matt garza cubsIf we aren’t in the home stretch of Garza rumors, it’s going to be a long couple weeks …

  • Dave Kaplan has turned his full attentions to the Matt Garza trade story, which means we’re getting a fair bit of new info. The latest from Kaplan has the Rangers, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays, and Dodgers as the “strongest pursuers,” but other teams still interested. From the sound of things, a personnel executive with whom Kaplan spoke believes the Rangers, Blue Jays, and Cardinals may have the most incentive to go after Garza.
  • The Red Sox don’t appear on Kaplan’s list, and that is consistent with a new report out of Boston. A source tells Sean McAdam that the Red Sox do not “figure to be big players” in the fight for Garza. The Cubs have apparently been asking for two prospects from the following group of pitchers: Allen Webster, Rubby de la Rosa, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, Henry Owens, and Anthony Ranaudo. (Damn, the Red Sox have a really nice group of pitching prospects.) A source tells McAdam that the Red Sox weren’t even willing to part with one from that group in a deal over the offseason (for anyone, or for Garza? The report is unclear), and they aren’t about to send any of them away now for a rental. It would be a bummer if the Red Sox are out of it, given the obvious depth of their system (we haven’t even talked about their upper level infield surplus) and the Cubs’ front office’s familiarity with that system. One from that group of pitchers and, say, Garin Cecchini? Yes, please.
  • The Red Sox are in, according to Jim Bowden. He adds the Rangers, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and maybe Indians. Not a lot of overlap with Kaplan’s list, which is probably good news. I’ve got to believe, though, that at this stage in the process, only a small handful of teams believe they have a legit shot at acquiring Garza. Maybe the rest of the teams have simply said, “Hey, Cubs, before you deal him, give us a chance to make one last offer,” even if they aren’t actively involved in negotiations. Can’t hurt, though.
  • Between Kaplan and Bowden, there are as many as 10 involved teams: Rangers, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Dodgers, Red Sox, Nationals, Diamondbacks, and Rockies.
  • Dallas-based T.R. Sullivan, who reports for MLB.com, says that Rangers top pitching prospect Martin Perez, who has been pitching well in the bigs for the last few weeks, will not be traded in a Garza deal. “That’s not going to happen.” The names Sullivan says could be included are pitchers Neil Ramirez or Carlos Pimentel, and/or infielders Leury Garcia or Luis Sardinas. That’s not a specific package, mind you, those are just the names he says could be included. While all are legit prospects, they are lower-tier-stock-down types. Even if the Cubs got all four for Garza, I’m not sure you’d be happy with that package.
  • I offer this NBC Dallas piece not for the truth of the matter asserted (sorry for the legalism, sometimes it slips out), but instead for the color it provides. When a Cubs player is frequently connected to a particular team, I like to see how their local media is discussing the situation to get a sense of how they view the involved Cubs player. It helps me stay grounded, and also sometimes provides a little insight. In that article, which generically asserts that the Rangers are considered the frontrunner for Garza (probably true, but there’s no support offered), the author describes Garza not as an ace or a panacea for the Rangers, but says he would slot into the rotation just behind ace Yu Darvish. Martin Perez is described optimistically as a part of the rotation over the rest of the season (meaning, to locals, he’s not even plausibly considered as part of a trade for Garza, consistent with Sullivan’s report). Mike Olt is described as what would “almost certainly” be the “start” of a package for Garza – not because his star has fallen, but because he’s blocked at third base by Adrian Beltre.
  • Speaking of Olt, it has become generally accepted that, if the Cubs do deal with the Rangers, he’s going to be in the deal (though Sullivan didn’t mention him). The hope, given his .211/.312/.399 line at AAA, his impending 25th birthday, and his reported vision problems, is that Olt would not be the centerpiece of a Garza deal, but merely one of about three quality prospects coming the Cubs’ way. If the vision issue is correctable, then Olt is still something close to the guy who broke out last year and found his way into most top 30 prospect lists (that’d be top 30 in all of baseball). He’s got a good bat and a great glove at third, and would be dirt cheap through his prime years. That’s a fine piece in a Garza deal, and represents a “buy low” opportunity. Worry not about what adding Olt would mean for Bryant/Villanueva/Baez/whoever. You add talent when you can add talent, and you deal with the positional glutting issues later. The real issue here is whether Olt is the main piece or just one of several quality pieces. (Despite his fall, it’s worth noting that he’s still a top 50 prospect (No. 44) to Baseball America).
  • A source tells Jim Bowden that there’s an 80 percent chance Garza is dealt before his next start. That’s the same percentage Bowden’s colleague Buster Olney put on a Garza deal this week the other day, which means either they’ve got the same source, their sources have the same originating source, Bowden’s source is a Buster Olney fan, or Bowden’s source is Buster Olney.
  • More Garza stuff from Joel Sherman. A panel of anonymous execs feel like Garza is the best player who will be traded this month, and the most likely destination is, you guessed it, the Rangers. Let’s just hope Sullivan is wrong about the players that could/would be involved in such a deal.
  • North Side Irish

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 2m
    I just taped interview for @SportsTalkCHI with Bob Nightengale + he said that he believes Jurickson Profar is in play in Garza discussions.

    And Nightengale is NEVER wrong…

    • JB88

      I don’t believe that for a second, even if my sarcasm meter is potentially broken.

    • Kyle

      Shut up, Kaplan.

      • DarthHater


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

      Texas fans would come north and kidnap Profar back from us. That’s how pissed they would be. No way. I mean, anything is possible. But really?

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

        It sounds like a ploy by the Cubs FO to drive up the price at the last second, and get the best possible return. I highly doubt Profar is in play, but if he is I would do everything I can to get him in Cubs pinstripes.

        • gocatsgo2003

          So… Major League Baseball Negotiations 101?

    • DarthHater

      LOL. We’re messin’ with Texas!

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

        Yosemite Sam would be driving around Wrigley: Why you no account, four flushing, prospect robbing, no-good-for-nothing varment!!!! oooooh, I hate that Epstein!!!!

        • DarthHater

          We’ll sic the Wrigley coyotes on him.

        • DarthHater


          • DarthHater

            Okay, that’s supposed to be an exclamation point at the end. No idea what a “galootsi” is. 😛

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

              Excellent! Brett should post it if we get him! 😉

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder if there will be a PTBN in any Garza deal based on if that team resigns Garza

  • Wrigley11

    David Kaplan just had an interview on Pittsburgh radio, stating that he was just told by Bob Nightengale (I know) that Jurickson Profar is not off the table. Take that for what it’s worth, but Nightengale (despite his track record relating to the Cubs recently) does have legit sources in the industry.

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

      Bob Nightengale was one of the first to sniff out the ‘roids saga in the mid1990s, before Sammy and Big Mac cranked up their version of video game muscles.

    • Afinch

      Just saw this too. Another SS but an insanely talented one. I like it.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      But if the Profar thing actually did happen, how soon would Brett have to start an “Obsessive Starlin Castro Watch”

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

        Probably on Profar’s way to the airport~ !

        • nkniacc13

          Nah never get the chance Castro or Profar would be moved immidently in another trade

  • Nick

    Bill Ivie, writer for the Cardinals, says Garza would be a bad fit for them, and “Over time, however, suggestions are that Garza is a third or fourth starter, at best. He does not provide a significant upgrade from Jake Westbrook or Lance Lynn and is probably only a slight upgrade from the production Joe Kelly has provided thus far.”


    What a joke…..

    He’s on Twitter @poisonwilliam

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

      Of course, make your rivals seem like they have no talent. Whatever.

      If Garza was so bad, we would not have 6-8 teams kicking tires.

    • nkniacc13

      there are apparently other excutives that think Garza is more a 3 starter than a ace. The reason so many teams interested 1 best pitcher available 2. hes pitched well in the toughest divison and in postseason

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

        Those executives are trying to drive down prices – so they can get in on the action too. They don’t want the true value of any player to be actually known. Better to underrate the guy, you may secretly covet, or at least would be inclined to look at.

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

          Moreover, while he may not slot as the ACE, he certainly is the best No. 3 on the market. We forget too, he’s pitched for the Cubs – sometimes the perception of what a guy is, is colored by the teams he played for. Tampa, though good, does not exactly come with WOW factor either. Marketing and media have their influences.

          So, there is that too.

  • Nick

    I’m not saying Garza’s an ace….but I think he’s way better than Joe Kelly, and I’d certainly take him over Lance Lynn.

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  • Michael

    Anyway we could get neftali Feliz? I know he is probably out of reach but with TJS I didn’t know?

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