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matt garza cubsWe’ve reached that point. Matt Garza trade rumors ramped up so incredibly over the last week, culminating in his impressive start yesterday in front of a dozen or more scouts, that it has become an Obsessive Trade Watch.

The tipping point is a report today from Jon Heyman, citing sources who’ve spoken to the Cubs and determined that the Cubs believe it will not be possible to reach an extension with Garza, who is a free agent after this season. Heyman’s report is consistent with the sense we’ve been picking up for some time with respect to the Cubs and Garza. It simply doesn’t sound like an extension remains even a remote possibility.

To put it bluntly: if there’s no extension to be had before the Trade Deadline, the Cubs are going to have to trade Garza.

That’s because the value he’d net the Cubs if he left in the offseason – a compensatory pick after the first round, assuming he stays healthy enough to merit a qualifying offer – is far lower than what they could get now in trade. If Garza is determined to test free agency, then the Cubs have to capture that value now.

Unfortunately for those hoping for an extension, Garza can absolutely refuse to negotiate now, knowing that it will force the Cubs to trade him, which will then make him ineligible for draft pick compensation after the season, thus making the offers he receives after the season more lucrative. Garza knows all of this, and you can’t blame him for wanting to become a free agent in a very weak market.

Heyman’s report also notes the huge volume of interest in Garza, who may well be the best pitcher available on the trade market. Heyman lists the Orioles, Rangers, Giants, Padres, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Blue Jays as having interest, with other teams possibly in the mix.

With that many teams involved and no extension in sight, the Cubs will have to – and will be able to – extract premium value for Garza. I still suspect the Cubs will wait for Ricky Nolasco to be dealt before moving Garza, but I wouldn’t be surprised, given the explosion of interest and Garza’s recent performances, if the Cubs deal Garza much earlier than the Deadline (and saving competing pieces like Scott Feldman and Carlos Villanueva for shopping later). They’ve been burned once before by waiting too long on a Garza trade, and they may not want to take that risk again now that teams are apparently plenty convinced that he’s healthy and valuable.

  • sven-erik312

    Letting go of Garza says to me that the FO doesn’t really expect to have a strong team in the next two years. My own feeling though is that they really should keep him.

    • Rebuilding

      Realistically no one can expect for us to have a strong team the next two years. Looking at where our prospects are and upcoming free agents it’s tough to construct a scenerio where we play within 10 games of the Cardinals, Reds or Pirates. And keeping him takes two sides wanting that

    • Kyle

      He’s a free agent at the end of the season. They don’t have the choice to “just keep him.”

      I don’t think he’s much interested in signing an extension outside of a large overpayment. I don’t blame him. If I were him, I’d want to test the waters and let all those superrich teams fawn over me as the best FA pitcher on the market.

    • eternal pessimist

      Not picking up Garza may only indicate that they don’t think he is going to be as good or dependable (health, consistency?) as some other similarly priced free agent that they might be willing to pay for. Also, it is hard to have a lot of pitchers use up eligibility years on another transition year (2014). If they had the ability to avoid paying for 2014 and sign him for 2015-17 they might look at this differently.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    sorry that’s blatantly hogwash. People keep pouring it out as if losing somehow breeds winning. Advertisers, butts in seats and plain reality suggest 4 and 5 year plans to lose are just as goofy as trying to spend radical amounts to win. losing long term doesn’t and never has guaranteed winning.

    • Rebuilding

      Mike, I think all of us would like to win every year. I have been banging the drum to try and stay competitive the last 2 years. That ship has sailed. I think it is impossible to construct any scenario with even a $150 million payroll where we make the playoffs next year. If that’s the case you might as get everything you can with what we’ve got. Why half-ass it and go 76-86?

      • Kyle

        I’m pretty sure we could get there with $150 million. We could replace Garza, add another good starter, buy whatever we needed for the pen and still probably have enough money for two upgrades in the lineup.

        But I don’t think we have much (though not zero) chance of getting there with $110m or whatever we plan to spend.

        • Rebuilding

          I guess it’s pointless to speculate since it isn’t going to happen. An arm or two good enough to make a real difference would cost 1 or more of our betters prospects since there is nothing in free agency. Even then I don’t know if we do enough to get past the Reds/Pirates and Braves/Nationals to get a wild card. But it really doesn’t matter as you said

    • http://Yahoo.com brandon

      I get what ur saying and i don’t think the plan was 5 years tho it appears that’s what ur Errol be.. That being said i totally believe in being bad to be great the worse thing you can be in sports is average, so i look at teams like the nationals i mean being the worst team two years ina row netted them Harper and Strasburg

  • AD

    Just saw on MLBTradeRumors that the Rays are a potential dark horse to land Garza. Not sure I can see the fit though. Especially with no draft pick compensation for the Rays.

  • Rebuilding

    One nice thing about our payroll situation is that we can pretty much pick up anyone’s remaining contract for better prospects – putting teams like Tampa and San Diego in play and driving up the price

  • Die hard

    Here’s the dilemma … Other teams are wondering if Garza is so healthy and so good why don’t Cubs pay whatever it takes to keep him? Theo must think other GMs just arrived on a slow boat from nowhere .. And please stop with all the hype rumors Theo is feeding the media.. Cellophane transparency…

    • scorecardpaul

      I hate to be the jerk here, but you r really getting old. Diehard why don’t you take a survey and find out if anyone really gives a shit what you have to say anymore.

  • Die hard

    If to be traded then consider Garza for Chamberlain and Hughes and good AA pitcher would work… No contract extensions by either team and each takes chances after season

    • nkniacc13

      That would be stupid for Cubs Die hard

      • Die hard

        No— when dust settled Cubs gain good AA pitcher

        • nkniacc13

          why do that when you can likely get atleast 2 good AA pitchers for Garza and more?

          • Die hard

            Never cause Theo said he’s gone anyway

    • TonyP

      C’MON MAN!

    • Mr. Gonzo

      Hendry, is that you?!

      • cubswin

        If that were Hendry, he would have already signed Garza to a 7 year 133 million dollar deal…

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Are you suggesting they trade a dollar for a dime, quarter and penny?

      • Die hard

        Well if you believe all the hype spewed by Theo thru surrogates mentioned over past several days on BN and elsewhere he’s gone anyway

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          So, we shouldn’t get anything worth having, just because, why not?

          • Die hard

            Cubs have no leverage

            • Carew

              at least make an effort to know what you’re talking about

              • Die hard

                If they were playing .500 they would have maximum leverage as teams wouldn’t know if buyers or sellers… If there was any doubt Theo media campaign ended that.. It’s a script out of Mad Men… He should have revisited Godfather One

                • eternal pessimist

                  Having the Cubs in contention doesn’t make Garza more valueable to the team going after him. They will bid for him if he helps get them to the playoffs and will decide on their own what it is worth giving up. They will negotiate until the Cubs go to high in asking price or will make the deal if they feel it is worth the cost.

                  • eternal pessimist

                    Besides, they aren’t a .500 team, so it’s really a mute point.

                    • eternal pessimist

                      Sorry, moot point. Mute point is that place that people who can’t speak go to make out.

                  • scorecardpaul

                    can we send diehard to that mute point place??

                    • Die hard

                      Been there and lived to talk about it

            • eternal pessimist

              They have plenty of leverage. The leverage is every team in the hunt to pick-up Garza bidding for his services. Now you are just being silly, or need a nap!

  • Die hard

    Theo played it wrong… Instead of spreading rumors he should have said Cubs are standing pat and will wait til season over to assess free agency, trades , moves etc .. Then wait for teams to beg him … Hard to get is something any teeny bopper could have schooled him on…

    • nkniacc13

      No he was smart because by declaring early any looking like he is willing to move players early he increases the amount of teams that maybe interested thus driving price up

      • Die hard

        Time will tell.. He didn’t have to tell teams their needs .. He needed to show he didn’t need them

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          I feel 100% confident Theo has infinitely more clue as to what he is doing when he is making trades, then you do when you are trying to comment upon those trades.

          • Die hard

            I feel better now knowing you are 100% for something… Nothing is worse than going at things half ass

            • Stinky Pete

              For example, being crazy. Why be a touch over the edge when you can be completely bat crap crazy.

              • waittilthisyear

                all these GM’s, for the most part, think along similar lines. they know who is available, and theo knows they know. hard to get is just that, juvenile. these guys ain’t fallin for some “teeny bopper” shit

                • Die hard

                  You missed Moneyball — recommend as well as Trouble with the Curve… Watch how it’s done right

                  • davidalanu

                    Do you have any thoughts that aren’t based on a movie? Reality can be kind of interesting, you should check it out sometime.

                  • Rebuilding

                    If you’re talking about Amy Adams then I’m in complete agreement

                  • Tim

                    how many rings does beane have?

                    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      1 as a player for the A’s in ’89. His best team’s as an executive included Miguel Tejada and Jason Giambi. Gee, I wonder what they were doing in the late 90s and early 00s?

                    • Rebuilding

                      You can’t be serious. That disqualifies you from being taken seriously in any baseball discussion. Look at the AL West standings last year and then look at payroll. The playoffs are a small sample size crapshoot. As Beane has said many times its just his job to get his team to the playoffs. Outside of Tampa no one does more with less. And Tampa copied him

              • HackAttack

                For example, being crazy. Why be a touch over the edge when you can be completely bat crap crazy.

                Thanks, Stinky Pete. Thank you.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Theo didn’t exactly pull a Snowden here: the deafest, dumbest and blindest of GMs know that the Cubs: 1) are out of contention this year, 2) need a lot of things, and 3) got crazy flipper fingers.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Got any good movie ideas for Theo? Diehard wants to 1. Be the craziest fan the Cubs have and 2. Teach Theo and Jed how to run this pony show a little better with a background story.

            • Dynastyin2017

              Don’t know what the story line would be, but can we call it ‘Tunny-ball’?

          • Scotti

            …Never seen Theo fall. That deaf, dumb and blind exec sure plays a mean baseball?

  • fromthemitten

    I love Garza to death and wish him the best whoever he gets traded to… unless it’s the Cardinals.

  • Die hard

    Since Garza went to Fresno State he may be willing to sign with Seattle or SF

  • nkniacc13

    Be interesting to see what they get for him especially with what Fangraphs says about him

  • Pat P

    Bleacher report (which is a joke of a site in comparison) recently ran a “slide show” on where the top trade chips will end up. The read had little value as it basically made the bold prediction that most will stay put, but it did say Garza would end up in Baltimore. I took their guess and thought the discussion to this site for a more educated discussion. Given the Baltimore scenario, what would be a realistic return?

  • Pingback: Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: What’s a Reasonable Return? Well, It’s a Lot | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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