Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Ah, the Obligatory “Snag” (UPDATES: Deal Probably Won’t Happen Tonight)

matt garza cubsAfter a long day of updates that saw the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers pull ever-so-close to a deal involving Matt Garza and as many as five other players, Jeff Passan reports that the deal has hit a snag. The Cubs, Passan says, are now seeking out alternatives to the Rangers, although negotiations continue.

In some ways, this isn’t all that different from what we heard most of today: a Cubs/Rangers deal is close, but not a done deal, and other teams remain involved. So this isn’t really a here-we-go-again type moment. The Rangers deal was, at least in my mind, never “just about” to be consummated.

That said, it does make you wonder: what’s the “snag”? Passan doesn’t say, but just moments earlier, Passan’s colleague Tim Brown tweeted that the deal was in the “final stages” and the teams were examining medical records. Obviously, that raises the possibility that the “snag” came in the form of “something someone didn’t like about someone in a medical report.”

That could be Matt Garza’s lat (injured earlier this year) or his elbow (stress reaction last year). Or it could be something else with Garza. Or it could be something with any of the other five players reportedly involved. Or the snag could be something entirely unrelated to health.

Even if the “snag” is medical-report-related, there’s no reason to freak out just yet. Imagine how these trades go down. You negotiate with the other team for some considerable length of time before you agree on the basic parameters of a deal, including which players are involved. Maybe you didn’t quite get as much as you’d hoped, or maybe you’re giving up more than you’d hoped. But the deal is the deal, and now it’s time to move on. But before the deal is finalized, you get to review the medical records. If you’re the Rangers in this hypothetical, you know that Garza has some potential issues. Would it be so crazy for the Rangers to now point to something in the medicals and say, “oh, my, that’s worse than we thought it would be … you need to let us keep one of the prospects in order for us to proceed on the deal”? Maybe the Rangers – again, hypothetically – planned this tack all along as a part of the negotiation.

The point here is not to say that this is exactly what’s happening, but instead only to note that even if medicals are the issue here, there’s no reason to believe it’s the kind of issue that blows up any future deal. It could simply be yet another negotiating point. We’ll just have to see.

The most likely situation here? The deal is still being negotiated, was never quite to the t-crossing and i-dotting part, and the medicals were necessarily being reviewed as part of getting the deal to the one yard line. The “snag” could be nothing more than one or both sides wanting a little more time to think things over (and speak to other teams).

UPDATE: Jon Heyman also says there was a “hiccup” in the negotiations, and nothing is certain now. The teams are still working at it.

UPDATE 2 (7:05pm CT): George Ofman openly wonders if the hiccup in the Cubs/Rangers deal might open the door for another interested team like, say, the Indians.

UPDATE 3 (7:36pm CT): Passan now has a full write-up on the deal breaking down, at least for now. Passan confirms my suspicion that the deal broke down after the exchange of medicals, but he’s fairly cryptic in saying just what it was that presented the problem. He says only that the talks broke down and the Rangers are still interested in trading for Garza. Does that mean the medical issue was on the Rangers’ side? Maybe, but not necessarily. Another hypothetical scenario: the Rangers see an issue on his medicals that don’t make them averse to trading for him, but it makes them less interested in extending him or making him a large extension offer at this time. In that instance, he’s not quite as valuable to them, so they reduce their offer to the Cubs. In that scenario, the Cubs would likely back out, and the Rangers would maintain interest in making a trade. Emphasis: just a hypothetical scenario.

UPDATE 4 (7:36pm CT): Same Passan piece, but I’m putting this on a new line so it isn’t lost: Passan includes discussion of James Russell (which makes you wonder if he was the other Cub that was to go with Garza in the six-player deal). Garza plus Russell for Olt, Sardinas, Edwards and Ramirez would have made some sense. That’s a plausible deal right there, with each side getting nice value.

UPDATE 5 (7:45pm CT): Ken Rosenthal also confirms the “snag,” and says that the Cubs now have an “opening to send Garza elsewhere.” Now, you read into these things too much at your own peril, but doesn’t that sound like the Cubs have found some opportunity to grab leverage? To me, that reads like the Cubs and Rangers had a deal, but the Cubs didn’t like something they saw with one of the prospects, and – per my use-the-medicals-in-the-negotiations thing in the body above – are now trying to get the Rangers to up the price. That would also be consistent with the Rangers still wanting to get a deal done.

UPDATE 6 (8:25pm CT): Jim Bowden (I know) says that the Nationals are not involved at this time. So, I mean, I guess strike them from the list.

UPDATE 7 (9:07pm CT): Jeff Wilson (Star-Telegram out of Texas) reports that a deal is not expected tonight (and one source said it might not get done at all). He confirms the story Passan reported, but does not report whether the medical issue was on the Cubs’ side or the Rangers’ side. Wilson reiterates that the players being discussed on the Rangers’ side are Mike Olt, Luis Sardinas, Neil Ramirez, and C.J. Edwards.

UPDATE 8 (9:11pm CT): A Jim Bowden tweet suggests, consistent with Rosenthal’s report, that the medical issue was with one of the players on the Rangers’ side, and the teams are trying to put together a deal with a replacement player.

UPDATE 9 (9:36pm CT): Everyone’s pretty much telling the same story: the deal isn’t happening tonight. This time, it’s per T.R. Sullivan here. A deal remains possible eventually.

UPDATE 10 (9:39pm CT): Ken Rosenthal chips in his “snag” article, and it’s mostly the same story (snag happened after exchange of medicals, probably involves one of the players, not sure which player). Unlike his tweet, however, you don’t get the same sense of confidence that the issue was not with Garza. Rosenthal doesn’t say either way, but he does spend a little time going over Garza’s lat injury and elbow injury. Rosenthal says the Cubs have not, as of yet, re-engaged the Dodgers in talks, though that could simply be a matter of the Cubs not liking the Dodgers’ final stance (as opposed to any kind of certainty that things will still proceed with the Rangers). It’s looking like we might have to do this all again tomorrow.

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

308 responses to “Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Ah, the Obligatory “Snag” (UPDATES: Deal Probably Won’t Happen Tonight)”

  1. Rooster

    Lake pepper sprayed all 3 hits to different parts of the field last night. Love it.

  2. David

    Lake looks like a 21 year old/ pre- steroids Sammy Sosa.

    1. Whiteflag

      I was thinking the same thing.

  3. Cheryl

    Other clubs will now probably view Garza as lesser value. Hope that the FO doesn’t cave. I’d rather try an extension again for four years or let him opt for free agency then have that.happen.

    1. baldtaxguy

      I suppose…. if the medical concern was that of Garza, but we are not sure that is the case.

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        Jim Bowden said it was on the Rangers side for what it’s worth.

        1. Kramden

          Got a feeling the hangup was Olt…. Another 2 k’s last nite against Iowa. He’s obviously not seeing the ball and isn’t nearly the player he was.

          I was a supporter of including him in a deal, but not anymore.

          1. DocPeter Wimsey

            Jed and Theo aren’t going to pay attention to one game. This will be something in the medical reports.

            1. Kramden

              This hasn’t been just one game

            2. Chad

              It’s been an entire season. If it was Olt perhaps the vision is not going to get better. It’s possible that he won’t ever be back to full health and what you see is what you get with him. No pun intended……oh who am I kidding, yes it was.

  4. joey jo jo junior

    From what I’ve read, it was Ramirez from Texas that was the concern. The Cubs backed out.

  5. BleedingCubbieBlue

    Take out Ramirez (assuming it was him with medical issues) insert Alfaro.

    1. BleedingCubbieBlue

      Garza plus Russell for Olt, Sardinas, Edwards and Alfaro.

      1. Bilbo161

        How about Odor. He sounds like a keeper. Odor, Alfaro, Edwards are my preferred targets.

    2. BleedingCubbieBlue

      And we will throw in Soriano and lots of cash you how in Luke Jackson. :)

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        They don’t want Luke Jackson

  6. Deacon

    To change the subject of starting pitchers I read this morning that Arizona scouts were at the game last night. Any chance, given that he was on the bump, that the Samardzija-to-D’backs potential trade is still being explored??

    1. Bilbo161

      That would be interesting if they offered both their top pitching prospects to start the package. That along with a Garza haul would be nice for 2014 and beyond.

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        I say Bradley, Eaton and Holmberg would be a haul for Shark.

    2. Kramden

      Whoa! That would be an amazingly bold move by the Cubs to trade both Garza and Shark to load up on primo pitching talent, which would dovetail nicely with the primo positional talent they’ve been assembling the past couple of years.

      If fans can take another couple years of this, that would position the Cubs to ultimately be the new “Cardinals” of baseball for the foreseeable future.

      I say go for it!

  7. X The Cubs Fan

    I don’t see the point of dealing him to the Rangers unless every other offer is worse than we were hoping. Looks like no Bauer or Joc Pederson. :(

  8. joey jo jo junior

    I have a question for the board–are these deals falling through more often or have they always fallen through but we’re only now hearing about it because of twitter, etc.?

  9. Oswego chris

    There is a lot of truth to that…Twitter(although awesome) does make these deals appear more imminent….

    Imagine the trade deadline 25 years ago…no cell phones, no internet…GMs calling on land lines and reporters having to work phones for any nuggets…

  10. X The Cubs Fan

    Phil Rogers
    @ChiTribRogers
    For what it’s worth, Cubs had a scout at Dodgers’ AA team tonight. CF Joc Pederson, a possible trade chip, 0-for-7 with 5 Ks last 2 games.
    3:53 a.m. Sat, Jul 20

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  12. Kevin

    I’d rather have a platform that provides real time updates with BN than be in the dark and not know anything. Yes, we are subject to the letdowns, but we are adults and can take it. Brett does a great job to calm us down when things don’t go as planned.

    1. Coop

      Correction – Brett does a good job of *trying* to keep us calm.

      I am immune to these attempts at calming. GIVE ME GARZA TRADE NOW!!! WHY IS THIS FAILING!!! ACK!!!

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