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matt garza cubsYou’re going to see a whole lot of “this could be Matt Garza’s last start with the Cubs” pieces today – as we’ve seen on the day of each of his starts over the past couple weeks – but I’d like to avoid that here. Yes, it could be his last start, but given the increasing chatter about the Cubs’ steep asking price, I don’t know that it’s fair to conclude that today’s start is any more likely to be his last with the Cubs than his next one. Or the next one.

All we know is that, because an extension between the two sides is unlikely at this point, and because the Cubs are long out of contention, they’ve got to trade Garza at some point this month if they want to capture the value he now offers. Garza is a short-term asset on a team that doesn’t need short-term (2013) assets. The Cubs need long-term pieces, and that necessitates a trade. It’s unfortunate, depending on your desire for the Cubs to keep Garza, but it is the reality.

That said, and against the backdrop of two rental pitchers already being dealt (Scott Feldman to the Orioles, Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers), it’s fair to start trying to put a really specific price tag on Garza’s services for the remainder of 2013. We know that the Cubs want “a lot,” and want “top prospects,” but what is a reasonable return for a pitcher who is likely the best available this year at the Deadline … but who is a pure rental (i.e., a free agent at the end of the year)?

The Feldman and Nolasco comparisons are useful because they took place in the present market, but for reasons of ability/reliability/etc., they aren’t perfect comps for Garza. Therefore, maybe we can dip into the 2012 trade season for instruction on Garza’s present trade value.

Last year, the best rental pitcher moved was Zack Greinke, who went from the Brewers to the Angels for top prospect Jean Segura (quickly becoming a fixture in the Brewers’ lineup), and pitching prospects John Hellweg and Ariel Pena. At the time, Segura was the Angels’ top prospect, and was considered a top 75 prospect in all of baseball. Hellweg and Pena were top ten prospects in the system, with most services having Hellweg in the top five.

It was an excellent haul for Greinke, particularly in retrospect (at the time, some expected it would be even more). Although I can argue that Garza is “the Greinke” of this year’s rental trade class, I’m not going to argue that Garza offers as much value as Greinke did last year. Greinke had higher upside, and generally did not come with the same injury concerns that Garza does. That said, the two aren’t as far off as some would believe, and Greinke made a few million in 2012 more than Garza does this year – so that’s a minor consideration as well.

Indeed, folks are already speculating that the Cubs’ expected return on Garza is going to be something just shy of what the Brewers got last year for Greinke. It isn’t a perfect comparison, but we’re getting close.

If Greinke is an imperfect comparison on the high end, the Anibal Sanchez trade might be an imperfect comparison on the other end. When the Marlins traded Sanchez to the Tigers last year, Sanchez was long over most of the injury concerns that popped up early in his career, but wasn’t considered to offer quite as much upside as Garza does now (we could debate that point, but we’ve all been polluted by hindsight – I’m just offering my sense of the pitchers and the markets at the time). Sanchez made a couple million less than Garza does now, but you know the Marlins weren’t about to take on any cash to move him – the Cubs would be willing to do so in a Garza deal.

Where the Sanchez comparison really becomes difficult is in the nature of the trade. It wasn’t just Sanchez for prospects. It was Sanchez plus Omar Infante (a nice, cost-controlled infield piece at the time), and a slight trade-up in competitive balance draft picks for prospects. To be sure, the prospect return was pretty solid. The Tigers sent their top prospect, pitcher Jacob Turner (whose stock had slid some, but was still a top 50/100 prospect, at least), a good pitching prospect in Brian Flynn, and a good outfield prospect in Rob Brantly. Depending on your rankings service of choice, each of Flynn and Brantly were top ten prospects (back end) in the Tigers’ system. So, it was quite a haul for Sanchez and Infante.

Taking these comparisons together, you start to get a relatively clear picture of a reasonable demand on Garza: three top 10 organizational prospects, including at least one who is in the top 100 in all of baseball.

Considering also that last year’s market offered both Greinke and Sanchez (and Ryan Dempster, and Paul Maholm, and more), and this year’s market is already down two of the better available starters (Feldman and Nolasco), I don’t think using the Greinke/Sanchez frameworks is all that unreasonable. You can play around at the margins – two guys just barely in the top 100 instead of one in the top 50; three top 20 organizational prospects instead of two at the back of the top ten; young Major League players inserted; etc. – but that’s just about what the Cubs should be asking for, in terms of total value. (And, by all indications, that is, indeed, what they’re asking for.)

A price in that range is probably what the Cubs are currently sitting back, waiting for someone to meet. And until a team does, or until the Trade Deadline arrives, Garza will continue making “last starts” with the Cubs.

  • RizzoCastro

    Garza and Soriano to the Rangers.

    • SenorGato

      Yeah Rangers are probably my favorite of the realistic teams. Really, really a fan of Perez and think hes too far off for an immediate WS contender.

  • Jeff Saathoff

    Good analysis, eye opening, appreciate you writing aboutit

  • SenorGato

    One highly talented “extra” arm from one of the contenders with a talented arm they can convince themselves to spare. I gave some examples last night. Rick Porcello, the weak link in the Tigers rotation. Jesse Biddle, a top LHSP prospect who walks 4 per 9 and was a Handy recruit coming out of HS. Martin Perez, who has a great arm and athleticism but needs consistency and command.

    I don’t expect high quantity at all, just one prospect were not “supposed” to be able to land due to talent and winning being secondary to years of control.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    It would appear that the Rangers are still the front runners in the Garza derby and if the Cubs include an OF’r in the deal, including cash with Soriano, then a fair return would be (RHP’s -Font, CJ Edwards, LHP Claudio, and C Alfaro).

    • SenorGato

      Extremely intriguied by Alfaro. The right size, top athlete for the position, performing well…far enough away that they just might do it.

  • mdavis

    I think the Rangers match up well. Olt’s stock is well down, so maybe they could nab him as a complimentary piece? something like Olt, Jackson, Ramirez? or Perez which has long been the name thrown around. I could be dreaming though, idk.

  • caryatid62

    The fun part of this is knowing that, assuming Brett’s projection is correct, the Cubs will have a new #1 pitching prospect within the next 2-3 weeks. Right now, I assume it is:

    Johnson
    Vizcaino
    Blackburn
    Arrieta(?)(ugh)

    • willis

      Until Vizcaino throws a real pitch, I’m not counting him as a top prospect. I’m waiting to see if this dude can stay healthy. What good is talent when it’s always hurt?

      • caryatid62

        That’s fair. I was thinking the same about Paniagua, but not in terms of injury.

        • willis

          Definitely, if the cubs can right those two ships, along with the drafted arms and arms picked up this year via trades, all of the sudden the pitching looks pretty damn good up and down the organization.

    • mdavis

      i wouldnt write off Maples yet. and we also have Skulina and Z (2nd rounder this year). Arrietta is 27, i dont think he’s really “prospect” now. otheriwse i think your top 3 are right.

      • willis

        Hendricks pitches the first game tonight for TN, if he keeps it up we have to start throwing him in there as well. Dude is murdering AA.

        I’m with you on Maples. Huge Maples fan, hope he can figure it out.

        • mdavis

          agreed, even though he was drafted a couple years ago i gotta remind myself he’s been hurt for 2 years. so he;’s still basically just getting his feet wet. only 20 years old also.

  • That guy (for now)

    Nolasco to the Dodgers, right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah. That Guy.

  • YourResidentJag

    I still like the Red Sox way more than the Rangers. Why? In the latest BA minor league prospect ratings Renaudo is #37.

  • EricR

    From the Rangers I’d take Olt, Font, and Valdespina

  • Oswego chris

    Nice comps…Greinke deal was enhanced because of Angel ownerships desperation because of their payroll, hence they overpaid…

    The question is…are there any desperate teams out there?

    • ssckelley

      The Angels again appear to be desperate. That is a very expensive team to be sitting 2 games below .500 and Joe Blanton has been awful. Anything left in their farm system?

      • YourResidentJag

        Not really. A 3b who is top #100 but not really a standout.

    • Oswego chris

      The Nats could be considering they might have won last year had they not shut down Strasberg…

      • Bilbo161

        The Nats handled his pitch-count limit thing all wrong. There is no way you don’t have Stausburg pitching in the playoffs. No excuses, if they wanted to limit his pitch count they should have had the foresight to slow him down or start him later in the season. This game is about championships. They were stupid!

      • miggy80

        I also keep thinking that this will come into play. Hope they have pressure from their fan base to pull the trigger and over pay for a competitive piece like Garza.

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

      Don’t think so. The LA v. Arizona series will tell a lot. If either sweeps, that causes some concern. Texas and Oakland always battle – you’d think the Angels could catch both.

      The NL Central – do the Pirates want to stand pat? Figure they can ride to at least a wild card?

      Jed “Trader” Hoyer was born this month.

    • YourResidentJag

      KC is desperate bu they really need a bat and BADLY.

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

        But they know the likelihood to that to pass Cleveland AND Detroit, and do anything in the playoffs is pretty slim, if not Cubs-like. They have to see the Pirates, and hope that one day will be them.

      • ssckelley

        I always thought they would make the perfect trade partner for DeJesus. But they are 6 games behind the Tigers and 3 games below .500 so it is difficult to see the Royals as buyers at this point.

  • BD

    Is a trade with Arizona that centers on Skaggs or Bradley out of the realm of possibility?

    • Rebuilding

      Yes, unless you are talking about moving Samardzija

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, I really can’t fathom them dealing either of those guys in a Garza deal.

    • Rich H

      For Garza yes. For Shark? No but the Cubs want both and Arizona is not ready to do that.

      • Chad

        The only way the cubs get either of them is by sending Samardzija, in which case I think the cubs should only do that if they get both of them. Or one of them plus another elite prospect, not necessarily a pitcher, but both pitchers would be ideal.

        • X the Cubs Fan

          I wonder if they would bite on Shark, Garza and Soriano+cash for Skaggs, Bradley, Davidson and Holmberg

          • YourResidentJag

            A man can dream.

          • Rebuilding

            I think any scenerio involving Skaggs AND Bradley is pretty much a non-starter unless your talking about Trout or Harper. I doubt they would do it for Stanton even and we know they won’t for Shark

          • Rich H

            I think if Shark goes on the market you will see a huge return without adding anyone into the mix. Wait and see if Cleveland shows up at his next start.

            • Rebuilding

              The problem with Cleveland is who would you want in return. You aren’t getting Lindor. Bauer has taken a nosedive over the last year and a half. I like Danny Salazar, but he isn’t nearly enough. They don’t have much of a system

              • Rich H

                I agree I am just saying that if Cleveland or another team jumps in then we will see what the league actually thinks the value is for Shark.

                But I think a trade starting with Baer and Salazar gets the conversation started. Especially if they trade some of the glut of OF’ers from the major league roster.

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

      Skaggs threw really well in his last start. Arizona is better off riding his stuff down the stretch. He’ll get OJT in the pennant race. Sink or swim. Which, can produce some great results, IMHO.

  • Rebuilding

    Well, the Rangers are so injury depleted at this point that they only list 4 starters on their depth chart with Grimm as their #3 (Yikes). So they are going to have to move for some pitching. That’s part of the reason I think they will be even more reluctant to move Perez than they normally would be. They just need warm bodies to start games. But if we were to include Villanueva as well…

  • Jay

    Too bad Garza doesn’t have another year left on his current deal—we could really clean out somebody’s farm system if he did.

    • SenorGato

      Believe me, if he did have that extra year the reason for not getting a big haul would be that he isn’t good enough. There’s alwaaaaaaaaays something that undermines the ML and pedestals prospects these days.

  • caryatid62

    So, based upon who we know is likely in on Garza, some pitcher names might include:

    Blue Jays: Stroman, Sanchez
    Rangers: Leonys Martin, Martin Perez
    Giants: Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton
    Padres: Max Fried, Casey Kelly (injured)

    I’d have to consider any deal for Garza that includes any of those names (especially if they’re packaged with varying degrees of lesser prospects) to be a win.

    • caryatid62

      I would guess that the biggest reach on the list above is Fried, btw.

      • Rebuilding

        The biggest problem with any of the Padres is that I don’t think they are buyers anymore

        • Rebuilding

          I think my dream trades for Garza at this point are:

          Arizona: Holmberg and Trahan
          Dodgers: Zach Lee (severe longshot, but it is Coletti)
          Texas: Perez
          Detroit: Porcello (I’ll go along with you Gato)

          • YourResidentJag

            I keep saying this but don’t give up on Renaudo. He’s having a solid bounce back season and when he was initially drafted by Theo, he was consider a top prospect out of LSU.

            • Rebuilding

              Yes, I should have added either Ranaudo, Owens or Swihart as the main piece from Boston

          • Cleanup poster

            What kind of prospect is Zachary Lee ?

            • Cleanup poster

              Zach… Stupid auto correct

            • On The Farm

              Pretty good SP prospect. Theo really wanted to trade him for Garza last season.

            • Rebuilding

              Lee was always very highly regarded in scouting circles, but he has really started to put together the production to match this year. He’s dominating in AA, but with the pickup of Nalasco and (Garza) he really doesn’t have a place with the win now Dodgers. Here is a dated article from 2011 that gives you some of his basics:

              http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/11/11/prospect-instinct-zach-lee-rhp-los-angeles-dodgers/

              • ssckelley

                Interesting article, it made me compare where he is at today compared to Appel who is the same age and just made his first start in low A minors. But because Lee is in the Dodgers system instead of the Astros Appel may end up in the majors first.

            • Jim

              With Puig now on the Dodgers, Lee is their top prospect and one that the Cubs have gone after before. 21 year old righty. #65 in the top 100 prospects.

              • Rebuilding

                One thing about the Dodgers is that they might look at Garza as more than just a rental. With their money they were prob going to go after him after the season anyway so having in the fold prob wouldn’t hurt in their efforts to try and sign him after the season. He’ll, they might just offer him an extension he couldn’t refuse

                • On The Farm

                  They are going to need their own federal reserve bank to create cash to sign Garza and Kershaw.

                  • Rebuilding

                    It seems they’ve got one called Time Warner Cable. $7 billion over 25 years can sign a lot of pitchers

          • On The Farm

            I think my dream deals would be in order

            1.Boston- some combination of Renaudo, Owens, Webster, and Workman.
            2.Texas- Perez, plus this trade would likely include two players going from the Cubs so the haul could be considerable from this team
            3.Dodgers-I really like Zach Lee
            4.Getting Porcello, but I don’t know enough about the rest of DET system for me to get more excited over the first three teams I mentioned. I would have to assume it would be more than a Porcello for Garza swap and I am just not knowledgeable enough to make a judgement call on this team, but I know Porcello is a great center piece.

    • YourResidentJag

      Boston: Workman, Renaudo, Owens.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        Best return so far.

        • YourResidentJag

          I’ll take two out of the three if Boston would add Swihart.

          • On The Farm

            Swihart is the C propsect correct? If I am thinking of the right guy thats a lickin’ your chops kind of move.

            • YourResidentJag

              Yeah, we REALLY need a C prospect in this system too.

              • On The Farm

                Remember the Alamo

      • On The Farm

        This, Boston just put Miller on the DL, if we include a RP like Gregg I think we should be able to get two of those three, plus another guy. If we went outside the box and included Russell I don’t think it is insane to think we could get two of those pitchers and someone like Bentz.

        • YourResidentJag

          Agreed, Boston needs more bullpen.

        • Bilbo161

          I think the Cubs are certainly asking for more than the second tier guys for Garza alone. If you start adding more MLB talent to the trades you have to ask for the top tier.

    • jpeck

      Dont think the cubs are getting SF’s Crick. I really like him.

  • Garrett

    If you look at what the Cubs gave up to get Garza, that should tell you a lot of what they could get in a return. Players such as Chris Archer and Hak Ju Lee were the main part of the deal to acquire Garza a few years back, and they were both top prospects in the Cubs system. Chicago needs to get at least 3 top ten prospects and probably a little more.

    • RizzoCastro

      Wow they wont get more than three guys for Garza. That deal was when he had years left in Arb. Now he is looking for a new contract so the team may just get a rental 3 players of a teams top 10 prospects would be good.

      • X the Cubs Fan

        They will get a better return for Garza than what they traded for him.

    • SenorGato

      I’m expecting better quality than Archer (the 5 BB/9 keeed) and Lee (a Low A SS who is more Barney than Jester).

      • SenorGato

        Also keep in mind that those guys were hot when the whole minor league world was recovering from mass graduations of some of the games most talented players. Archer and Lee had timing on their side. The minor leagues were universally considered down in quality from very recent years before where guys like J. Upton, McCutchen, Strasbourg, Bruce, and so on and on occupied the lists.

    • hansman1982

      We don’t need to get the same value that we gave up for Garza, remember, we got to use him for 2.5 seasons.

    • Rich H

      Remember when we traded for Garza we traded 2 guys that were huge upside and well though of but they were what I call 4 year suspects (meaning in 4 years we will see if they are suspects or prospects). It would be like trading Garza now for Vogelburg and Blackburn. There is a strong possibility of it being a fair trade but either team could get burned. That is why the Cubs are looking for closer to the majors guys this time through.

  • Brian Peters

    I hope the next time I read something about Garza, it details the deal sending him somewhere. Kinda tired of hearing how much he’s worth. The Cubs need to get what they can get before he gets hurt again.

  • Sully

    Hey Brett heard you on The Score over the weekend. Good job.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Sully.

  • Ralph

    If the Cubs can pick up a haul similar to what Brett has mentioned, I would be happy. It would compare a bit to what the Cubs had to give up to get Garza in the first place.

  • SenorGato

    I believe Segura was a top 55 prospect last year BTW. Maybe he came in at 57.

    • hansman1982

      Both of those are right, kinda:

      Pre-2011: Rated #57 Prospect
      Pre-2012: Rated #55 Prospect

      Per his MiLB page on Baseball-Reference.com

      • SenorGato

        Im always in the vicinity of right, at least.

  • Eric

    could this blog post be considered a “boner” blog?

  • Ivy Walls

    fascinating parlour game

    • Ivy Walls

      Soriano is an interesting piece, and would bring about bigger changes throughout the organization. Gregg is another piece that will cause much use of ions for the NSA to collect. Finally I could see Navaro being dealt near the trade deadline.

  • Dustin S

    Assuming Sveum doesn’t tweak the rotation at the ASB, it looks like Garza’s remaining starts after today and before the deadline would be the 13th vs STL, the 22nd @AZ, and the 27th @SF. So if not today, I can understand the incentive for the front office to have something happen before his next start against a tough Cards lineup. Either way, it’s a good bet that either today or Saturday will be his last home start as a Cub.

    • On The Farm

      Garza has been pretty spectacular thus far into the season, but something Brett has mentioned a few times is to not get tied up with every pitch and every start having an impact on Garza’s value. He did just shut down a contender when the Cubs were in Oakland so its not like a start vs STL where he gives up a few runs is going to dimish his value. The other Clubs know what kind of pitcher they are getting when they get Garza, the more important aspect is his health, which appears to be A-okay.

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

    See MLB Trade Rumors has us going after RHP Jen Ho Seng: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5SlG_SUurI. He has a Yu Darvishy quality of course.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/cubs-notes-.html
    and of course Tim Dierkes reiterates the pool money and penalties, which we know are exploitable by the loopholes in that system, going forward, as pointed out by Brett in an earlier post

  • Leo

    Nothing to do with Garza but heard this on the radio.Third baseman Kris Bryant is one of five first-rounders who remains unsigned;  Hoyer was reluctant to provide an update on negotiations with adviser Scott Boras, but said, “We’re confident we’ll get it done. We’ll make it an exceptionally fair offer. If Kris wants to be a Cub and be a professional baseball player, I’m confident we’ll get a deal done. Sometimes it takes a deadline to make a deal, and we have a deadline coming up shortly. In a lot of ways, I think it’s a plus at this point.”

  • Joe

    Brett – thoughts on Garza potentially signing an extension as part of a deal with the new team? Increases the haul? Bit likely?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I’ll chime in – I think Garza really wants to hit the market. He’d be the best pitcher (its a weak market) and wants to see if he can get that next big contract. Now if the team that trades for him offers him a deal he can’t refuse I’m sure would listen (that team will have that exclusive negotiating window), but I don’t think he will sign until after the season. If he gets to the playoffs and has an great performance his value goes up greatly and that is what he will be pitching toward. My guess is he dreams of a 80-90M contract but unless either LA team gets wild again I don’t think we will get much more than 65-70M. Again this all depends on how he does in the post season. He could have a Josh Beckett like run then who knows what he will get, but he is going to test the waters and as a trade goes it is just a rental and we need to measure our expectation because of that.

    • Part of the Core

      To me, the Cubs discussing an extension with Garza has negotiating ploy written all over it.

      First, it signals to other teams interested in Garza that the Cubs have other options.

      Two, another scenario is the Cubs do not trade Garza by the deadline, keep him the remainder of the year, and then give him a ‘qualifying offer’. The Cubs may be gathering info from the Garza camp on where they stand with an offer so that the ‘qualifying offer’ is below what Garza is wiling to accept. Garza then hits the open market, signs with another team and the Cubs get a supplemental first round pick.

      The second scenario is probably the Cubs’ worst case scenario, one where they end up with one 30-35 number pick in next year’s first round.

  • Crockett

    I think a vastly overlooked situation here is that the Cubs could do Garza plus a prospect or two (even ones that we, as Cub fans, consider good ones) for an increased haul of pitching that the Cubs really like.

    Garza and Candelario/Vogelbach etc for Perez, Olt, and Font…etc.

    I would not put a situation like that past this front office at all. Add pieces that are farther away and maybe a little less projectable to make sure you secure exactly what you want.

    • SenorGato

      Agreed its an underrated scenario.

  • Ralph

    Jon Heyman was just on MLBN talking about the Cubs possibly extending Garza instead of trading him. Anything is possible, but what’s up with that… just posturing?

  • North Side Irish

    Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 38s
    in big switch, #cubs now talking about signing Matt Garza to long-term deal. http://cbsprt.co/18IN1sL

    • Stinky Pete

      That’s called leverage.

    • Chad

      increasing trade value.

    • TonyP

      Please do, we need pitching and Garza is a solid 2 and young enough….

    • willis

      I wish that was the case and not just posturing. Would love an extension.

    • Jay

      Make this happen IF the big trade (comp to Greinke trade last year) is not going to occur. Garza is a winner & a great teammate! Need a package to ARZ for Skaggs & Bradley though > add other pieces to complement a deal.

    • jh03

      I can’t figure out the angle here…

      • TonyP

        Why trade a proven 2 for some pieces that may or may not prove to be anything???? Would you rather have a stud pitcher or

        July 7, 2008: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later, Rob Bryson (minors), Zach Jackson and Matt LaPorta. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Michael Brantley (October 3, 2008) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.

        Brantley is looking okay but he isn’t worth an ACE………….

        • willis

          Exactly. The odds are that Garza’s production>whatever return he brings. We’ll have to wait and see but I’d rather keep him.

          • TonyP

            As long as you can get him for a market deal, hell yes. He already is what you hope to get in a trade………

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          CC is a bad comp here, the Indians had to trade him because everyone know he was going to become a FA and get Yankee money. Garza is hoping for that huge contract and will only except a contract he thinks he will get as a free agent. Can you blame him to go after the only opportunity he’ll have to cash in? Good luck to him and thankfully we have a FO that won’t give in just to keep a player.

          • TonyP

            Nope I don’t blame him at all, but if it is possible to get him signed; I would much rather have a known commodity…. If Garza’s demand is way over what the FO values him at then I get it…..

          • On The Farm

            Agreed, what if they hang on to Garza and find out the two sides aren’t as close as they hoped they would be after Garza finishes the season. At that point all the Cubs get is a draft pick, is one compesation draft pick > than getting three prospects? The answer is most likely no.

            • TonyP

              Agreed, an extension would need to be made now. Can’t risk getting only a comp pick….

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                and if you were Garza would you sign now OR get traded to a contender hope to kick ass during the playoffs and then cash in your Golden Ticket?

                • TonyP

                  That is a good point from Garza’s point of view. I obviously don’t know how far apart they are or if Garza is even open to one. I’m just saying I would much rather have an extension than prospects. I understand the reasoning behind an extension not happening however…..

            • cms0101

              I say make the best trade you can and then go after him in the free agent market next season if you can’t fill the rotation hole internally. He probably won’t sign an extension with any team he’s traded to, so that leaves at least the possibility of him signing back with the Cubs. It’s not likely, but getting prospects now still provides a slight chance they could resign him in the offseason.

          • SenorGato

            Actually everyone had Oakland as the front runners for Sabathia that yeas. Yankees pimp smacked them and reminded everyone they are the Yankees – that offseason they lost at least two huge deals from the books (Mussina, Giambi) and had money to burn.

        • ssckelley

          This is why the Cubs are paying big bucks for good scouts so the Cubs are not on ugly end of deals like this. I remember once the Cubs traded for an ace “rental” pitcher and they gave up a prospect who would go on to be a 5 time all star, WS MVP, and hit 396 career home runs. Perhaps the Cubs will be on the other end of a deal like that.

    • ssckelley

      This is a great move by both sides as Garza understands his value in the free agent market will suffer if he remains with the Cubs. The Cubs would make him a qualifying offer that would require another team to give up their draft pick if they sign him. I could see a sign and trade scenario happen here.

    • North Side Irish

      I assume it’s leverage too…but it could be that they aren’t getting the offers they want yet and decided to take one last run at an extension. But it’s probably leverage or trying to speed up the process.

      • willis

        I would be ecstatic if they were taking a run at an extension and find a way to keep him. Highly unlikely but it would be an awesome outcome.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          I’m indifferent with him right now, if it is a deal then sure sign him but if he wants FA dream money then trade him away.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      yup just a well timed leak to put pressure on the market, Garza will not be here next year unless his previous demands come down. Particularly his need for a NTC and I think he was asking for a 6+ year deal. 5/60M is the max I think this front office would consider, but if you extend him a contract past a couple years his 5/10 rights will kick in before the contract is over and I think this FO really hates to be stuck with aging players that have NTC (see Soriano).

      • JulioZuleta

        I just don’t see much of a point if he isn’t going to take a team friendly deal. Trade him and then try to re-sign him. Seems to like Chicago, you could probably get a similar deal + a solid prospect return.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          I thought the same thing about Dempster last year but the whole trade’em/resign’em is really rare, and will likely not happen.

          • On The Farm

            Difference here being Dempster is a pretty good 2/3 pitcher, but at the time we signed him he would be getting up there in age.

            Garza is a 1a/2 pitcher who with the signing of his contract will be in a better position to get peaks years out of him while we are in our window. The situations are different since Dempster wasn’t in his peak window (Garza is) and they would be paying Dempster (who signed a 2 year deal ’13/’14) you aren’t exactly signing him when you are going to make a push for the playoffs.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Still the trade’em/resign’em thing is more of a fan dream. I can’t think of a player that has ever done that during their peak years.

              • On The Farm

                I agree with you that it is rare, but if the Cubs are in the market for a top shelf SP and Garza’s the best name out there it seems to be a lot more feasible.

                I mean the Cubs looked at Dempster and said “We can replace the caliber of pitcher he was in this market, lets get Feldman.” But replacing a fringe ace/great number two, there are no Feldman’s that will be available.

                I guess I am talking in circles, but to me re-signing Garza after he is traded seems more likely than a snowball’s chance in hell, but more like a glacier’s chance in hell. Its bigger so the window will be open to sign him a bit longer.

      • willis

        Could it be more years and NTC than money? If you told me the Cubs and Garza agreed to 3/$45-$48 million, I’d poop my pants with excitement. But if you told me it was 5 or 6 years at a lower yearly, I’d not like it.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Its chasing the dream contract: Long Years, Large Money, and NTC. He might get it or he might end up on a one/two year prove it contract. But he isn’t taking the prove it contract until he is certain that he can’t get the Golden Ticket Contract.

      • Jp3

        Leverage play, well played Theo/Jed. I’m sure the FO convo went, “well what will it take to get him to our team Jed? We’ve got an excellent bullpen catcher we’d hate to lose but…” (Interrupts Jed) “you know what, we’ll just resign him for 4 years and stick it to you a couple times a year for a few years, how about them apples?”.

    • SenorGato

      Before cries of injury risk rain down – anybody remember what a wreak Dempster was physically as a young pitcher? I believe he ran into more than a couple elbow problems (including surgery) before cruising through his 30s without much DL time.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Yeah and Catfish Hunter, Nolan Ryan, Jamie Moyer…. this is where you trust that the team understands where Garza’s health and longevity projects.

  • Chris Hart

    I know that everyone likes to throw out there own trade proposals but I was just curious what everyone would think about a deal to the Indians for

    SS- Dorssys Paulino (A)
    SS- Ronny Rodriguez (AA)
    RHP- Danny Salazar (AAA)

    I know that it may not be as exciting as nabbing someone like Skaggs, Bauer or Cole but it feels like maybe a more realistic proposal. You can never have enough middle infielders who have good offensive upside and Salazar was a sleeper prospect that has good stuff with possibly #3 Starter upside. He has pitched well this year and could be a member of the rotation in 2014, which seems to be what the front office is looking for. This would not be my favorite potential trade but I would not be disappointed by it either as Salazar could be a contributor next year. What do you guys think?

    • SenorGato

      Not a fan but I have almost no eye for guys like Paulino or RR. Prospect guys seem to be high on them IIRC. They liked Segura when I was all like, who? Just don’t see guys like that.

      OTOH Trevor Bauer has gone from massively overrated to thrown aside in less than a year.#prospectlyfe As it is not because of injury I am still interested. I never bought the super ace #1 pitcher of the future stuff and said all last year that I did not see him breaking out until his mid-20s into a playiff rotation quality starter. Seems like a good time to grab him.

      • Rebuilding

        I agree with this. I would much rather try to get Bauer while his stock is down then get two middle infield prospects. A year ago he was considered untouchable (obviously not). Salazar is a nice prospect and ML ready. A package of Salazar and Bauer would be a very nice return

        • SenorGato

          If Im not mistaken, the MIF guys are more highly thought of than Salazar. At least one of them is.

          Salazar smells like a reliever. Short, topped out at 107 innings in the minors…I like Bauer’s long termnability to turn into a 3 over his.

          • Rebuilding

            They are more highly rated, but it seems to be mainly because they are MI prospects. Both are more field first types (although Rodriguez has some pop). I would rather have the arm given our current situation. Salazar had TJS surgery so that set him back:

            “After requiring Tommy John surgery on his elbow after an injury in May 2010, which cost him most of two seasons, his pitch counts have been closely monitored the past two years. But with a fastball Arnold said hits 98 mph — “With his arm, it’s fun just to watch him throw long toss, how easy he does it,” Arnold said — a solid changeup and a developing slider, he is still on track.”

            • SenorGato

              MI prospects with pop and glove intrigue me more than one of the hundreds of guys said to have mid-rotation upside despite a lack of something (in this case innings and size). Not denying Salazar has a good arm, just not buying it as a starter arm.

              • SenorGato

                Also knew about the TJ surgery.

                • Rebuilding

                  Well, we should get to see him pitch in the big leagues soon. The Indians got rid of Carrasco and appear to be favoring calling up Salazar over Bauer

  • SenorGato

    I’m dreaming of Perez, another prospect arm of their RH crop (Jackson, Font, someone), and Alfaro for Garza and Soriano to Texas. Maybe Olt as a 4th because people are catching onto what I was saying last year – his prospect ranking hides major flaws and hes lucky that so many focus on ranking/list numbers.

    Garza and Soriano to Philladelphia for Biddle, Aumont/Martin, Valle, and fodder

    The Phillies don’t get enough talk in the Garza games. Biddle is legit and was recruited by Vandy, shades of Derek Holland in the delivery and maybe even Jon Lester. Aumont/Martin are still healthy and have good power arms. Valle can catch and has some power…They have pieces that make them interesting.

    The Phillies don’t get enough attention in these Garza games…Biddle is a legitimately interesting arm with shades of Derek Holland or Jon Lester in his game

    • SenorGato

      I loathe mobile devices for posting.

    • Rebuilding

      I like Biddle, but I just don’t see any reason for the Phillies to be buyers except that it’s Ruben Amaro. Oh ok, anything is possible with him

      • SenorGato

        Being able to throw Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Matt Garza in the second half would go a long way towards winning, especially if they find a bat and Rollins wakes up. Its more an underperforming roster than a bad roster, and that should matter in how they evaluate.

        To me their biggest flaw is that they are trying to win now in a baseball world (at least online) increasingly obsessed with vague dreams for the future.

        • Rebuilding

          Meh, to me they are clearly the 3rd best team in that division and maybe the 8th-9th best team in the NL. They are 7 games out of the WC jumbled with all of those teams in the NL West. Ruiz hasn’t recovered from his concussion, Howard is hurt and not Howard when healthy, they have huge holes at 3b, CF and RF. Almost all of their guys are on the downslope of their career. If this was PhanaticNation I would be begging to move Lee for a boatload of prospects

          • SenorGato

            I think the NL is fluid enough that pitching Lee/Hamels/Garza 60% of the time in the second half with a bat that works puts a real dent in the standings. Those NL West teams are still trying to figure which ones are pretending this year, while the players the Phillies have know they want and need to win.

            Land Garza and suddenly Kendrick and Lannan are seeing better matchups…Land Soriano (or DeJesus – theyneed OBP) ad the OF can rid itself of Young.

            Lets face it..

            Everyone

            • SenorGato

              Lets face it – drop and rebuild is the go-to strategy nowadays online, but looking at the competition I don’t see why Philly should duck and cover for a few years. Who are the Braves sending out in the playoffs? Maholm and Minor? Not intimidating enough.

              • Rebuilding

                I definitely see your point. But if I’m that team and see the talent the Braves and Nationals have I think it’s really hard to build a case to make the playoffs the next few years. Yes, the Braves top of the rotation isn’t intimidating, but the depth of SP they have in the organization is (Teheran, Medlen, Alex Wood, etc…).

                I just envy what the Phillies have to rebuild – I would die to be sitting on Lee and Utley at this deadline. Lee alone could be a big step to rebuilding the entire organization

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