miami marlins logoFor a couple weeks now, I’ve been closely watching the Miami Marlins’ efforts to deal Ricky Nolasco. As one of the better rental starting pitchers on the market, a Nolasco deal is going to impact the Cubs’ efforts to deal Matt Garza in a variety of ways, including by impacting the market’s desire/need for pitching, and by arguably setting a “floor price” on a Garza deal.

Well, it sounds like after at least a week of being on the verge of a deal, the Dodgers are finally going to get Nolasco. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Marlins are “getting close” to a deal that would send three prospects to the Marlins, with the Dodgers taking on all of Nolasco’s remaining salary ($5.5 million). Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro says that although the deal is for three pitchers, only two are “prospects.” Rosenthal described the players involved as not “upper echelon” types. Frisaro expects the deal to be done tonight.

I’ll keep watching this deal this evening and update you as it comes to pass (or doesn’t), together with my thoughts on how the deal impacts the Garza market.

The initial reaction – and not speaking to the Marlins’ return – is that this is good news for the Cubs. The Dodgers are arguably in the market for as many as two starting pitchers, so landing Nolasco does not necessarily take them out of the Garza market. Though it probably does take them out of his market, with most teams looking for a starter, you wouldn’t even be able to say there was a chance – so that’s a positive. Put differently: Nolasco to the Dodgers takes a pitcher off of the market without necessarily taking a trading partner off of the market.

More importantly, Nolasco bolstering the Dodgers in the tightly-knitted NL West is a great thing for the Cubs, as they will potentially be shopping Garza to each and every team in that division. Now, perhaps, the other four teams will get a little more liberal with their offers.

As for the return, it sounds like it won’t be great, what with the Dodgers taking on all of Nolasco’s salary. Hopefully, when it comes time to deal Garza – who is inarguably a superior option than Nolasco, but they’re in a similar ballpark – the Cubs will emphasize prospect return, rather than money savings.

UPDATE (6:14pm CT): Frisaro says one of the arms going to the Marlins is Steve Ames, a minor league reliever with solid numbers across the board. He was the Dodgers’ 15th best prospect to John Sickels coming into the season. Presumably, then, he’s one of the two “prospects” in the deal, but hopefully not the headliner. A 25-year-old reliever, even one with great minor league numbers, isn’t much of a center piece for Nolasco, and wouldn’t really move the needle on Garza.

UPDATE 2 (7:35pm CT): Chris Cotillo reports that the other two pitchers in the deal are Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall, confirmed by Jon Heyman. Other folks aren’t quite ready to confirm Sanchez in the deal. It sounds like the Dodgers will also be getting international pool money, which could be skewing the return.

UPDATE 3 (7:43pm CT): Wall is a so-so relief pitcher/prospect. He’s 26 and has had a cup in the bigs, but doesn’t have tremendous numbers in the minors (in his defense, he’s pitched in a whole lot of hitter-friendly locations). Sanchez, 23, is an intriguing prospect with decent numbers, but who still at High-A. He was well-regarded, though, by MLB.com going into the season – it had him as the Dodgers’ 8th best prospect. He does not appear in the top 20 on other lists out there, though, and his stock is probably falling a bit.

UPDATE 4 (7:53pm CT): Big-time Dodgers blogger Mike Petriello loves the deal for the Dodgers, which tells you all you need to know about the perceived value of these three pitchers going to the Marlins (and that’s not considering the international pool space the Dodgers are reportedly getting). Assuming the deal proceeds as has been reported, the Marlins return – in early July, mind you – is quite thin. A decent relief prospect, a so-so low-level (but older) pitching prospect, and a so-so middle reliever. They get Nolasco’s salary paid for, which is obviously the priority for the Marlins. Ultimately, I was hoping to see the Marlins get a shockingly large return for Nolasco, because that would justify the Cubs’ gaudy demands for Matt Garza. What we have is a pretty “meh” return, which is probably a commensurate value for what the Dodgers got. That’s fine, and Garza is the superior pitcher. But this doesn’t really help the Cubs if they wanted to point to Nolasco as a low-end comparable.

UPDATE 5 (7:59pm CT): Just to button it up on the value here, Bill Shaikin notes that, going into the season, Baseball America had Wall, Ames, and Sanchez ranked 20, 21, and 25 in a weak farm system. And I’d argue that Wall’s and Sanchez’s stock is down further from there. This is flat-out a very weak return for Nolasco, and I’m going to do some scrambling to emphasize just how much better of a trade option Matt Garza is …

  • I love marmol

    Cubs should keep Garza.

    • Patrick

      What’s your reasoning? Nobody thinks he’ll sign an extension so if we dont trade him the best we get is draft pick compensation which we could easily surpass in a trade.

      • Patrick

        Never mind, I just realized I’m talking to someone named “I love Marmol” so I should have expected this response.

        • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          Now that was funny Patrick. Don’t you just love blanket statements like that? With a name like that, and a comment like that, I would be willing to wager he was trolling unfortunately.

          • Jay

            Would have been nice if they would have saved the money they pissed away on Edwin Jackson and used it to tie up Garza instead, but he’s the best trade chip we have to get REAL top-shelf prospects and so we’re going that route instead.. Cubs will eat all of his remaining salary if they can get top-flight arms for the farm in return.

            • MichiganGoat

              It’s not so much about the money but about the years and NTC that Garza wants.

              • Rich H

                Yep. 5 years and a NTC. Wait let me spell that out for you…… FIVE YEARS for a guy that has a history of arm trouble. Please do not let the door hit you on your way out Mr Garza. I like you a lot as a player and a leader but your demands just do not match the Cubs idea of value on that one.

                • Cyranojoe

                  Not nearly the kind of history you think. But the NTC is still a no-brainer, that’s not happening here anytime soon.

                  • Blublud

                    Can you blame him for wanting a NTC? I don’t, not with this FO’s record of using players as assets instead people. I don’t blame the FO either, but each side has to protect itself.

      • sven-erik312

        I get your points Patrick, but Garza is a fine pitcher. Trading him this year, as I see it. Is a signal from the FO that they don’t see the team as being a playoff contender next year.

        • Drew7

          He isn’t signed for next year, so I’m not sure how trading him this year sends any signals.

  • Die hard

    Dodgers to pick up salary provided he agreed to sign long term deal… Garza not willing to sign as of now anyway… What’s Cubs leverage ?

    • Patrick

      The many pitching desperate teams looking for that extra edge in their division or a solid 3 pitcher for the playoffs. The Cubs can play those teams needs off of them.

      • Die hard

        But they don’t want to rent pitcher … Cubs don’t want to pick up salary…. Impasse

        • Patrick

          And why won’t the Cubs pick up the salary? They’ve already said they’ll pick up more salary if that means getting better prospects.

          • BT

            Die hard’s points make a lot more sense if he gets to make up facts. So in his world, the Cubs won’t take on salary. It’s that simple

            • MichiganGoat

              Exactly – Die Hardian Logic cannot be understood (because it only exists in the Bizarro universe that Die hard creates) just sit back and enjoy the show.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                We need emoticons so I can use the eating popcorn one. Sit back and enjoy the crazy show.

                • MichiganGoat

                  It’s as enjoyable as a bad B movie on Netflix

                  • Rich H

                    I actually enjoy Netflix. I get to catch up on all the old series I love. Now most of the movies I can do with out but the TV stuff is pretty cool.

        • Cyranojoe

          They may sound the same, but “impasse” and “b.s.” don’t the same. Just an FYI.

          • Cyranojoe

            *don’t mean the same.

  • EricR

    I’d much rather see Garza go to the AL. Maybe Rangers.

  • J. Edwards

    I’m glad Dodgers picked up the salary. That means the prospects don’t have to be as good…and might leave some of the better ones for the Cubs if the TRADE FOR ALL THE PLAYERS Dodgers want to add Garza, too.

    I have to think the Cubs plan to pay Garza’s salary in exchange for higher quality players.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Baez HR in first AA AB!!!

  • Brian Peters

    No, the Cubs shouldn’t keep Garza.

  • TLarson

    Die Hard, I have no idea where you came up with idea that Garza would not sign an extension. Yes, he won’t with the Cubs, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t with a contender. I have been following a lot of the writers and “experts” for some time now and none say he won’t extend if traded.

  • frank

    I’ve always been in the “extend Garza” camp, but if he won’t sign an extension, then I think you have to trade him, especially if the return is worthwhile.

  • Adam

    Brett…Nolasco and Garza are certainly not comps. Our return for Feldman will be greater than what the Marlins are getting for Nolasco. This is in some fashion, a salary dump.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In a market where three or four rental starting pitchers will be dealt, there are only so many bases for comparison. Nolasco isn’t as good as Garza. But for the purposes of feeling out the market, his is a “comparable.” The salary portion is just a piece that has to be discussed – it’s not a reason to totally toss everything out.

      • jpeck

        Hey Brett, great site and great job. I dont think the bad Nolasco deal will impact Garza’s return at all. You already pointed out the reasons they are different,( Garza is better, LA taking the salary, etc. ) plus now there is one less legit starting pitcher to choose from. If a team believes Garza can get them to the finish line, they will have to invest some top prospects.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      As a separate point, you can’t really call it a salary dump when virtually every (actually, it’s probably every) team in competition would gladly take Nolasco if all they had to do was pick up his salary.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Wow. That is a terrible return for the Nolasco. I really think this hurts Garza’s trade value. Because now teams have a bar or starting point in Garza negotiations and that bar is pretty damn low, which makes it a lot harder to negotiate up. The Dodgers just essentially gave cash for Nolasco and took advantage of the small market Marlins and their cheap as can be owner

    • Die hard

      Maybe Garza signs with Yankees—Cubs pick up salary and Yanks give Cubs 20 million

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Yankees I don’t see give significant prospects for Garza and they aren’t a good match in terms of pitching prospects. The Cubs don’t want salary relief anyways, we’re looking for impact prospects. But maybe your right, I just don’t think the Yanks are going to want to pay the prospects it will cost to acquire Garza. These are the Yankees of old, when they’d trade all their prospects away for trade deadline acquisitions

      • Cyranojoe

        I’ll take 20 million prospects. :)

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Garza is a much better pitcher in my opinion. So we really deserve more but… I think this might hurt Garza’s return a little bit because of how little the Marlins got in return. This is going to make it even tougher in negotiation with teams who want Garza.

      NL West Trade Partners:
      -Padres: their out of it and my guess will be sellers
      -Rockies: Not a great fit in terms of prospects, and I don’t know if they will pursue Garza hard. They may want him, but I don’t think they will part with big pieces.
      -Giants: Not sure they’ll be buyers, and Brian Sabean is not going want to pay the price for Garza. Sabean is a tough negotiator and won’t give up great pieces for a rental
      -Arizona: They want more long term controllable pitchers (yovani gallardo), not a rental like Garza

      I really don’t know how we can spin this trade to the Dodgers as a major positive. The Dodgers essentially got Nolasco for cash (even though its significant amount), and spare parts prospects. I don’t want to be negative but I don’t think this deal is a good thing for the cubs

      • big_easy

        “Sabean is a tough negotiator and won’t give up great pieces for a rental.”

        Zach Wheeler says hello.

      • spearman

        Well, if you would like a positive. At least we didn’t get that return for garza.

  • Spencer

    heyman reporting stephen ames may be involved in the return for nolasco.

    • Spencer

      Whoops I guess I should read the update. But now Chris Cotillo reports that Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez may be the two additions.

      • MichiganGoat

        That’s better my friend 😉

    • MichiganGoat

      Or see update above buddy 😉

      • Spencer

        reading comprehension was never my strong suit :(

        • MichiganGoat

          Well then you fight right in with the misinformation that has been found around here lately.

  • Jp3

    Anyone know how Baez is doing after that 1st homer in first AB? I think we’ve all melted down the server for the Sokies site..

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    The Dodgers could also receive some international slot funds along with Nolasco, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

    • Rich H

      Wow. Why would the Marlins have to throw in pool money on that deal?

  • Kramden

    The bigger picture suggests that the D-Backs will need to respond to the Dodger move to keep pace in that division’s race. Their only real option is Garza…. Who they’ll be competing with at least the Red Sox and Rangers or.

    The mere fact that Nolasco is off the market is beyond good for the Cubs and the Marlins’ return for Nolasco is meaningless in regards to the Cubs’ potential return for Garza.

    It’s going to be all about how Epstein/Hoyer play their cards on this one and how creatively they can possibly expand a deal that includes Garza.

    The pressure’s on them and no one else. This is exactly what Ricketts is paying them the big bucks for.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I hate everything about the Marlins. Loria is such a cheap d-bag, he probably told his GM to get the salary relief and not to worry about the return.

    The thing that makes the Marlins “approach” harder to stomach is that they’ve won two World Series in the last 16 years, and we have none.

    Garza is twice the pitcher Nalasco is, and the fish were desperate to move him before his next start, because he’d probably get lit up.

    Matt is by far the premier option on the market. He’s been lights out, and has had serious playoff success. He mowed the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS if I recall correctly.

    I have faith in our guys to get maximum return.

  • Me

    Yeah but at any moment Cliff Lee could be on the market and then would be the number one target.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Not worried about Cliff Lee. Not too many teams can take on the $87.5mil owed to him over the next 3 and half years. Not to many trade partners.

  • Tom A.

    What a difference a division makes. The Dodgers trade for pitching. The Cubs trade pitching. And they are only four games apart in wins and losses.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    The Ames guy is not a bad prospect really. Aside from this year, he’s succeeded throughout the minors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP07od0XyuA – Mike Olt is being dealed on here.


    The other two will be statistically flawed too – a regression, or not in the ‘buy everything’ plans for LA. $7 Billion TV contract will do that.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    So Josh Wall – statistically flawed. Walks batters. An increasing K/9, H/9 going down..Converted to BP.

    Two BP or Batting practice guys with 5 plus years control – if they ARB price below Loria’s ceiling – and a MLB roster guy that he can call a marquee piece for Nolasco.

  • Die hard

    Bryant sign yet? When’s drop dead date? If money not issue then why don’t Cubs simply say ok — show up after All Star game and you are starting 3B for Cubs.. What’s to lose ? Another 10 games ? Who cares at this point?

    • MichiganGoat

      July 12 is the deadline… But you already now that just wanting to throw out another piece of bait I guess

      • Die hard

        So you agree that Cubs have nothing to lose by caving?

    • Me

      I understand you do this for a reaction but its pretty pathetic. Do yourself a favor instead of being on here 24/7 go volunteer at a soup kitchen or something. Make your life somewhat useful

      • Die hard

        How do you know I don’t ? Why
        are you suggesting that posting on BN is not worthwhile ? There may be 2500 who disagree. Even your comments are welcome

        • Spencer

          This may be the best comment you’ve ever left on this site.

        • Me

          Not saying its not worth while, But 24/7 is a waste of time especially when you have nothing to provide at that point it’s just a waste of time. Now maybe too its not maybe this is the only point in your day when you feel you have a friend or even somebody to listen to you but I assure you there is greener pastures somewhere out there for you. Maybe it’s time for a break

          • Spencer

            Ditto for you.

            • Me

              No thanks fuckers I’m here to stay. Get use to it

              • http://odu Greenroom

                Is it time for a group hug?

          • Bric

            Yeah, man. If you don’t agree with him that just don’t respond. This isn’t Russia… is this Russia?, No this isn’t Russia.

            • Internet Random

              Mmmmm. Smell the dissonance.

      • MichiganGoat

        It’s best at this point to just leave him alone and ignore him, I made this mistake but we all really need to ignore the increase trolling going on around here and try to only engage individuals that want to have serious discussions.

        • JayPaul

          I’ve noticed the increase as well. It’s very unfortunate, I know I’ve spent less time in the comments section. As a long time reader and newish commentor this section until recently was as useful as the actually article. It is my hope it returns to that level. It would be awesome to have a mute option available, so while taking no rights away from the trolls, the masses could effectively ignore the b.s.

  • Zach

    So this doesn’t have anything to do with the bolas I trade. But I’m at the Kane county cougars game tonight and Albert Almora just left the game. In the third inning he tried breaking up a double play and went down on a knee holding his upper right hamstring. In the top of the fourth inning he had a ball hit to him and didn’t look 100%. Mark Johnson tried taking him out but Almora told him he was staying in the game.

    • Zach

      Sorry should say Nolasco trade.

    • Die hard

      Injury prone?

      • Jp3

        Too early to say that but would like to see him play through a whole season next year or I’ll start to have thoughts of Vitters creep into the back of my mind

    • Zach


      • Zach

        Sorry people that was suppose to be the picture of Almora down with the trainer by him.

        • Internet Random

          Size it to be like 300 pixels wide, if you can.

    • Eli
      • Jimmy James

        Eat more fiber al, eat more fiber 😉

      • hansman1982


        • BT

          But Die Hard said he was injury prone. I knew he had his head up someone’s ass, if it had only been Almora’s…..

          • TOOT


        • Jp3

          C’mon coach Johnson… You have to know just say its a minor leg cramp in that situation, I can’t believe he said hemroids.

          • Kramden

            When you’re sliding into 1st and you feel something burst;




            • Jp3

              Well I guess it could’ve been worse coach Johnson, I guess you could’ve said he was menstruating and was cramping up, he’ll be good to go again in about 5-7 days. This is why some coaches have to earn promotions as well

              • Kramden

                Well, now Almora and George Brett have something in common that has nothing to do with baseball, yet both are/were baseball players.

  • Spencer

    The weak return for Nolasco, is, of course, tempered by the fact that the Dodgers will have to pay his salary for the rest of the season. With the way the Marlins have recently been operating, they probably view that as a primary reason for trading Nolasco, with the secondary benefit being acquiring prospects. I would expect the Cubs to pick up Garza’s remaining salary, and that, coupled with the fact that Garza’s a better pitcher than Nolasco, makes me think that the return the Marlins are getting from this trade won’t really depress the return for Garza all that much.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I agree with that assessment. Marlins got what they wanted, money off the books, and 3 lotto tickets that they can keep around for years, and flip if they happen to get good.

  • Mr. P

    It really pisses me off how the Dodgers seem to always get what they want while seemingly giving up nothing. I’d be happy if Dodger stadium just fell into the Pacific.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      The Dodgers gave up their TV rights to FOX for $7bil, and now they buy everyone and everything they want. I completely agree, I hate the Dodgers. They bought Yasiel Puig, and now they are about to do it with that other Cuban pitcher IFA Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez too. I pray that the MLB TV contract bubble doesn’t burst when the WGN/Comcast sportsnet deals, both separately come up, and then we could ink a massive multi-billion dollar contract, so WE can SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS

  • PadreG

    I think it’s in the Cubs favor for this to happen. Garza is left on the market and the NL West is still incredibly close. Garza is now the main starting pitcher piece left on the market. There’s a strong possibility we will see a strong bidding war go on for Garza. Favor: CUBS

  • 5412


    I look at the Garza trade being much different from Nolasco. Included in the deal should be a young ARAM, a kid who can hit and field his position.

    Our problem is hitting with RISP, we don’t always have to trade for pitching.


  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Best hitter you might be able to get for Garza would be Bosox 3B Cecchini who is killing it with a OPS over 1.000 and should be ready some time next year for the bigs.

    • YourResidentJag

      I’d also like Renaudo if we’re dealing with BoSox. Undervalued somewhat but still could be solid MLB SP.

    • Rebuilding

      Absolutely no chance to get Cecchini for Garza (and prob not Samardzija). He’ll be there starting 3b by the end of the season

      • Rebuilding


      • YourResidentJag

        Yeah, agree with this.

  • Jp3

    So I’m sure this is an absolute coincidence but Szczur got pulled near the end of Tenn game tonight and Almora got pulled after 2 ABs ? I know they don’t normally pull guys for promos from one minor team to another minor team but does anyone think there is anything to this? I hope it’s not an Almora injury again at the very least

    • another JP

      At this point in the season I’d lean toward the promos option for both of these guys. Both are due to move up, so I’m hoping to hear more good news from the affiliates this weekend.

      • Jp3

        Yeah I normally wouldn’t think anything of it and you would think another OF came in the inning or 2 as a defensive replacement but Almora is probably the best defensive CF in the organization (Chicago included) and Szczur as Luke pointed out has played very underrated defense this year so I think there are more moves on the way myself.

        • Tyler

          My brother and I where at the Kane county game and Almora got pulled because of an apparent hamstring injury when he slid into second on a grounder hit by Vogalbach. If you look at the earlier comment by Zach that is my brother

          • Jp3

            FFFFFFUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!oh sorry everyone, I was thinking out loud again after just seeing Zach and Tyler’s comments on Almora’s potential injury…. At least I didn’t finish my thought on hearing Almora might be injured again. He goes all out and you gotta love that about him

  • Timmy

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Cubs should use Garza to obtain a lengthy and expensive contract of an experienced power hitter who’s not too old. What we need is some maturity, not more “maybes”, especially if the Nolasco trade indicates that we’ll only get “OK” guys in exchange and not top 5 team prospects.

    There must be some guy like that out there.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    Can another team negotiate a longer term deal w Garza while trying to trade for him?

  • Clark Addison

    Puig got the golden sombrero tonight.

    Has the league caught up with him?

    Is he Barry Bonds or Bob Speake?

    • CubsiFaninMS

      Puig is like anyone who busts really strong onto the MLB scene. They WILL figure him out eventually (sooner rather than later). From there, it is all about adjustments. Some players can make them but it SEEMS that the “bust onto the scene” type players like him fall to grace and never end up being as good as initially perceived. You can tell he plays the game right, though, so my guess is that he’ll be a very serviceable MLB’er.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Puig needs some failure.
        He’s been super hot for 6 weeks. Most would kill for 1 of those in a career.
        Scouting report is simple: hard up/ in, hard breaking stuff away. Hates to walk. (Though he did take one in SF last night.)

        Dodgers just need to instill a plan for him to follow during ABs. He makes contact galore in the zone. No SZ discipline – like a Vlad, but he can’t handle hard up. He stands WAY too far from the plate – likes to extend. Power to all fields. He needs to move 2 inches up and get quicker inside. Dare and look for pitchers to throw inside. And get some pitch recognition away. Lay off those sliders/splitters – the poison of many a batter.

        Fun to watch! Can’t run bases for crap though – needs a pop up slide. Head first, he overslides nearly always. Seen about 15-20 games of LA lately.

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