matt garza chinPeter Gammons doesn’t always provide a lot of context for his reports these days, but you can’t deny that he’s got his sources. And I guess one of them was spilling beans on the San Diego Padres’ desire to pick up a starting pitcher. Specifically, Matt Garza.

Gammons reports that, according to a GM source, there is something going on between the Padres and Cubs involving Garza, Padres’ outfield prospect Reymond Fuentes, and two other unnamed prospects. Gammons doesn’t go any further than that, and you have to do a little dot-connecting to even get that far. Are these preliminary talks? Another GM speculating? Is this something that’s actually on the table? Are those other two prospects any good?

I suspect that, if there are specific prospect names being floated, the talks are a shade beyond preliminary. That said, it’s still June. As we know, during trade season, front office executives talk to dozens of other front office executives about hundreds of possible trades. The vast majority fizzle before they even become a realistic possibility. Just be careful about getting too caught up in every single rumor.

This one, however, does have some superficial appeal. The Padres are in the market for a starting pitcher, according to a recent Jon Heyman report. And, given their budgetary constraints, they’d likely be looking to pick up an inexpensive option or one that comes from a team that can send cash (like the Cubs). A good chunk of the Cubs’ front office came over from the Padres (GM Jed Hoyer, VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod, and Scouting Director Jaron Madison), so they certainly know the system well, and probably have pet favorites they’d like to import.

As for Fuentes, specifically, he’s a former Red Sox first round pick who was – you guessed it – traded to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal (with Anthony Rizzo). An outfielder, Fuentes mostly played center field until this year, when he’s been shifted primarily to right field. In right field, his bat doesn’t play nearly as well, because he’s a speedy guy without a lot of pop. He’s repeating AA this year as a 22-year-old and killing it there (.332/.419/.472), but really struggled in his first go around at the level (.218/.301/.302 with 133 Ks in 541 PAs – ouch). Because of that down 2012 season, he’d fallen off of most folks top 10/top 20 Padres prospect lists coming into this season. That makes him a nice buy low candidate (if, for example, the Cubs front office knows something about that 2012 season or adjustments he’s made this year), but it doesn’t make him a particularly attractive centerpiece in a Garza deal – especially in late June when the market hasn’t fully developed yet.

If the Cubs dealt Garza (and cash) to the Padres for Fuentes and two prospects, well, I couldn’t really call that a win or a loss until I knew the identities of the other two prospects. Did Gammons list Fuentes because he was the biggest name in the deal? Or is that the only name he was told/only name he recognized immediately, and the other prospects are arguably better? If it’s the former, well, it’s hard to see the deal making sense for the Cubs. Which is to say I’m guessing the explanation hews more closely to that second possibility.

Fuentes, for his part, looks like a quality outfield prospect. And, despite the Cubs’ outfield talent lower in the system, they could probably use a young outfielder who is theoretically ready to step in as a starter in 2014. It remains to be seen whether Fuentes even is that kind of guy, but I imagine that would be the thinking.

We’ll see if more smoke comes out of this Garza/Padres stuff, or if Gammons was merely reporting one of many preliminary Garza-related rumors that are probably swirling right now.

  • BD

    Rosenthal needs to relax… Isn’t just about everything he reports regarding trades a rumor until it actually happens? I like him, but his Twitter comments came off as “I’m more important than you bloggers!”

  • another JP

    No way can Fuentes be the main piece of this prelim trade. Looks like the floor for negs which isn’t bad since Nolasco and Peavy are also being shopped. Whatever we’d get from the Pads should be quite decent- the Rizzo/Cashner trade worked out for both teams last time.

  • Tobias

    Would this trade be contigent on whether or not the Cubs sign Gonzalez? If Cubs do end up signing Gonzalez then would Hoyer make a bigger trade with San Diego that would bring back two solid pitching prospects along with Fuentes? Let’s say Garza, Russell, Gregg, Szczur, and a descent prospect for Fuentes, Hedges, Quackenbush, and Fried.

    • nkniacc13

      I think Gonzalez wont have any barring on anything on the trade deadline.

    • Rebuilding

      Very much doubt the Padres would let Fried and Hedges go in almost any deal. But you bring up an interesting name in Gregg. Houston Street has been terrible as their closer

      • Tobias

        Gregg could be their immediate closer with Russell being their closer of the future.

        • Geo

          Your high if you think Russell could be closer of the future for any team with a fastball that tops out at 90.

      • Austin8466

        I’ve watched Fried pitch three times this season in Fort Wayne. I’d trade him…

  • brandon

    Kinda off topic but since were speculating trades i would like to see us pair Feldman and Barney to Baltimore i think that’s a package they would really like and they have some nice pitching in the minors

  • Rizastro

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the cubs try to go after gyorko (or spangenberg) and hedges along with fuentes and leave the padre arms alone, unless for some stupid reason they will give up fried. gyorko could immediately fill in at 2nd after we hopefully trade barney. hedges might be ready for the show next year. Maybe if we threw in more garza, dejesus, schierholtz, etc. we could wrestle wisler or erlin from them

  • brandon

    They wouldn’t trade gyorko

    • Rizastro

      probably not but if we could get spangy,hedges,fuentes and someone like wisler or even joe ross or keyvius sampson for a garza package would be nice

  • Roughriider

    I would love a trade with San Diego if it started with Austin Hedges and included a good young starting pitching prospect like Joe Ross or Burch Smith. I can’t see trading Garza for anything less.

  • Die hard

    Cubs planted story to start bidding war

    • Rich H

      Now with knowing Team Theo there is probably a lot of truth to this. Remember Gammons was in town this last weekend at the HotStove event with Theo. So Theo may have talked loudly enough on his cellphone to let Gammons hear. Stranger things have happened. But if that was the case they should have name dropped Fried to get a better return.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, but we also know Team Die hard . . .

        • Rich H

          That is why I was actually giving him an atta boy button. He has earned some for the little bit of incite that comment showed.

          • DarthHater

            Oh, I think everything he posts shows a lot of incite. Now, insight, not so much.

            • Rich H

              LOL Good Point. I can not believe I did that. Thanks for the auto correct.

  • TakingWrigleyToSP

    Garza and Gregg for Hedges, Wisler and Fuentes.

    • Crockett

      I would J in my P’s for that kind of return honestly. Hedges might be the best all-around catching prospect in baseball…not hard to make that argument.

      • praying the cubs get ready to win

        Maybe we throw in one of our three catchers as well as one of our veteran OF. Give them a chance to win their division this year for a chance at Hedges, Fuentes and a good young arm. Then trade Barney and an OF for a good young arm.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I think if you’re going to trade Garza, you do it quickly for as much as you can get. No sense in risking injury and dragging it out. Not sure I would trade him, but I don’t have all the records on him. And I always buy into the sense of urgency argument. SD is an especially good partner in that they are so familiar with the system.

  • morgan

    didn’t I bring this up a few weeks ago that Garza and the Padres would be perfect fit

    • TWC

      Are we keeping score?

      • Whiteflag

        Yep. I’m in the negative.

      • MichiganGoat

        Keeping score is part the the Die Hardian Way, but you only count hits never the misses… they don’t exist if you get one thing right.

  • JungleDrew

    Ok how about we trade Garza, Gregg, Stewart (as part of a dump), one of Sweeney/Scheirholtz/Hairston/Bogevic & Cash and get back Fried, Austin Hedges, Adys Portillo, Kevin Quackenbush (I would love to wear a jersey that says that one day) and Fuentes (maybe another thrown in)… Remember we’re giving up the guaranteed talents and getting the prospects, we deserve more.

    • Jp3

      That is a big Dump for sure.

    • sclem21

      UMMM. there is no way the Pads would do that. Jeeez that is so far off.

    • David

      That is ridiculously lopsided toward the Cubs

  • Assman22

    Gammons tweet is not accurate. Padres are talking to the about SP’s but not Garza…

    • Rich H

      Now that one I totally believe. Feldman for 3 prospects including Fuentes I am totally in favor of.

      • Assman22

        Cubs are interested in 3 prospects in SD and Padres are scouting Cubs’ SP extensively, but not just Garza. Gammons is an idiot…

        • Rich H

          Like I said Gammons has major connections around the East Coast but seeing something to do with SD is a stretch unless someone is feeding him a rumor to drive up prices.

    • Carew

      Dude I love your intel, not to mention a cool name. But I gotta ask, how do you get your information? Unless you can’t say, which is fine by me.

    • someday…2015?

      I was waiting for the assman to jump in on this. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Rich H

        I Still think Assman is a member of TeamTheo because when he speaks you can mark it down. Except for Bourne but that may have been an 11th hour thing.

  • Blublud

    Not sure if the Rockies are buyers, but I’m at the Ashville-Greensboro game and Rosell Herrera is looking real good.

  • Michael

    I would say Austin Hedges for Matt Garza, Gregg and maybe something else as well and I would be extremely happy with that deal. Yeah we need pitchers but getting a catching prospect like Hedges would be a steal and immediately give the Cubs the top farm system in baseball, That would be 5 players in the top 50 which would be amazing.

    • Michael

      To clarify we would need a lower level pitching prospect as well if we add another piece to the deal.

      • SenorGato

        I missed this but sums up my thoughts exactly. I would he happy with Garza and Gregg for Hedges and a Jaye Chapman level arm would be fine with me.

    • Cedlandrum

      You can’t trade Garza and Gregg for Hedges alone. It would have to include a few more players then Hedges.

      • Cedlandrum

        Beat me to it, but you would still need 2 guys maybe 3. Hedges, a top 15, top 25 and a high upside low a ball player.

      • Michael

        I said a pitching prospect as well, But honestly what do you expect to get back for Gregg and also Garza, Garza is not going to net a huge haul back. Hedges is better then any single player that will be available in a trade for Garza unless you have multiple players along with Matt in a trade.

        • Cedlandrum

          I think you get Hedges and a top 15 guy for Garza and a top 25 guy and another upside guy for Gregg. To even things out you maybe need to send someone pack their way like Sappelt.

          • Brian

            I have a feeling Joe Ross is one of the arms we’d want in return…

          • Michael

            This is about right and what I would think a good return would be for both teams. Hedges yes not a pitcher but a really good prospect at a premium position that the Cubs lack in the minors.

  • X the Cubs fan

    The Cubs should try an extension before shipping him away. But Hedges, Fuentes, Wisler deal would be a good return.

    • Cub Style

      Love me some Austin Hedges

  • Cub Style

    I’ve got to believe a package would be build around Hedges, one of their high potential arms like Fried, and Fuentes. Not just Fuentes.

  • Die hard

    Padres would go for Hughes and Chamberlain of Yankees

  • Cubes

    I could see the Padres overpaying for Wood.

    • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

      viagra is pretty expensive in CA, so I hear…

      • Randy


  • EricR

    I somehow suspect Joe Ross would be involved in this deal somehow. Big, hard-throwing pitcher. And Donn Roach….

  • EricR

    Wait a minute…the other people in that Gonzalez trade was Casey Kelly (just Tommy John’d) and Eric Patterson…

  • Njriv

    DeJesus should be a nice target for the Giants since Pagan is going to be missing for about 12 weeks.

    • Voice of Reason

      You do know that dejesus is hurt just like pagan?

      Dejesus might not even be back before the trade deadline.

      • Njriv

        Oh yeah, I forgot. I knew it was too much of a good fit. Isn’t that the way things go around here?

  • cavemencubbie

    I really don’t understand why we should trade a Major league starter for minor league prospects that may not be better than our own. Perhaps we should just be a little bit patient and see if home grown talent can do the job?

    • Abe Froman

      Cavemen, we are talking about trading guys that we will lose at the end of the season anyhow, why not get long term value by trading them for prospects?

  • The Dude Abides

    I read the Cubs are working on a deal to let Ian Stewart get out of his contract after all, probably for the best, save a few $$’s.

  • Die hard

    Cup win tonight could carry over to other Chicago teams… Eventually … Hopefully … Maybe

  • HackAttack

    Blackhawk fans out celebrating in the streets around Wrigley. Lakeview neighborhood association and Alderman Tunney now expect say in future Blackhawk scheduling.

  • Rcleven


  • Alex S.

    Would a Garza (and possibly a small addition) for Fuentes, Wisler, Ross, and Eflin be an acceptable haul for the Cubs? Would the Padres be willing to part with those four?

  • SenorGato

    Hedges, please.

  • JM

    I love all this talk about what we expect to get in return. Other teams aren’t stupid you know?

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      No, but you have to pay to play. It is a sellers market this year it seems. We will get more for Garza more than likely what was first anticipated. If someone wants him earlier than normal, they will have to give up more than July 31 to get him.

    • MichiganGoat

      At times it seems like we’re on with some of these trade ideas doesn’t it?

      • Jp3

        Please say we won’t wait until July 31 to trade garza… That worked out so well last year and all.

        • MichiganGoat

          Depends on the market, at this point I’m not expecting anything amazing in a return for Garza. He’s a 1/2 season rental and I think teams are less likely to part with good prospect because of the new CBA. I think we might see prospect that have fallen down the rankings because of a bad season that the FO believes they can “fix” but getting a top prospect for 1/2 a year is just not going to happen. If Garza continues to look good, other teams get desperate, and/or the market changes then maybe the return increases which is why i don’t expect a move until just before the deadline.

          • Rebuilding

            I couldn’t agree more. Garza has value no doubt, but he is a rental coming off arm troubles. He also would be a tough re-sign (if that’s something a team wants to give up a better prospect) because I’m sure he’ll want to hit the market

      • Jp3

        I agree, about some of these trade scenarios are comical.

        • MichiganGoat

          For some reason fans always think their players are so much better and valuable than they are in reality and then think that other teams prospects aren’t as valuable as they are. Its the most frustrating part of the trade season for me these lopsided views of baseball. To think a rental pitcher could get us 2-3 of teams top ten or a cost-controlled young rising player is where the “committed” idea of a Cub fan becomes quite negative. I just wish people would step back and ask themselves: If the Cubs were the buyers would we trade away that package for a 1/2 a year of Feldman/Garza?

          • Jp3

            But… what if we gave them Marmol, Gregg, Dejesus, garza, Feldman, our best bat boy…dang it, we did it again😝 I do think the Padres system is intriguing mainly because they’re wanting to buy without spending actual cash. Hoyer/Mcloud aside, any other team like that I want to deal with IMO. Should we have a running tally how many times either Castellenos and/or Vitters/Jackson is mentioned in a trade?😀🔫.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Garza for Hedges, Fried and Liriano. Wrap it up done deal. I don’t see anything wrong with this trade at all. Unless you would rather swap Gyaorko for Liriano. That would allow you to move Valbuena to 2B and freely trade Barney.

            • MichiganGoat

              I’m not talking about one specific trade but the general influx of outlandish trade ideas that keep popping up.

              • MichiganGoat


                • MichiganGoat

                  try again

            • Jp3

              And we could get Castellenos for Barney… At least

      • BT

        you don’t have to go to The Chicago Tribune white sox beat writer has the White Sox targeting players like Mike Olt, Martin Perez, Xander Bogaerts, and Nick Castellanos, despite the fact they have an injured starter, a couple of middle relievers, and Alex Rios to deal.

      • JM

        Yeah. I got an idea… how about we give san Diego all our worst players, cast off players and hurt players in return for their top young prospects… and while we’re at it, pull off a Moneyball trade and have them pay for all the Busweiser for the next three years.

        • Internet Random

          Dude, these are great ideas! You should totally get a job in the front office!

          • JM

            Thanks. I was inspired.

            Love the Ferris reference…