Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Step Right Up, Make Your Best and Final (UPDATES Aplenty)

matt garza cubsIt should come as no surprise, given the tenor of rumors over the past week (including many that placed near-certain odds on the Cubs dealing Matt Garza before his next start no Monday), that the Cubs are reportedly close to finalizing a deal involving the best pitcher on the market.

One of those earlier reports came from Buster Olney, who placed it at 80/20 that the Cubs would deal Garza not only before his next start, but by Friday. As in tomorrow.

And now Olney hears the Cubs might be making good on that timeline, asking teams for “best and final” offers. That comes from other team sources, who also believe Garza will be dealt before his scheduled start on Monday.

It’s a predictable, but laudable, approach by the Cubs’ front office in their efforts to maximize the return on Garza. While it might not be feasible to replicate in the prospect world, I wonder if the Cubs could even implement a proxy of the blind bidding system we’ve seen employed occasionally on the international free agent stage and frequently in the Japanese posting system – i.e., instead of taking the offers around and saying, “can you beat this? can you beat this?,” the Cubs simply say, “this is it: we’re accept the best offer we get today – make it a damn good one.” The theory behind the system is that it forces eager teams to bid against themselves, rather than merely having to top the erstwhile highest offer. If teams know that their “best and final” offer is going to be then taken around to other teams, they might still hold back on the offer, and the whole “best and final” thing is neutered.

Given the timing of the request for best and final offers, I have to believe the Cubs were indeed waiting for the Competitive Balance Lottery to pass to see if any of the interested teams would be able to supplement their offers with an extra draft pick. That doesn’t mean the Cubs will land a pick as a piece of the eventual deal, obviously, but the Cubs might as well see what’s out there in that regard.

Don’t assume that we’re going to hear a resolution on this ASAP, though. The call for best and final could be over the next few days, or it could have already been done, and the Cubs will want some time to mull it over. And it’s not like they have to accept one of the offers right now.

Apropos of … something? … nothing? … Olney followed up his “best and final” tweet with a couple points exclusively about the Rangers. Specifically, Olney noted that the Rangers are involved in these talks, and, if the Cubs are looking for pitching prospects, the Rangers can accommodate even without top young pitcher Martin Perez. Olney names C.J. Edwards and Luke Jackson as possibilities. Each is a quality arm still in the lower levels of the minors, and each is a fringe top 100 prospect (if you looked at the right list).

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal suggests Olney’s tweets were apropos of something, saying “Sources: #Rangers “most motivated” on Garza, have had extensive talks with #Cubs.” He adds that a full story is coming. Dun dun dun …

UPDATE 2 (3:25pm CT): I should clarify something that a few of you discerning types have pointed out in the comments: it’s entirely possible (plausible, even?) that the Cubs already have an acceptable offer in hand from at least one team, and they’ve asked for best and final from everyone else, because they’re otherwise ready to pull the trigger. That gets away a bit from the blind bidding system (and its advantages), but seems more likely how these things play out.

UPDATE 3 (3:30pm CT): Jeff Passan says he hears that if Garza doesn’t go to the Rangers, the most likely other destinations are the Cardinals, the Red Sox, the Diamondbacks, and the Dodgers.

UPDATE 4 (3:37pm CT): Rosenthal’s piece (together with Jon Morosi) is up. It’s basically a more robust version of his tweet: the Cubs and Rangers have had extensive discussions, but other teams remain involved. The Rangers are the most “motivated” to get a deal done, but Rosenthal mentions the Dodgers, specifically, as another team involved. The Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Indians, and Cardinals have been involved, according to Rosenthal’s sources, but they haven’t wanted to meet the asking price for a rental.

UPDATE 5 (6:35pm CT): Gordon Edes reports that Clay Buchholz suffered a setback in his recovering from ongoing shoulder issues (bursitis) today. He was supposed to throw a bullpen session today, but it was scratched, and he’s due for reevaluation tomorrow. There has been some thinking that the Red Sox’s interest in picking up a pitcher was tempered by their confidence that Buchholz could return soon. If that’s no longer the case, will they become more eager to make a deal for, say, Garza? There is some logic there, but it all depends on Buchholz’s prognosis and the Red Sox’s willingness to roll the dice. They’re a good trading partner for the Cubs for a number of reasons (deep farm system, great upper-level arms, familiarity with the system).

UPDATE 6 (8:00pm CT): Rosenthal says one official in the Cubs/Rangers talks believes a deal is “getting closer,” and that prospects from various levels are involved (including “possibly” Mike Olt). In some ways, this doesn’t quite square with a “best and final” type scheme. Do the Rangers have the best offer, but it’s still not quite enough? Are the Cubs actively working with the Rangers to see if they’ll top the other “best” offer out there? I don’t pretend to have the answers here. We know only that the Cubs are extensively discussing a Garza deal, and the Rangers are clearly one of the primary suitors.

UPDATE 7 (8:28pm CT): Dave Kaplan spoke to a scouting friend who says the offers the Cubs are getting are “very solid,” and that a deal will likely be done this weekend. So, still kind of the same general message.

UPDATE 8 (8:37pm CT): Kaplan adds that the scout – presumably the same one – says the Cubs hold all of the cards, and Garza is the only high-level starter available out there. Kaplan also confirmed that final offers are rolling in from a handful of teams.

UPDATE 9 (9:05pm CT): The Rosenthal/Morosi piece has been updated slightly to include mention of Rangers pitching prospect C.J. Edwards as possibly part of the deal. These guys tend not to pull random A-ball pitchers out of their hat. In other words, if they’re naming Edwards as possibly being part of a deal, then he’s at least been discussed.

UPDATE 10 (9:18pm CT): Kaplan’s scout source is really pushing the Cubs’ strength, saying that the Rangers cannot afford to not acquire Garza. That seems to be overstating things a bit, but obviously they do have a clear need.

UPDATE 11 (9:54pm CT): Sahadev suggests on Twitter that the names we’re hearing from Texas – i.e. Olt, Edwards and Jackson are indeed in play, but the Cubs are hoping for more. Don’t assume that the Cubs *definitely* have an offer on the table for those three. It’s only safe to assume that those are names in play.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

608 responses to “Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Step Right Up, Make Your Best and Final (UPDATES Aplenty)”

  1. Assman22

    Cubs narrowed Garza suitors to three teams and he’s not going alone…

    1. Luke

      Any ETA on a final decision?

    2. Falselife

      Rangers. Red Sox. Dodgers.

    3. someday...2015?

      Barney going with?

    4. _____________

      What’s your source?

      1. Jed Jam Band

        Pretty sure that if he told us, he wouldn’t have a source anymore.

  2. Assman22

    Was told “end of the week”…friday or sunday…

    1. iowacubs

      Not questioning your “insider info”. But how is it possible you seem to be getting more info then actual insiders?

      1. Jed Jam Band

        Maybe not that he’s getting MORE info, but rather that he’s more willing to share it.

        1. iowacubs

          That makes no sense… If insiders have the info they’re going to share it….its their job! They’re not going to wait till.a deal is done and then release the info.

          1. Jed Jam Band

            Well, what I mean is that they release it incrementally and they also don’t give out info the FO’s don’t want released. Remember, they have pro access and part of that is contingent on what the execs do and do not want them to say.

      2. Crockett

        If Assman actually knows someone who works in the FO (which it appears he obviously does), then the information is direct and not either 1) filtered by multiple people 2) purposefully misrepresented.

        1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

          There is only a couple of people in on the final details. I would imagine it has been filtered down a time or ten.

    2. CubsFaninMS

      Assman:

      Have you installed a keylogger and FTP server on Theo Epstein’s computer?

  3. Dumpgobbler

    I could really see the Royals jump in there as well.

  4. todd mccombs

    Was said on sportsnetCentral – straight from their insider what ever that means

  5. Believe in 2015

    Hey assman, I really appreciate your insider info. Really cool we can get that stuff before the mainstream media gets there hands on it. Any idea who the final three teams are and who else the Cubs will trade with Garza?

    1. Assman22

      Texas and Cleveland confirmed…no idea yet on the 3rd team…only deal I’ve heard so far is Garza/Gregg/Valbuena going to Cleveland and the return is still TBD…Theo/Jed like to do the PTBNL’s based on production…expect those to be in play in any deal…Cleveland just received a high competitive balance pick…

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        Would cleveland be giving us one of Bauer or Salazar in the deal?

      2. Jed Jam Band

        Just want to say how cool it is that you’re willing to provide us with these bits of info, really is very cool.

      3. Believe in 2015

        Thanks. I could see the Red Sox getting nervous after Clay had a setback

      4. Tim

        You are the man!! Thank you for sharing

  6. Lou Brock

    If Olt is part of deal with Rangers look for a third team to take Olt and supply more pitching to Cubs. Might be Seattle or Atlanta getting Olt and others in a 3 way deal.

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      Lou Brock: Did here this from a source or a insider guy (Heyman, Rosenthal, etc.)? 3 way deal? Or are you speculating?

      1. Lou Brock

        SeriousCubsFan, I have a legit source in SF organization and if you have followed my posts I told you the 3 teams in on Garza before assman did. My guy says that the Cubs only want pitching but Texas is wanting to include Olt in any deal they do. He thinks if Olt is moved to Cubs they will flip him for more pitching as soon as they find a match. That is where he told me that Seattle and Atlanta were looking for long term fix at third.

        1. Cheese Chad

          Alright alright, no need to pull down the pants to see who’s bigger. We appreciate all info we are getting from both of you guys

        2. Serious Cubs Fan

          Nice. Thanks for sharing Lou Brock. Really appreciate it.

          How do some of you guys get to know these FO guys? I guess I’m hanging out with the wrong people.

        3. bbmoney

          Seattle is interesting. Seems like thy have a good young 3b. But they’ve got pitching prospects for sure.

        4. Mike F

          I completely buy that, Texas has tried repeatedly to move him in deals and to this point people have resisted. I hope the Cubs do too.

      2. Lou Brock

        By the way the third team is Boston not the Dodgers, Cards, or D-Backs.

        1. someday...2015?

          I like that a lot. Boston easily has the most desirable pitching.

          1. Afinch

            Agreed Someday. I want Boston in the mix.

  7. todd mccombs

    I am From Iowa – Cubs head of minor leagues
    said Lake would not be called up till he could play everyday. last week in the register – bad with names

    Not sure if he has an open spot on the cubs to play everyday. raises some questions

    1. Chad

      If Valbuena or Barney get in a deal (Valbuena to 2nd) then I could see Lake getting the call.

    2. King Jeff

      It was Jason McLeod, I saw that interview. He also said Lake would be up soon. Guess we know how soon that is.

  8. Timothy Scarbrough
  9. Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett/Luke,

    What is Olt’s max ceiling? Projection: .230-250 BA, 20-30 homers, .320-.340 OBP? I know it hard to predict but what do you seen in him?

    The main problem I see with him as a player is the guy can’t hit Righties. His splits are:
    Against RHP: .162BA, 4Hrs, .274OBP
    Against LHP: .293BA, 5Hrs, .375OBP

    1. Kygavin

      hit .282 .382.550 vs RHP last year and .250.363.431 the year before. Might be a small sample in half of a “lost year” for him

  10. abe

    Why would go after olt if braynt is a year away?

    1. Jed Jam Band

      Bryant’s NOT a year away. Saying he’s 2 years away would be the optimist’s view at this point. And I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again. Talent is talent. You pick it up wherever, whenever, however you can. You worry about positional glut later.

      1. turn two

        Yeah particularly with prospect bust rates, if they both pan out that’s great, Bryant could change positions our you could trade one

      2. frank

        The problem is no one knows what Olt is anymore–any number of specialists have been unable to determine the cause of his vision problems. He may turn out to a good player–or he may be out of baseball by next year.

        1. Ryan

          I read somewhere that he found a temporary solution in the form of these special eye drop things. He’s been using them since he’s been in AA.

    2. Stogie

      Because Bryant will probably play LF. Olt is a solid defender at 3rd.

  11. Stogie

    Why do people assume someone named Assman has insider info? Anyone can make up stuff. My source Fartbooger, said Garza is going to the Red Sox for Cecchini.

    1. Jed Jam Band

      It’s because he has been right about things before. And not just garden variety stuff.

    2. Carew

      We just had this debate/fight a couple days ago on a past Garza post

    3. iowacubs

      Agree! happens ALOT here!

  12. Jed Jam Band

    ‏@Ken_Rosenthal
    Sources: Right-hander C.J. Edwards, 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA for Rangers’ Class A Hickory club, is in play in Garza talks, sources say.

    1. Serious Cubs Fan

      How’s C.J. Edwards arm? Power pitcher? Finesse pitcher? I think I read he’s fringe top 100 guy and has #3 pitcher ceiling?

      1. Jed Jam Band

        Yeah, he uses deception to make his fastball miss bats. It’s already above average, but he shows incredible ability to make it move.

      2. Jp3

        He’s got to be power pitcher. His numbers this year are stupid good, but like someone said earlier, he’s 6’2″ 155 lbs and could use a sandwich or 2

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          Wow lets hope the kid puts on some weight if we land him in a Garza deal

          1. arta

            isn’t Tim Lincecum is 5″11 and about 165.

      3. Lou Brock

        Best stat of all on Edwards from Rangers is the fact he has been pitching in a hitters park and in 2 years and over 150 innings pitched this kid has not given up 1 HR. I mean ZERO ! That is ridiculous in that ball park and in that league.

        1. Oswego chris

          Edwards? Did I hear Edwards? It was love at first prospect read for me…

      4. Luke

        Two or three good pitches, depending on who you read. Extremely unpolished, but shows promised. Projects as high as a mid-rotation guy, maybe even a No 2 in a perfect scenario. I’d say he has a high probability of winding up in the bullpen go.

        He’d be a decent pick up of the lottery ticket variety.

    2. iowacubs

      Well so much for “assmans” garza to cleveland insider info!

      1. Jed Jam Band

        That doesn’t invalidate his info. It merely says that Edwards is in play. You’re assuming it means the Rangers are a done deal, but that’s not what is being said.

        1. iowacubs

          I think assman and jed jam band are one in the same!!! -my source

          1. Danny Ballgame

            I heard the same thing from my inside guy

            1. frank

              No–he’s just correctly pointing out that no deal has been completed–with Texas or anyone else.

          2. Jed Jam Band

            We are most certainly not. I have no sources. Never have claimed to. I’m defending him because I love BN and think the community feel is what makes so many of us flock here. Don’t tear the guy down for no reason. His info has been good up to this point is all I am saying.

          3. someday...2015?

            It’s obvious you two haven’t followed BN long. Assman is a reliable source that has correctly called deals before the national media. Please don’t comment and criticize unless you know what you’re talking about.

            1. Scott

              He’s been right and wrong. I think it’s fair to be critical of anything that anyone posts.

              1. Danny Ballgame

                That is why I am critical of anyone who is not on the phone during these conversations/negotiations. Source or not, the guys making the call are not going to leak precious info

              2. hansman1982

                No real reason to berate him, though. He is merely providing information and is no more right or wrong than national writers (cough, Anibal Sanchez, cough).

                1. Timmy

                  my breaking news are more accurate than most of the mssg board dudes’ waxwings.

            2. iowacubs

              im only.saying if these “sources” are releasing inside info to everyday people, dont you think that they would also have released this info to other more reputable people as well? Im also sure people like Buster Olney and Rosenthal wuld get the same info, confirm it asap, and release it! You know, since that is how they make their living!

      2. cubzfan

        I believe he was saying the deal to Cleveland would include Gregg and Valbuena, but wasn’t implying that deal was done, only that he didn’t know what package the other teams wanted.

  13. todd mccombs

    Not saying assman has inside information or not – Lake is going to have a full time position somewhere. Makes sence that Garza is going to be packaged or a second trade is very close.

    1. Itrhymeswithchic

      He does have insider information…by proxy. He takes tips from actual insiders from the PSD cubs forum and reposts them here word for word most times, while sometimes adding a wrinkle.

    2. turn two

      You’d have to believe e’er have several trades on hold until we see if the little trade pieces we have can hit bank with garza. In other words why trade Nate for a b level prospect, when done team may ante up big time if we added him with garza. Once garza is gone, gregg valbuena schierholtz russell would be more likely to go.

  14. AD

    I don’t know why, but I hope that Garza doesn’t go to the Rangers. I just don’t have a good feeling about them. But then again, what the heck do I know.

    1. Mr. B. Patient

      That’s how I feel about Boston.

  15. Carew

    It’s crazy up in here, and nothing is final!

    I dig it.

  16. 5412

    Hi,

    Best and final until this happens. Cubs call the team they want and make a counter offer with the commitment that they are not playing games. More than likely the counter involves some money or international money. It is called a throw in. Add this and I will commit right now kind of thing.

    It is part of the game called negotiations.

    5412

  17. Diamond Don

    Garza is going to Boston and Soriano to Texas as part of a three way trade.

    1. Jed Jam Band

      Do you have an assman/lou brock/crockett type source? Or are you just posturing? I’m not trying to be rude, but sorting out what is potentially true from what is false is important to us here.

      1. Danny Ballgame

        Isn’t it all speculation at this point? Potentially true = potentially false

      2. iowacubs

        According to a source I think no one knows whats going on in the F.O. And I will name my sourse…common sense!

        1. Danny Ballgame

          You are correct sir!!! (Ed McMahon voice)

          1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            If his name were Boobman instead of Assman people would listen more.

            1. Cubes

              T&AMan

              1. Danny Ballgame

                Yup

    2. Serious Cubs Fan

      If Soriano went to Texas. He’d still have to approve a trade and I just have this feeling Soriano would pull a dempster on us and need to mull it over for days before he decides. But you never know. Thats just my best guess

      1. Jason Powers

        Soriano reflected a desire to stay in the Central and East. Maybe he gave them a list via his agent of possibles.

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          I thought Soriano’s list was Dodgers and a competitive east coast teams. Not sure Texas qualifies. I might be think of last year but he’d be crazy to pass up going to Texas and have shot at ring

          1. Cubman23

            I still find it hilarious that he nixed a deal to SF and then they won the WS. I’ve repeatedly heard about his passion and that he’s a great teammate, but I have to question the competitiveness (sanity?) of a 37-year old that wouldn’t jump for the chance to be on a contending team.

  18. Dumpgobbler

    According to my source were going to send Barney and Gregg to DET for a package including Crosby + others.

    Also Braves are pushing hard for Valbuena / Russell. Could be until the deadline though. Braves still haven’t quite figured out if Maholm will go to the pen and be that lefty or what they want to do.

    lol… ohhh yeeeeea.

  19. Derek

    Brett

    Is this the start of the blogathon?

  20. muley

    true Brett I check your site everyday and multiple times a day.. Like you Im all about the Cubs… Because of you and your sources I feel well informed about the Cubs.. Thanx man

  21. Andrew

    F5 button officially broken

  22. Oswego chris

    I see Texas signing Garza to an extension….maybe not right away…

  23. Carew

    Guys, take all sources/insider information with a grain of salt until something is final. I trust all of you who say you have friends on the inside. Just don’t be ripping each other and making sarcastic comments about it. Just read, think, and have fun with the excitement that is trade season.

    1. Drew7

      No shit.

      Here’s an idea: read what these guys have to say, then draw your own conclusions.

  24. Cubes

    one time on the internet… Gnarly wave…

    1. Danny Ballgame

      Epic uber wook floatin shreddin the freshy fresh pow pow heady brah

      1. Cubes
        1. Danny Ballgame

          Hahahaha exactly

  25. Die hard

    Hope this scout is wrong as Cubs need Garza more than not

    1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      To win 72 instead of 70 this year?

  26. Timmy

    BREAKING NEWS: breaking news

    1. Carew

      are you 10 years old?

  27. Boba Fett

    Breaking new breaking news, Timmy go break your neck son

    1. Timmy

      wow, you are a really horrible person

      1. AlwaysNextYear

        I have to agree. Karma is a you know what.

      2. Scott

        Don’t know his source(s).

  28. cubchymyst

    Will all of this new information the real question is will I be able to work tomorrow without checking to see if the deal is done every 5 minutes.

    1. Scott

      I bet…no

  29. Boba Fett

    Always next year break your leg son

    1. Timmy

      how come he gets the broken leg and i get the broken neck? there’s a huge qualitative difference in outcome there.

      1. Jason Powers

        Legs heal better – might be useful as a throw-in prospect.

        Necks: draw your own conclusions, as you did.

      2. AlwaysNextYear

        I have to agree with that. Maybe he likes me

  30. johnny chess

    It doesn’t take a source to predict the deal with rangers, just common sense
    Olt + Top 5 Pitcher +Top 30 – 45 prospect

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