matt garza cubsMatt Garza looked solid against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight, and, naturally, there were many scouts on hand to see the show. They may be running out of time to convince their bosses to deal for Garza, though, if Buster Olney is to be credited.

This evening, Olney reported that the Cubs are “making progress” in trade talks with two teams, and a deal is “likely” over the coming All-Star break. Although trades cannot be announced over the break, they can certainly be brokered and reported.

Ken Rosenthal was also heavy on the Garza information tonight, being that Fox was broadcasting Garza’s start. Rosenthal generally appears to concur with Olney that a deal is likely to come before Garza’s next start, adding that, although the extension talks were legitimate, a trade is what’s very likely to happen at this point. Rosenthal mentions the possible suitors: Rangers, Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox, and “possibly a few others, as well.” Rosenthal doesn’t think the Cardinals will seriously pursue Garza because of the prospect cost.

Alarmingly, Rosenthal suggested that the Cubs are now willing to accept a lesser prospect package if their trading partner takes on more of the $4.5ish million salary Garza is owed for the rest of the year.

Before you freak out, let’s consider some possibilities. It’s possible that this is flatly false. Bad information. It happens.

It’s also possible that it’s completely true, and the Cubs remain in such surprising financial straits that saving a few million on Garza is imperative.

I tend to think the truth is more nuanced, as it usually is. Even if the Cubs are happy to eat some of Garza’s salary to improve the prospect package they receive, you can’t force your trading partner to take cash from you in order to give up a better group of players. The Rangers have plenty of money, for example. Saying, “Hey, Texas, we’ll eat $3 million in salary if you include Martin Perez” is probably going to get the Cubs nowhere.

If that’s true – and it is – then of course the teams are going to negotiate about the money. And if a partner is going to hold the line on the better packages, then of course the Cubs are going to want that team to take on all of Garza’s remaining contract. You hope the Cubs can find the best prospect package out there for a trade, regardless of money, but we don’t know what offers are being made.

I do believe that the front office will not settle for a clearly inferior package simply because it saves money. I also believe that the front office is smart enough to know that the money part of things does matter.

  • Alex S.

    If Garza gets traded, and the Cubs don’t get a major league ready pitcher in return, who takes Garza’s rotation spot? Rusin again? Is Cabrera in the conversation at this point?

    • bryan

      we no what rusin raley and moscoso brings to the table, I wanna see Cabrera or Hendricks get a shot. But out of the two it would probably be Cabrera.

    • Mvandy524

      Don’t forget we have Jake Arrieta in triple AAA. He has big league expirence and was a top prospect at one time. Maybe he needed a change of scenery I.e. Chris Davis

  • SenorGato

    I think Garza is bringing back a top 3 prospects in a system, and a guy who will be in the Cubs top 5 if eligible.

    I would sacrifice Lt. Kitten to land Porcello, Perez, or Skaggs/Bradley for Garza at the deadline. Obviously a talented bat is welcome too.

  • Die hard

    Again- if Oakland losing its ace to suspension then they will be hurting … Garza doesn’t have to sign long term and Oakland can offer conditional PTBNL and Cubs would agree to pay Garza rest of year and still consider this a good deal… Why? Cause Garza history shows will be on DL at least 33% of time

    • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

      Garza has been a 180-200 inning guy until last year.

      • Die hard

        4 yrs of that and that’s likely his peak… Breaking down will intensify as he ages and probably done in 3 yrs is risk taken by anyone willing to sign him

        • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

          and yet most quality starters pitch into their mid 30’s
          so you are guessing

          • Die hard

            Key word is quality– don’t see Garza there yet or if ever

  • Timmy

    So basically Theo is about to punt another opportunity…

    • CubsFaninMS

      Exactly. Just like he punted on the Cashner and Marshall deals. Lets hope Travis Wood doesn’t “punt” today and not break the Cubs record for most quality starts before the All-Star break. We can also only hope that Anthony Rizzo doesn’t punt and put up 100 RBIs this year in a relatively weak offense.

  • jpeck

    What opportunity did he “punt” or is about to “punt”?

  • Mush

    Is the injury past the reason not to sign Garza to extension? To me, hard to find a number 1 or 2 starter. If you had solid rotation, you can then build around them. Any thoughts?

    • Kyle

      Past injuries in pitchers are really, really high indicators that future injuries are likely. You absolutely should be wary of signing long contracts to pitchers with recent injury problems.

      • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

        Kyle its past injury, not injuries.I do agree 3-4 years would be max
        for Garza hopefully he doesnt want 5

        • Kyle

          It’s injuries.

          He had an elbow problem in 2011 that landed him on the DL and caused him to miss a couple of starts. He had a more severe elbow problem in 2012 (what a shock, an injury leads to another injury later) that caused him to miss half a year. He had a new injury this spring that caused him to miss a big chunk of this season.

          That’s not just one injury.

          • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

            OK, but 2011 was a precautionary shutdown already
            had 200 innings and 32 starts and this year was a
            leg issue but you are right that is more than one.
            I meant related to his arm but ok

  • Sandberg

    The Cubs are playing this the right way. At this point, there’s no reason to sign Garza for what he wants. You can get a nice set of prospects for him and then sign him for what he wants in the offseason. Extending him now for top dollar makes no sense at all.

    • ssckelley

      I disagree, if you are going to resign him do it while you have some leverage. Right now he has the draft compensation hanging over his head, teams do not like giving up their #1 draft pick in order to sign free agents. Once the Cubs trade him then they have to outbid everybody else in order to get him back. If he truly wants to remain a Cub then I think it is best for both sides to get it done now.

      Prospects are no guarantee, if Garza is healthy then he is a 1 or 2 guy in your rotation. Those are hard to find.

      • AlwaysNextYear

        He is a number 2 but we already have two number 2 starters in Samardzija and Wood.

        • Danny Ballgame

          Why would you not want five #2 starters?

          • AlwaysNextYear

            Who wants 5 number 2’s

            • Rebuilding


              • AlwaysNextYear

                Correct answer.

              • AlwaysNextYear

                I read this wrong my bad, I thought he said who would want 5 number 2’s.

        • SenorGato

          Wood is a 2?

          • AlwaysNextYear

            If he continues pitching the way he has then yes he is a solid numer two.

        • ssckelley

          That might be true but there are time when he pitches like an ace. A healthy Garza, Samardzija, and Wood is a pretty darn good start to your starting rotation for 2014.

      • Sandberg

        Rumor has it he wants 5/75 or so and the Cubs are offering 4/64 max. Cubs have slight leverage with Garza if they sign now, but they will be way worse off if they qualify Garza who is betting that he will do even better than the current Cubs offer.

        Cubs can offer 5/75 now and get the deal done, or 5/75 later while getting a nice set of prospects for their extra $10-$12 million.

        • ssckelley

          But you venture into the uncertainty if you allow him to go to free agency. He will be one of the biggest names available and the price could go up in a bidding war.

          • willis

            If 5/75 is all he wants and this front office/ownership won’t do it, that’s pretty disheartening. Well, very disheartening. Makes me sick to think if them trading this guy when he’s been very good for this team. Things are moving in the right direction for this organization, but losing an arm like his is taking many steps backwards. You can’t win shit without pitching.

          • Kyle

            I’d rather have the trade return for Garza and still have 5/75 to spend on a different pitcher.

            • ssckelley

              You think there will be a better pitcher on the market than Garza for 5/75?

              I am kinda surprised to see this response from you. Generally you have proven mlb talent over prospects.

              • Kyle

                I don’t think there will be a better pitcher on the market.

                But I think there might be one close enough (and maybe you won’t have to commit to the whole five years) that the prospect haul pushes the difference over the top.

                • Josh t

                  I think if Garza reaches free agency with out a qualifying offer (he almost definitely won’t), he could make more then 5/75. More teams bidding on him. He may not be worth 5/75 bc of injury concern but I could see him topping the anibal Sanchez deal if the markets right for him

        • Rebuilding

          Garza has every incentive to test FA. This class is weak and I would be surprised if he doesn’t get the 5/85 Sanchez got. Might he take 5/75 now in case his arm falls off? Maybe, but no way we offer him that. 4/64 is prob our max. So it’s a standoff

        • Dustin S

          I don’t think those rumor numbers are right. The Heyman report said the Garza negotiations were far apart because of the average annual value, and it didn’t mention length. So that wouldn’t make sense if he turned down 4/64 (16M a year) and wanted 5/75 (15M per). It’s a lot more likely that the Cubs are offering ~15 a year and Garza is wanting closer to 18-20.

  • Cheryl

    Looks like the Cardinals are talking to the cubs about Garza according to MLB Trade Rumors.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I project that they’ll get a Top 100 (overall) guy, and two Top 20 organizational prospects, one being more of a high upside/high risk arm. The Top 100 being a pitcher, most likely in the upper minor leagues. Here are my predictions for each team.

    Indians – Mitch Brown, Elvis Araujo, and Chen Lee

    Rangers – Cody Buckel, Jorge Alfaro, Wilmer Font

    Blue Jays – Aaron Sanchez, A.J. Jimenez OR Sean Nolin, Alberto Tirado, and Tyler Gonalez

    To expect two stud prospects for a rental Garza, even as good as he’s pitching, is probably a little unrealistic. I hope they surprise us! I believe the Rangers and Indians are most likely. The Blue Jays are too far back IMO.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Hopefully Buckel or Brown aren’t centerpieces to a deal. Two highly-rated prospects beginning this year that now both have some question marks.

      • Crockett

        Buckel isn’t a question mark…he’s a freakin’ detective novel. It’s like someone else’s arm was attached to him over the winter. Look at those numbers.

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