As you’re taking in the Cubs and Pirates today, a healthy chunk from the Matt Garza rumor mill to chew on …
- Perhaps the most interesting bit to come out on the Matt Garza trade front in recent days is a report out of Baltimore that, before settling on Scott Feldman, the Orioles were in on Garza. But those talks broke down, according to Eduardo Encina, because the Cubs asked for a package that included infield prospect Jonathan Schoop, and pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. Those would be prospects three and four in the Orioles’ system (behind two guys that the Cubs aren’t getting, in Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman), and Schoop was a consensus top 100 prospect (in the 70 to 90 range) coming into the season. Rodriguez was probably just a touch out of the top 100. Schoop hasn’t put up great numbers this year, but we’re talking about a 21-year-old middle infielder who’s already reached AAA. Rodriguez tore up High-A, and has now reach AA at just 20-years-old. That’s the range of prospects you’d like to see the Cubs getting in a Garza deal (more about that tomorrow), and I am very encouraged to know that the Cubs are, at present, asking a very steep price for the top trade chip on the market. My guess is the Cubs were asking for more than Schoop and Rodriguez, too.
- Ken Rosenthal says that the Texas Rangers remain interested in Matt Garza, just as they were at this time last year. Rosenthal’s sources tell him what we’d already long heard: the Cubs and Rangers were extremely close to making a trade for Garza – maybe even that night when his elbow injury flared up. The Rangers are likely to remain in the mix for Garza up until he’s moved, and although their system is no longer considered a top five or maybe even ten system, it’s still plenty deep to put together a quality package for Garza. Wouldn’t it be incredible if the two sides come together on a deal involving Garza, third base prospect Mike Olt and pitching prospect Martin Perez? That was the rumored deal last year, when Olt’s and Perez’s stocks were much, much higher than they are today (and Garza’s value was much higher). A part of me is wishing that that’s the precise deal that happens, not only because it’s an acceptable take for the Cubs, but because then I could pretend that whole elbow injury thing didn’t screw the Cubs at all.
- The Nationals also have interest in Garza, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Kilgore describes that interest as “kicking the tires,” and that no formal offer has been made. That, to me, sounds like a, “hey, Theo and Jed, we’ve got some interest in Garza, but we don’t want to give up much … how much are you asking?” type of thing. That’s probably how many of these conversations start. With Dan Haren injured/ineffective and Ross Detwiler headed to the disabled list, the Nationals are probably as interested in picking up a pitcher as any team in baseball, especially when you consider how theoretically stacked their roster is, and how they are still somehow five games out of a playoff spot. As with the Rangers, there is plenty in the system that matches up well in a trade with the Cubs, so the Nats could become a very interesting trading partner.
- Beyond the Boxscore takes a deep look at Garza’s value as a starter, and value in the trade market. Summing up the conclusion – and you should actually read the piece – it looks like there is a fair bit of justification to expect a healthy return.
- In case you missed it yesterday, the Marlins traded Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers in a deal that has a number implications here for the Cubs. Speaking of which, Jim Bowden says the Dodgers weren’t all that interested in Garza, given the asking price. Nolasco was described as “more realistic.” There’s not much there, other than to underscore the point that the Cubs have a very high asking price for Garza.