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.

  • Jason P

    First comment of a new 100 comment thread?

    • Jason P


  • Vulcan


  • Jp3

    Please don’t be Soriano torpedoing another trade😔

  • MoneyBoy

    Brett … It could be that negotiations with Garza and his agent are going on right?

    There are probably two offers … one if extension is signed and one if not. shrug

  • Cubsfan21

    Wake me up when this is over. I can’t take any more testicle tickling.

  • ThompsonLives

    Mike Olt sold poisoned milk to schoolchildren.

    • Carne Harris

      Poisoned milk tennis elbow.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Good thing they aren’t reviewing the BN community medical records, our collective blood pressure stats right now could give Dracula a robot chubby.

    • FFP


    • Jason

      haha, I actually lol’ed at that one :) Thanks!

  • Chef Brian

    Oh Holy Moses smell the roses!

  • Eric

    C’mon Chisenhall!

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    If you remove Olt and Ramirez as having medical issues, the Cuba are really not getting Garza’s even close worth. This is a quantity deal. I’m sure they are tracking Ramirez velocity after a shoulder hiatus. And Olt has a very significant issue for hitter. i wouldn’t jump to the conclusion of Texas doing this. Theo has a pretty well know history of torpedoing deals when he thinks he isn’t get value.

    Not saying it isn’t Garza, but there just as many significant potential issues on Texas side.

    • SalukiHawk

      Not true…Substitute Sardinas for Olt and Jackson for Ramirez, and bada bing!

  • Ballrock20

    Let’s make a deal with the Tribe

    • FFP

      Pirates. Pirates. Pirates.

      • Mick

        Dodgers. Dodgers. Dodgers. I’m ok w/the Pirates too :)

      • someday…2015?

        I’m with you FFP. I love the thought of taking one of Glasnow or Polanco if possible.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Thank God for George Ofman. How else would we have known that?

  • Tim

    And that does it….my first grey hair. I thought it was going to the be the Stanley Cup finals that did it, but I made it through that unscathed.

    It’s the Garza trade. Dammit

  • cubfanincardinalland

    There waiting to see if Olt can keep his k’s under 3 tonight.

  • fromthemitten

    We got two weeks to trade him. No point in freaking out just yet, this isn’t like the Dempster veto. I bet they’re just in disagreement of what the Cubs are throwing in, I bet. Maybe medicals on Vitters/Bjax?

    • FFP

      This. (At least the first two sentences.)

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Dude Albert Almora’s interview on the pre-game minor league report was downright impressive. I don’t think I have hoped a Cubs prospect makes it as much as him in a long time. Dude was asked after everything that has happened what would be his dream scenario to live through now. He said, being a major leaguer is great and all, but his dream is to win a World Series here, and to go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game. That is why he says he works so hard. Hell 99/100 would have said in his position to make it to the Major Leagues. He didn’t even sound arrogant when he said it either. Man I like that kid.

  • Adam

    This is beyond hilarious. How can you not laugh.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    What is the FO going to do for entertainment when they don’t have these sell off pieces they after this year?

    • Benjamin

      Winning baseball games would be ideal…

  • jeff1969

    Jeff Passan just said the deal had fallen apart but the Rangers still hoped to trade for Garza. WTF? Is this all GM dancing? Wow.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Means the Cubs didn’t like something in Olt’s medicals or this is dancing.

      • Carne Harris

        Yeah that makes it sound like it was the Texas meds not Garza’s.

        • cubzfan


          • Ryan

            or the other player coming from Chicago.

            (just saying)

    • Jp3

      Yeah well if that is true it means that Garza’s medicals are fine which is good news at least. He better go ahead and get another stud positional player ready…. COUGH profar. ***ducks***

      • X the Cubs Fan

        I wish…

  • fortyonenorth

    Tough to believe it would be Garza’s meds. Unless the Rangers wish to extend him, they just need him to be healthy and throw well for the next couple of months. On the other hand, Cubs are looking at long term pieces.

  • Cheryl

    I doubt the snag is Garza. If it was the cubs might hit the same snag with another team. Maybe its Olt. The cubs could also be tired of going back and forth with Texas and want it settled.

  • Kramden


    Even though Garza’s perfectly healthy, the Rangers put it out there that there’s a snag due to Garza’s medical records….

    Which gives pause to other team’s interests, causing them to gear back their offers….

    Which allows the Rangers to gear back their offer and seize the momentum from the Cubs.

    If true, it’ll be interesting to see how/if Epstein/Hoyer counter this strategy to get the ball back in their court.

  • Jp3

    They’ll take their ball and go home if Texas doesn’t play nice and get the comp pick for him at the end of the year I would assume…

    • Kramden

      That would do the Cubs, Garza nor any other interested team any good in the bigger picture.

  • Joe

    Upon review of Mike Olt’s medicals, the Cubs found out that his name was really Josh Vitters and they activated him from the DL. Big mix up all around.

  • jj

    More importantly, I just heard Sveum on WGN call Junior Lake “Lakey”. Also, Lake will play regularly while here and his best position is CF.

    • Jp3

      That’s I’d awesome that his best position is somewhere he’s never played with any regularity… That could be telling as to what he looks like everywhere else.

  • Bret Epic


  • Bret Epic


    Let’s see if that works.

  • Kramden

    The other thing is the more the Rangers can stall things closer to the deadline, the more desperate and less demanding the Cubs become.

    • falselife

      Yes, but their intent to get Garza is to win now. Not moving for him until the deadline could mean the difference between two wins and losses. Waiting is risky for them as well.

  • Bret Epic
  • aCubsFan

    During the 6:30 pm sports on WGN Radio, Jordan Bernfield stated the Washington Nationals were trying to jump in, but they are unwilling to pay the $10.5 million remaining on Garza’s contract.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Good. We have a FO that has been open about spending to get better prospects.

    • jj

      Garza has 10.5M remaining? So he was to be paid $22M this year?