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.

  • Luke

    Bauer has been scratched from a minor league start. Likely unrelated to the Cubs, but you never know.

    • JulioZuleta

      Sounds like it was a minor injury.

      • nkniacc13

        I hope so. If Bauer is in any deal for Garza I hope that its part of a 3 team trade with Bauer not going to cubs

  • Deacon

    Please don’t let that 113 pitches tonight lead to an injury in his last start — just like last year!!!!

    • BT

      Really? 113 pitches is now over working a guy you are show casing for other teams? Why not just take him out after 5 innings every game?

      • Cheese Chad

        Agreed. I remember the whole Strausburg thing from last year. Guys like Leo Mazone, one of the best pitching coaches ever, saying they rarely even kept pitch counts they could just tell when a guy didn’t have his stuff anymore. Quite babying these guys and let ’em pitch.

  • Mike

    Garza was great again tonight against a top notch offense. He’s going to be missed!! Gretchen guy, would love to see him back next year even though I know that’s highly unlikely. I hope he goes and stays in the American League otherwise.

    • Mike

      Great guy, not Gretchen guy.

      • Dude

        He’s a pretty gretchen guy too.

    • CubsFaninMS

      You have to admit… despite his obvious injuries, Garza has been pretty good for us. Although he wasn’t a steal, he’s been a worthwhile investment and apparently a great clubhouse presence. He will be missed. Hopefully he’ll go to a contender and be able to compete in the post season.

      I’m not on the “Garza is injury-prone” bandwagon but I think he’s asking for too much years-wise for us to extend him. If he gets a five-year contract (and he will), there’s a high likelihood there will be some injury time mixed in. As always, that’s only speculation.

  • Brock

    Is Garza worth a top three prospect? Thanks.

    • ETS

      Top 3 in baseball? No way. Top 3 in a farm? depends on the farm but unlikely.

      • Neil

        rofl..r u kidding me? he will EASILY get atleast 1 top 3 prospect from any farm

        • Wester

          So if we were in the other teams shoes, who would we part with? Baez? Soler? Almora? Or Bryant?

          • X the Cubs fan

            We aren’t really looking for anything to compare to those guys. They are top 25 in baseball, we’re looking for the top 50 – 75 range. IMO

          • Willrust

            Baez, Soler, Almora and Bryant are top 30 prospects in baseball. Whereas the Brewers, have 1 player in the top 100 (#92 Tyler Thornburg).

          • ssckelley

            I cannot wait for the days we can seriously have this debate.

  • Mike

    Please bullpen don’t blow the 6-2 lead now!!!

  • nkniacc13

    Im kinda surprised as good as the Cubs starters have been that unless they really were convinced they would move Garza before his next start why they wouldn’t move his next start up. I’ll also be interested in seeing what the Cubs plan to do with Villianeuva if they consider moving him do they move him up in rotation

    • cubchymyst

      I’m guessing Villanueva stays as a starter and the Cubs keep him till next trade deadline. See if he can’t build value over the next year while he provides the Cubs some pitching depth.

  • Dustin S

    Considering the Cubs reduced payroll going into this year from last year, then cut/saved more payroll with the recent Feldman/Marmol/Hairston trades, I would hope they don’t need money that bad to take $ > prospects to any significant degree. So I’ll refrain from blowing my lid for now. Theo and company have been so shrewd and smart lately that I have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Like buying/selling a car, there are lots of angles to make a deal look good.

  • Deacon

    If money is the issue then Colletti will step right in and grab Garza for a Nolasco-like prospect offering. Only thing making me think it MIGHT be true is giving up cap room to the Dodgers just to save $500K for the year.

    But, it is a way to save face if they don’t feel like they can get decent prospects back — at least get good money out of it!

    • AlwaysNextYear

      Yeah right Nolesco type offer. Pass that good stuff this way

  • Brock

    Sorry top 3 for farm. Just think we are asking a lot for him and maybe we should. I am sure the injuries are concerns

  • Kevin

    Anything less than a team’s top 10 prospect would be disappointing.

    • Jason P

      I’d be extremely disapointed if the center piece for Garza isn’t top 5 in someone’s system – and it probably should be their number 2 or 3 prospect if it isn’t a great system.

      • AD

        A top one hundred guy is essential in any deal.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    If we seriously get a lesser return for Garza to save a couple million then I will be pretty damn ticked at Ricketts and the FO. This is CHICAGO NOT TAMPA BAY. We’re a big market so act like one. We should be the ones eating that $4.5mil in his contract to get a better return of prospects.

  • Dustin S

    Off-topic a bit, and I know it’s heresy… but Jack Buck IMO was the best baseball announcer I’ve ever listened to. There have been some great ones, but for me he’s the measuring bar. It’s so ironic when John Buck (and Tim McCarver ftm) can be like nails on a chalkboard.

    That aside, tonight’s game has been one of the most exciting to watch so far this season. It’s been fun to forget about the standings for a night.

  • nkniacc13

    Wonder if garza isn’t moved by sunday night how many times the announcers talk about him

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Who would rather have in a Garza trade? Trevor Bauer or Danny Salazar? I think there higher upside with Bauer but bigger risk because of control issues. Salazar still has a great arm but not quite as good, he as well has considerable risk because of his injury history

    • Dumpgobbler

      I would have to say Salazar. Its not a question of talent, because Bauers is unquestionable. It pains me to take this stance because I almost always go talent over everything, but Bauer seems to be a bonehead. Although Ideally I’d rather deal with the Rangers or red sox.

      Garza, Soriano and Cash to the Rangers for Perez, Jackson and Alfaro or

      Garza and Vogelbach for Owens, Ranaudo, Kukuk and Kurcz.

    • SenorGato

      Bauer has the bigger body, healthier arm, and despite his issues he can throw hard and spin a breaking ball. Coach him up…

      This is all meh if Salazar is good. Havenot seen him yet.

  • Carmelo

    Junior Lake 4-4 tonight with 3 steals—

  • Stogie

    I will be furious if the Cubs accept a mediocre package for Garza in exchange for a team paying more of Garza’s salary. It will show this regime doesn’t care nearly as much about winning as it does saving some coin. Garza is our big trade piece. They better not squander this chance.

    • Joel

      he’s only their biggest trade piece if they can get a deal done, if the other team won’t pony up enough prospects and will only make the deal by eating some money too the cubs might not have a choice

      • Stogie

        Well that’s common sense. Garza is the most valuable of those we’re willing to deal.

        • Joel

          but the cubs might have to accept one less prospect to get a deal done because the other team wants to eat money. The won’t accept a mediocre package for him, they’re smarter than that, but in terms of getting the bang for your buck, they might not be able too

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  • Brock

    I would think we would be looking for one or two prospects here. Top 10 to 20 and maybe a long shot guy. Garza easily an ACE on a team.

    • nkniacc13

      It will be interesting to see what they get because while cubs fans say hes an ace or at least a 2 and he is right now the top pitcher on the market some teams see him apparently as more of a 3.

    • Joel

      Too brittle to be an ace on a good team and only a good team with a chance to make the playoffs will trade for him. totally agree with nkniacc13, just because hes the cubs ace doesn’t make him an ace on any team he may go to

  • Cubfan Budman

    So what about Schierholtz??? Looming trade for him ?? Maybe why he didn’t play tonight

  • Stogie

    Here’s a Garza trade idea: Garza and Navarro to the Indians for P Danny Salazar, C/1B Yan Gomes, and someone else in their top 30. Gomes could platoon with Castillo, as well as backup Rizzo at 1st. He has some power.

    Lonnie Chisenhall would be a nice pickup in a trade too. He’s a LH bat. Baez, Almora, Soler are fun to dream about, but along with Castro and Bryant, they would be vulnerable as a lineup. You gotta have some lefties.

  • Qder

    Knowing how interested the rangers are and have been since last year. Is it really to far out of the question to think Profar could be a possibility? They just threw a lot of money at Andrus and they have Sardinas doing well in system so far. For a team that doesn’t really need offensive help could/would a garza and maybe Barney or garza and one of our better prospects be too crazy to even think about?

    • AD

      YES! Don’t even dream about Profar.

      • Qder

        Had to put out there can’t say I haven’t been dreaming

        • AD

          I know it would be awesome, but Garza is probably netting a prospect in the 50-100 range. It’s always fun to dream though!

    • 70’scub

      I’ve been thinking Profar!

    • Stogie

      I just read on ESPN that the Rangers and Blue Jays are the frontrunners. It also says Mike Bolt would likely be part of any deal with Texas.

      • AD

        At this point, I would hope Olt is more of a throw in than the centerpiece.

    • Chase S.

      I would think that the centerpiece being a position player won’t be what the Cubs will target. Cubs need quality pitching prospects so I would imagine pitchers would be their priority.

  • nkniacc13

    Profar aint going anywhere and Perez may not go anywhere either

  • DrReiCow

    I really don’t want to see the Cubs eating money to make a lesser deal happen. Garza has a great deal of potential value with the Cubs (they can extent him), so if the deal him, I want to see that value return. I don’t want the front office to just dump him for the best that they can get.


    • Qder

      Cubs won’t take what they can get, they know he’s the best guy on the market, and teams know he can contribute to a playoff push. I have full confidence in Theo and Jed to make the right move here, a team will want him and probably over pay to get him from us, just a matter of time now.

  • Oswego Chris

    McCarver was whining about the basket on Valbuena’s homer…he may be more pompous than Hawk Harrelson…

    Tough to stomach McCarver and Joe ‘I Get To Be On The Number One Broadcast Team For Baseball and Football Because of Who My Dad Was Regardless Of If I am Really Good Or Not’ Buck…

    I don’t think he is bad…just don’t like nepotism…

    • someday…2015?

      More pompous then Hawk Harrelson? Blasphemy!!!

      • Jason P

        Buck’s not great, but he’s not terrible – just kind of boring. Though I prefer Len and JD to any national announcers.

    • THEOlogical

      That has to be the longest middle name in history!

  • Stogie

    I just noticed it says Bolt. Damn auto correct.

  • Dan

    Joe Buck is VERY good – it is why he’s on the #1 teams – Buck allows the game to be played

    • AlwaysNextYear

      Is this you Joe Buck, Be honest

  • another JP

    Buck allows the game to be played? What kind of analysis is that? If you want to know what an impartial announcer sounds like, maybe try anybody other than Joe Buck.

  • http://odu Greenroom

    Buck sucks and acts like he is the moral compass of the universe. That being said, I wish we would extend Garza. I would take Garza to help us win next year (multiple years), than the possibility a prospect that “may” be able to help. For the most part, I am fan of the front office. But it is time to really consider putting together a team to win next year along with, of course, the future plan. Garza can help with that now. If we go through next year a little better than this year, I think a lot of people will lose it. Including myself. But since Theo and co. are smarter than me, a guy sitting on his couch, I will wait and see. Time will tell. peace~

    • willis

      1 billion percent agree. He can help now, can help soon, and can help when the team is competing. He’s not some 35 year old guy. He’s 29 with plenty of arm left. I wish there was a way to get this done.

  • Spencer

    The front office may not have a choice but to acquiesce to a lower prospect package in order to save money…there may be pressure on them coming from elsewhere.

  • AlwaysNextYear

    Save money but yet pay all that international FA overage. Does not make sense to me. It’s not about the money.

    • Lou Brown

      Have to agree. With they way they have been willing to spend in other areas, I highly doubt that 4.5 million of his salary makes a difference. It is likely just negotiating: “If that is all you are offering, sweeten the pot or take on the 4.5 million”. Cubs have been happy to spend to acquire talent in the farm system, I cant see them suddenly changing course.