dempster) and one of the hottest pitchers in baseball on a win streak (Maholm) along with Shark and Garza and were still a 5th place team, completely out of the race by the trade deadline.

          Maybe without the trades, and Garza injury, this team was a 90 to 92 loss team last year, but the problem was the bullpen was terrible and the offense was anemic . Our offense doesn’t look any better or different than last year.

          The only way this team even sniffs .500 this year is with a lot of career years and breakout seasons from some of these guys. It’s possible, but not very likely.

        3. Mattm

          You should change your name to voice of negativity bc you have no basis in fact at all. Our bullpen isnt good? We just signed a guy with dominating numbers as a closer in Japan to go along with Marmol, Russel, and camp. Thats much better thana last year. We were extremely unlucky with injuries and down seasons from the catcher and 3b positions which means whether you like it or not we upgraded. We have Rizzo for a whole year. Keep being negatve noone takes you seriously!

  11. Kygavin

    I’m not arguing the cubs shouldn’t do it. I would love that but why would the tigers? If they need bullpen help that bad why not just sign Soriano and keep castellanos?

  12. Fastball

    It happened to me twice last evening around 7 :15pm est.

  13. North Side Irish

    MLB Trade Rumors ‏@mlbtraderumors
    Nationals To Sign Rafael Soriano http://bit.ly/13A05eE #mlb

    1. North Side Irish

      Jim Callis ‏@jimcallisBA
      If #Nationals sign Soriano, they forfeit pick No. 29 & Yankees add a pick that right now is No. 32. #mlbdraft

      So this basically nets out and doesn’t impact the position of the Cubs 2nd rounder?

  14. Kygavin

    And never mind my R Soriano to Det. Just signed with Washington

    1. MichiganGoat

      That should open up the Marmol market

      1. hansman1982

        Ya, especially considering the Nationals didn’t really need a back-of-the-bullpen guy

  15. james

    Alfonso Soranio had one good year out of the last three. After the 2011 baseball season everybody wanted him out of Chicago. A newspaper last year talked about the worst contracts in baseball history and Soraino contract was in the top ten. Soraino is also 37 and he isn’t getting any younger. More then likely Soraino numbers will decline because of his age. Carlos Marmol had half an season were he put up good numbers. Marmol also is a free agent after this season. Also look how many relief pitchers are still unsigned. Darwin Barney is a weak hitting second basemen with a good glove. At best Barney is a average second basemen. I think as Cubs fans we over value are players a little to much.

  16. Mike

    I know the draft the draft is far away but do you think the cubs will go with another 5 tool outfielder like Austin Meadows or a Power arm like Ryne Stanek

    1. King Jeff

      Best available, probably slightly skewed towards pitching due to need.

      1. Mike

        I can’t imagine a farm of Beaz, Almora, Soler, Meadows! That’s great outfield potential!

  17. deej34

    Well the Nats just signed Sori… wonder what that does for the trade market…

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/01/nationals-to-sign-rafael-soriano.html

    1. BD

      Well nobody has talked about Marmol being dealt to the Nats, so that is a good thing. If a team was hoping to get R. Soriano on a good deal, they may now look to a trade.

    2. Kyle

      That can’t be right. I was told that if a player hadn’t signed by now, nobody wanted him.

  18. Ken

    Barney is much maligned. So is defense up the middle, for all that matter.

  19. mudge

    As long as he isn’t misaligned.

  20. hutch

    If the tigers were gonna move castellanos for a right hand bat why wouldnt they just call arizona and get upton. They want porcello too. We re never getting castellanos

  21. Tim

    Rafael Soriano signed with the nats! They’re going for it this year. Really adding to a terrific bullpen. Especially if they sign Vasquez and move detweiler to the bullpen.

  22. North Side Irish

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS
    #cubs have talked to scott hairston, as well, so he has non-NY possibilities

    He’d make a nice 4th OF if he were OK with that role. Hits lefties well and has some pop. Not great on D, but he can play all three OF spots (CF is a little iffy). But he’d be a nice RH option to spell DeJesus and Schierholtz.

    1. Kyle

      That makes a ton of sense. An outfield with DeJesus and Schierholtz is in desperate need of at least two lefty-mashers, and Sappelt barely qualifies.