Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

matt garza cubsThe All-Star Game has passed, but we’re still kinda-sorta in the All-Star break. Does the no-no about announcing trades extend through the break, or just until after the All-Star Game? Well, I can only offer you anecdotes, thanks to MLBTradeRumors’ handy Transaction Tracker: in 2012, the first trade after the All-Star Game came four days after the game, itself. In 2011, however, the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers the day after the All-Star Game.

So, if that 2011 trade is instructive, yes, we could see something happen today. But keep those expectations tempered: there are still 14 days before the Trade Deadline, and five days before Matt Garza is due to start again.

  • The Red Sox might not be out of the Garza talks after all, according to Jon Heyman. Although we heard yesterday that the Red Sox weren’t interested, given the price, Heyman says he hears they might yet leap into things if Clay Buchholz is going to be out longer than expected. Heyman adds that sources tell him the Rangers will not include young lefty Martin Perez in a deal for Garza, as we also heard yesterday. The Diamondbacks, Heyman says, are an “interesting new entry” in the discussions, though they may prefer the multiple years of control offered by Jake Peavy. Since Peavy is working his way back from a broken rib (and could pitch again before the Deadline), the Diamondbacks may prefer to wait on Peavy before making a strong move on Garza. If that’s true, and if the Diamondbacks would otherwise be willing to make “the best” offer for Garza … well, you can see how these things end up taking time, even if everyone agrees that the Cubs should move Garza as soon as possible.

  • As recently as this weekend, the Blue Jays had been identified as a “frontrunner,” together with the Rangers, for Matt Garza. Given their lengthy decline, it would be surprising to see them go after a rental (even after an offseason binge designed to make them competitive in 2013), and GM Alex Anthopoulos said the same thing, as strongly as he could. Per the Score in Canada: “Some stuff that’s out there is completely fabricated. I guess what I can tell you is – speaking in general terms, of course – we have not had one discussion with a team about a starter. So, if people are reading names that are out there, that would be a 100% complete fabrication, in terms of us going after a starter right now. Doesn’t mean that if something came up a week from now, or something, that we wouldn’t be open to it, but right now we’re not engaged in or having any dialogue with respect to a starter.” Either AA is fudging his words a bit, or reports of the Blue Jays being involved with respect to Garza are flatly wrong. Note, however, that when AA says “completely fabricated,” he isn’t necessarily saying reporters are doing the fabrication. It could also be sources with agendas – and the possibilities there are almost too varied to speculate about.
  • Dave Kaplan spoke with Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram about what the Rangers might be willing to give up for Matt Garza, and, no surprise, Jurickson Profar isn’t at all in the conversation. Wilson thinks Perez is also off limits, but points to Mike Olt as the possible main piece. Wilson’s attitude, generally, did not strike you as someone who believes the Rangers are all that convinced they absolutely need Garza. (Of course, that’s likely the message the Rangers front office is consistently putting out in the media in Dallas.)
  • Tim Dierkes had a Garza-heavy chat yesterday, and among the takeaways, his sense is that the Cubs’ return should fall somewhere between a Mike Olt and a Martin Perez. That feels right to me, with additional, complementary prospects sprinkled in as necessary.

  • Speaking of Olt as a Garza trade piece, I know that Olt would not be a popular center piece around these parts, but you’ll be interested to learn that a respected Rangers blog believes Olt would be too much to be the center piece in a Garza trade. Lone Star Ball is not nearly as down on Olt as outsiders seem to be, and is not nearly as high on Garza as the rumors connecting him to the Rangers seem to be. I think this is slightly a case of overvaluing-one’s-own-prospects, but it’s useful to know that the folks who follow Rangers prospects as closely as we follow Cubs prospects aren’t as fazed by his down 2013/eye issues as we might be. (That doesn’t mean they’re right – I just offer it as perspective.)
  • Further speaking of Olt (nothing like focusing too heavily on one trade partner and one prospect), he seems to believe he’s figured out his issues this year, thanks in part to some swing tips from Manny Ramirez (yes-that-Manny-Ramirez).

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