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.

  • bbmoney

    I like Matt Garza, and while I’d like the Cubs to extend him (even with the injury concerns), can’t blame him at all. Probably his one and only chance to sign a big deal. It’s a weak market, he should be trying to cash in, but given the injuries I’m sure the Cubs don’t want to pay full market price either.

    Might be a situation where a trade is just best for both sides. I’ll wish him good luck whatever happens.

  • Spencer

    Well, if there truly is no chance to reach an in-season extension with Garza, I’m fully aboard the trade train.

  • Corey

    That’s a shame, I really like Garza and think we should keep him. Good starting pitching is hard to come by, and Wood Shark and Garza are a good start. It’s easier to fine 2 good pitchers than it is 3.

    • Rooster

      If he wants out and we can net 2-3 prospects out of him then it’s time. He’s not durable by any means. I’d like to see a deal get done in the next 1-2 weeks. Garza’s body has a tattoo which reads FRAGILE stamped across his back.

      • mjhurdle

        Not sure where all the “Garza is fragile” talk is coming from.
        The dude has been a workhorse, with the exception of last year’s injury that bled into this year.
        If one bad injury makes someone “fragile”, then there are a lot more injury-prone people out there than i suspected.

        • Kyle

          He’s been on the DL three years in a row.

          • mjhurdle

            i guess it is how you look at it.
            If i guy throws 184+ innings every year, until last year when he suffered a major injury, and now is effectively pitching every 5 days after recovering, i don’t look at that as “fragile”. To me fragile is the guy with 2-3 15 day DL trips a year, or a major injury every year.
            But if you go simply by number of starts he has missed, then i guess you could say that he is fragile.

            • pete

              I actually view him as kind of in between both of you. He was workhorse every but Chicago, and is now showing indicia of fragility. If he is looking for 4 years or more, there is no reason to try to sign him. And I say this as a big fan of his.

    • TonyP

      But hey we will have prospects who may or may not turn into players of Garza’s level!!!!!!! :-/

      • Norm

        Better than not having the prospects OR Garza.

        • TonyP


          I really hope that Garza signs for over what we offered Sanchez or signed Jackson for…

  • Rooster

    Garza’s looking for a trade. He’s definitely pitching like every game is game 7 of the WS. If his interests were signing an extension with the Cubs he might already have gotten injured.

    • Carew

      That injury statement is dumb

    • Blinda

      If you follow Garza on Twitter he always is rooting for a win and talks great about the city. I think he loves playing for the Cubs but eventually he will get traded.

  • cublando

    You trade Garza now. Get highest value while healthy. Cubs have as good of shot as anybody to sign him in offseason. Trade him to contender and bring him back in offseason.

    • Drew

      Let’s start the “Trade him now, then resign him” talk (’cause that worked well with Ryan Dempster).

      • X the Cubs Fan

        I don’t think they were ever really interested in Dempster for longer than 2 years.

      • notcubbiewubbie

        the difference is ryan dempster is a choker 500 pitcher lifetime.check out his stats in big games,no gooda.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Can’t bash or blame either side really. Each side is being honest and doing what is in the best interest of each other while working well with the other side.

  • Steele82

    Love Garza when healthy, but understand the business. I would love to see if Arizona is interested in Garza, perhaps getting some young pitching. Who do you think are the best suitors?

  • Jay

    The only bad thing, is any team getting wind of this will know we HAVE to trade him—which slightly weakens our bargaining position.

    • Stinky Pete

      That was my initial thought as well. But as long as teams are competing against each other for the trade, Garza’s value shouldn’t be affected.

  • Brandon

    Cubs should get things started by trading Feldman and/or Villanueva and shrink the market a little, drive up Garza’s value in the process and let the bidding war begin. The fewer pitchers available should drive up Garzas value and teams looking for starting pitching might be willing to overpay to get him.

  • Grant

    Sorry to hear he’s going. Without drafting Gray or Appel, I felt holding onto Garza was kinda important.

    Hopefully we get some interesting prospects for him.

    • willis

      Me as well. And they’ll never get Garza value for Garza. He’s a legit 2/3 starter with a proven track record. I doubt a piece in return will net a prospect that will become that.

      I hate it because I love Garza. But my guess is that he wants too many years and a little too much dough for this organization. Spending big isn’t in the cards, and after seeing the EJax results, they aren’t spending on another arm like that.

  • Justin

    I think the Cubs need to be complete hard asses about Garza. If they don’t feel good about an offer they should hold on to him. Garza has so many question marks I don’t know how a team can break the bank for him AND give up their first round pick., The Cubs would have all the leverage this offseason because of the compensation pick thing. I think the qualifying offer is bigger than people are making it out to be.

  • Die hard

    They have Theo by short hairs again

    • gocatsgo2003

      Except that’s not true at all.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    I’m no expert, but I would love to see Martin Perez/Mike Olt be the centerpiece of a Garza + OF trade to TEX. If he does go to SD, Robbie Erlin/Kevin Quakenbush. Either trade gives us young, MLB-ready, impact players. But everyone has their favorites.

    • Rebuilding

      I just don’t think that’s enough, honestly. I said yesterday that the Rangers system doesn’t really excite me at all. Olt has really struggled – yes, he had LASIK recently – but I wouldn’t want to the roll the dice on him. If you look at Perez’s numbers in the minors thay are kind of blah to me. Other than those two…nothing really.

      • Mr. Gonzo

        I agree, the Rangers’ farm system has lost its sheen over the last year. Even more the reason to route for SD to win the bidding war..

      • Gcheezpuff

        Interesting you said OIt had Lasik. A while back, I was listening to MLB radio and I remember an interview (can’t rememeber who with) where they discussed Lasik and how they usually don’t recommend players to get it and there is better with success with contact lenses. I myself have had Lasik and couldn’t be happier (went from -6.5 in one eye and -5.5 in the other to near 20/20), but I do still have issues with blurry vision at night because of some scar tissue left behind. I wonder if Lasik will have any longterm negative effects on his carreer and if that changes his trade value at all. I actually have been a fan of Olt and he has been hitting a lot better since coming back. Perez is solid in my opinion as well.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      I want Roach and Hedges dammit.

  • Jason Powers

    Even knowing he will have to move, the present tense playoff race, the idea of winning – like Baltimore or Texas (so close) – will override and weaken their wills in getting a guy who can be an ace for the playoffs. And each team has their financials to calculate – they maybe can ink a deal w/Garza and pay with prospects. (Very risky to do, but if you are that close…or think that…well there you go…justify anything through WINNING IT ALL.)

  • Cheryl

    Sometimes I wonder if it would be better to hold on to Garza until the end of the season and get another first round pick. If we lost out on Bryant (and I still think he’ll sign) we’d end up with three first round picks – two among the first five and the third as a supplemental pick. But it will never turn out that way.

  • Bret Epic

    I wouldn’t mind trading Feldman before he has some more he completely comes back to earth, then trading Garza closer to the deadline. I don’t see that he’ll likely lose or gain a whole lot of value in the next month, but I think the pressure teams will feel closer to the deadline will give him an increased value. I would LOVE to see the Cubs package Feldman with someone like Vitters. I honestly have more faith in Junior Lake than I do in Vitters at this point. I would like to keep Villanueva after Feldman gets traded, give him some starts this year and possibly next year if we don’t have enough starters, then trading him next year in a package deal, possibly when some of our prospects are ready to be called up. I’m curious to see what Gregg will bring us in a trade as well. The guy has really reinvented himself this year and I think there’s a team out there who will really make a trade worth our while. Just a few thoughts, I’ve got a million more brewing, including Ryan Sweeney selling his hair secrets for prospects. [img][/img]

    • Bret Epic

      before he completely comes back to earth***

    • Brett

      Your timing here is impeccable. As you will see.

      • Rebuilding

        Brett, when I first read this info I thought you had an inside scoop on a move. Then I realized you were referring to Sweeney’s hair

  • Ballgame

    Side note: Why is the hell is there a “” ad on this site? I know there must be a reason, but it would’ve been epic had you denied them from advertising on this site.

    • Edwin

      It’s probably based on some mixture of your location and internet history.

  • James

    We need to extend Garza and build around him,shark,and wood. if we trade garza and keep worthless jackson that would finally prove this FO is a joke and if 2 dl trips in career is fragile then you are pretty stupid.

    • DarthHater

      “if we trade garza and keep worthless jackson that would finally prove this FO is a joke”


      • James

        Idk but last time I checked your supposed to lock up good players and get rid of the bad ones. Prospects dont equal wins niether does Jackson but Garza does get wins so lets trade him right? Lol what a joke…..people feed waaaayyyy too much into this value and prospects crap

        • YourResidentJag

          Exactly, all the Olt talk here last year for Garza as a primary trade piece and looky how he’s declined as has the Cubs fans’ thoughts of the Rangers farm system.

    • eternal pessimist

      Common James. The Jackson money is already spent and can’t be unspent. If he isn’t worth his 12 Million/year (or was it 13) salary we can’t just bail out of the contract. It is done and now you just need to hope he catches fire (I meant that in terms of success).

  • AD

    Brett & others, what do you think Gallardo will bring back if traded. Something similar to Ubaldo Jimenez?

    • Rebuilding

      Gallardo has been pretty bad this year. His k-rate and velocity are down. My guess would be that he might be injured. He also has a 10 team no-trade list which could decrease his value:

      Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Toronto Blue Jays,

  • North Side Irish

    Sean McNally ‏@SeanMMcNally 22m
    :-( RT @Jamieblog: The #Reds have released RHP Mark Prior who had been at AAA-Louisville.

    Not sure if this will really impact the trade market for SPs…

    • Cheryl

      Dusty didn’t do him any favors in the big leagues. Looks like he’s out of luck in the minors too.

    • Patrick G

      Would love the Cubs to sign him just to throw him in there for the last half of the season

    • Mr. Gonzo

      The “interwebs” told me that Prior has been on the DL since April 25th with a shoulder strain. It may be safe to finally retire the Prior-branded, 300-thread count twin-bed sheet set now.

      • Stinky Pete

        Sooooooooooo I’m not going to get back the $170 I spent on an autographed jersey in 2002?

        • Mr. Gonzo

          You might trot that gem past Patrick G…

  • SenorGato

    Come on Phillies…You know you want to give up Biddle. If not then FUUUUUUUUUUU too.

  • Bijan Rademacher

    Mark Prior to replace Gregg as closer!

  • North Side Irish

    Will Carroll ‏@injuryexpert 38s
    I think @benrogers just nailed it. Cost for Garza = cost for Greinke last year. I remember raves about Segura. Cubs can only hope for that!

    • North Side Irish

      Ben Rogers ‏@BenRogers 3m
      Guessing Cubs’ ask for a Garza rental will be somewhere just shy of the haul the Brewers got for Greinke in 2012. So 3 top 7 guys? No thanks

      Says the guy who covers the Rangers…

      • Rich H

        Then they can stand in line for Feldman because someone is going to bite on that deal.

  • willis

    I would love to know what the biggest hold up is with a possible extension. If it’s that cut and dry that the cubs don’t want him (stupid) and Garza wants too much, I’d love to know if it’s years, money or both. He probably knows the cubs won’t spend what other teams might, but man I’d love to know what “too much/too many” is.

    Has to be something significant because letting go of someone like Garza without even the thought of extending him is kind of shitty.

    • DarthHater

      My guess is the issue may be what Brett suggested: Garza may want to test free agency and not want his value driven down by a compensation pick, so he’s making an over-the top-demand to force the Cubs either to trade him or pay him the max he could hope for as a free agent.

      • willis

        Could be onto something there. The cub fan in me tells me that he knows this team, from what he’s learned from the FO conversations, isn’t ready to compete anytime soon and he’s asking for over the top cash (like you said) to stick around for the bumpy ride.

    • Jason Powers

      He knows he can clean up on the FA market. Why be tied to a ship that portends to be mediocre for 2 more years…and be harped on if he falters one bit? (Fans being fans.)
      1) He may want more than the FO can realistically value as fair and within budget
      2) He may not love playing for a team that has rebuild all over it. Might like to compete in the playoffs soon. (Athletes do have that to think about – legacy, glory days, etc.)
      3) Does he fit the “I want to stay here and make tradition happen”? Nope. Least not verbalized as such.

    • Rich H

      They are not “letting go” of Garza. They have offered a fair contract (never released the particulars but it was believed to be in the neighborhood of 3/4 years at 17.5 per) and he thinks he can get more security (ie years) on the open market. So he wants to try to be a Free Agent at the end of the year. That leaves the Cubs with 2 options 1 tag him at the end of the year for a compensation pick probably in the 32-35 range or 2 trade him to see if you can get a better return than that. So what ever they get back has got to be better than a 1st round pick.

      • willis

        Really? You think they offered him as much as $17.5m or so per year and he balked at it? Wow, if that is the case, then yeah, later dude. But I can’t believe they offered that much. I bet they aren’t offering more than $13-$14 per (JMO) for the sides to be this far apart. But if you’re right, or even close, hell even with my love for the guy I wouldn’t want that. $15ish would be max after the last couple of years.

        • Rich H

          It wasn’t the money( they offered more than what he is probably worth). It was the years that was an issue. His people want to try and make this his last big deal and get the most as he can make. So if you want the security hit free agency but if you want the money sign this type of thing is what I have heard.

  • Jason Powers

    What a difference a decade makes. Prior 2003: all world, Cubs fans foaming at the mouth (Old Style) to dominate the league for a decade. Prior 2013: scuffling around the AAA level. Gotten as much ‘action’ from big leagues as I have. Hope he has a hot wife…to sooth his ego once more. Clock she’s up.

  • Zachary

    The cubs would also receive the teams first round pick for who ever signs him. Unless its a protected pick right.

    • Rich H

      No it will be in between the first and second round depending on how many guys are tagged. like the Yankees ended up with picks 31 and 33 this last year from Cleveland and the Nats specifically.

  • someday…2015?

    I wonder if Boegarts is untouchable?… Imagine a scenario where we trade Garza for Boegarts and then flip Castro to the highest bidder.

    The only reason I thought of this is because of that tweet by Ben Rogers. Boegarts and Segura are very similar.

    • andoalex

      I don’t hate the idea but it seems like we would be selling pretty low on Castro.

      • Rich H

        Yes we would be selling at EXPENSIVE more than hanging up the phone like we did on Arizona this last winter. If Castro was on the market the offers would be fast and furious.Especially if we got someone like Boegarts to replace him immediately.

      • someday…2015?

        Hypothetically if it happened the Cubs could always wait till the offseason to trade Castro. Bogaerts only has 56 ABs in AAA and still needs some time.(going by the way this FO promotes prospects)

  • Rich H

    I really can not believe with as much as Cleveland has invested in this year that they are not harder on Garza that what has been reported.

  • Chris Lattier

    selling on samardzija and garza could bring back a boat load of prospects. Imagine adding Bradley, Skaggs from AZ and adding back some top prospects from other organizations…and if we can maybe sign a guy like Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez out of Cuba…and also we have the international draft…we could really, really add back to our system. Imagine all of those guys coming up within the same 2 year window as our own guys — Almora, Baez, Soler, Bryant (after he signs), Alcantara, etc…we could have an epic team. The $$ would still be there to go after a top FA….and we also will prob be able to assure a top 4 pick with next years draft…

  • curt

    now don’t get me wrong I totally get garza wanting to test the fa market but for as much money as he’s been paid and how much he’s been injured and still collected that he dosent at least give thd cubs a slight discount as a show if gratitude for their gentle handling and care if him, maybe the cubs want a bigger discount I don’t know, but if he wants outrageous money trade him yesterday .