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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.

  • fromthemitten

    https://twitter.com/LenKasper/status/358384089784516608

    Big trade going down that nobody’s paying attention to

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Make that trade in a heartbeat…

    • Ronnie Nowicki

      At Kane County right now watching Almora! I’m seating near center field so we’re basically best friends now haha. For real he has great instincts on defense and took a walk tonight

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        At Fort Wayne tonight and Correa just hit an absolute bomb. Unfortunately for me I am not close enough to Kane County. I couldn’t turn down $9 to see Mark Appel debut, and Carlos Correa. I really like Max Fried for Fort Wayne as well. Seen him a few times. Correa hit a bar across the street from the stadium. People were guessing 420-430 feet. Biggest HR I have seen at this level. This stadium just doesn’t have much lift. He does not look big at all, but has some good pop. Man, I really wish we would have got Appel. I am sure I will like Bryant, but he is not Appel.

    • Scott

      I bet Kasper doesn’t pass his medical examination.

  • fromthemitten

    But in all seriousness, Horst and Adams are out for the season for the Phillies. This might be what puts them into sell mode. It would be beneficial to get this deal done before Lee hits the market.

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

    Let the bro hug watch begin.

  • HackAttack

    Was really hoping this wouldn’t stretch out into the weekend.

    I hate watching it all. But I can’t look away.

    • Scott

      I hope it gets done soon too. I’d like to other things.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        What other things would you like to Scott?

  • Don

    Forget the Rangers, trade Garza to Indians, Red Sox or Diamondbacks

    • Tim

      Trade him to the Indians, Red Sox AND Diamondbacks

  • Eric

    Ugh. This is getting tiresome.

  • baldtaxguy

    And now we move on to other teams….Come on Boston….

  • Brian Peters

    Theo and Jed can’t close deals. Period.

    • http://worldseriesdreaming.com Jackson Scofield

      Right, so if a player has bad medicals, make the trade anyway just to close it, right?

    • baldtaxguy

      Trollin’, Trollin’, Trollin’….

      • Scotti

        I don’t agree with the premise of the front office not being able to close deals but some BN regs have a bizarre notion of what trolling is. Having an opinion is not trolling.

        • baldtaxguy

          K. Post was a legitimate opinion, through frustration, as stated later. But as Darth described so well, on its face, could not be considered “an opinion” but a statement to provoke. But moot. Thanks.

    • DarthHater

      Yes, if you disregard all the deals they actually have closed and further disregard the fact that the remaining deals were not closed for reasons unrelated to their ability to close a deal, that would be true. In other words, it’s a completely idiotic statement.

      • DarthHater

        Oh, I almost forgot to add: Period.

        • Jon

          It’s a crapshoot

  • Oswego Chris

    Apparently Kid Rock sitting behind home plate at Coors field…wearing a Phillies cap

    • Tim

      Pics or GTFO

    • MaxM1908

      It does look like him.

      • Afinch

        I thought the same thing, except in a Phillies hat. Which makes total sense at a Cubs/Rockies game.

  • cubzfan

    So the accepted inside source at PSD, ABTY7, says the hangup was with Olt’s medicals, and the Cubs want a PTBNL if Olt turns out to be hurt.

    Recall that’s how the Cubs ended up with Barrett Loux ultimately in the Soto deal. I don’t know how to embed a link here, but it’s on p. 56 of the Cubs forum discussion.

  • Brian Peters

    Just anxious to see what we’re going to get. Sorry that I lost my head momentarily. I’m okay now.

    • DarthHater

      Okay, I just got snarky with you above before I saw here that you regained your head. My apologies. :-P

  • Deacon

    Wonder if the eye issue is something a little longer term.

  • WildBilly

    Wow. Lake 1st pitch doubled. Next pitch stole 3rd. Welcome to the bigs Junior.

  • Chi15

    Junior! Welcome to the show with your first hit and steal!

  • Brian Peters

    No harm done. I deserved it Darth.

    • baldtaxguy

      You “un-trolled.” Well done.

      • Scotti

        No, he didn’t untroll. He didn’t troll in the first place.

        • baldtaxguy

          K, you win, your right.

  • KidCubbie

    Wow Lake is fast.

  • David

    Hopefully we’ll free up somebody so Lake will play every day. He should be one of the main priorities for the rest of the year.

  • Brian Peters

    One hypothetical question, though: IF the Rangers won’t agree to the Cubs’ terms, and IF no deals are able to be made with any other team (I know that’s not likely), and IF Garza goes out in a Cubs uniform Monday night and gets hurt, or IF the year ends and all we get is a compensatory pick, won’t we look a little silly for not taking the three players suggested in the experts’ posts? Just askin’.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That’s a lot of individually unlikely ifs you have there.

      Could you not also argue that the Cubs should delay a trade as long as possible just in case one of the return pieces is about to get injured? It is the same sort of thinking.

      And the in both cases the answer is no. Hire the best front office people around, and trust that they, the only ones with all the data, will do their job well.

      • Brian Peters

        That’s why I asked the question. To get a different, more positive perspective. Truth is, the Cubs are keeping me afloat lately. Not to bring everybody down, but my wife is very sick, and there is no cure for what she has. This stuff keeps my mind off that stress, but sometimes I let my helplessness loose. I’m 47 years old (my wife is significantly younger). I breathe Cubs baseball and want them to do well. That’s all.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Our thoughts will be with you – we’ll be happy to be here to provide a diversion.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Love her like there is no tomorrow and you will have few regrets.

        • baldtaxguy

          So sorry about your wife’s condition. Hang in there and take one day at a time.

        • MichiganGoat

          Thoughts with you and I can relate BN is great therapy and needed distraction during a tough time. Stay strong buddy.

        • Abe Froman

          Doubley so Brian, all our best.

        • Tobias

          Good thoughts heading your way.

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

          Thoughts and prayers are with your wife Brian.

        • Carew

          I’m so sorry about your wife. We are proud to have you as part of our community.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Thoughts and prayers are with your wife. Hang in there man

        • Tom A.

          My prayers are extended to you and your wife.

          These posts take on even greater meaning !

        • Justin

          Keep positive Brian. This Cub fan and I’m sure any other Cub fan that reads your post sends their best to you.

        • Bric

          Sorry to hear that, Brian. I hope everything works out. Keep the faith :)

        • D.G.Lang

          I also add my prayers for you and your wife. Dan

    • Jp3

      Sorry to hear about your wife Brian, hang in there sir. Not to mention IF another team’s ace goes down we’ve got another potential trade partner.

  • Brian Peters

    I trolled. I didn’t mean to troll, but I did.

    • Mr. P

      Slow your troll man, slow your troll.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It happens. Sometimes I troll in my own posts.

    • Scotti

      Good thing for you that the definition of trolling necessitates intent.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Neil Ramirez Tonight’s start: 3.1ip 7H 5ER

    Didn’t like the guy to begin with and now I like him even less

  • Andrew

    Anybody see how Lake is playing center? I’m not able to watch them right now. I know he doubled and grounded out so far.

    • Afinch

      Ok just got some action. Awkwardly running into the wall type action on a home run. Looked like it hurt too but he’s ok. Except for embarrassment.

    • Carew

      That groundball was really hit hard FWIW

  • Afinch

    Hasn’t had any action out there yet.

  • baldtaxguy

    He just ran into the wall, fortunately well padded

    • The Other Matt

      Someone needs to tell him not to do that at Wrigley.

  • Ballrock20

    Baez homered…either k’s or hrs

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I hope you’re right. He’ll have 150 homers a year.

      • Ballrock20

        Ya, what a stud

  • Juan

    Come on I have stuff to do!!!

  • http://bleachernation.com Dean

    Soriano hit a bomb. 440ft according to the guys. Long even at Coors.

  • Mr. P

    So Bowden says the Nats are out, I assume that can only mean that the Nats are the front runners now?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Really? I would take that as they are about to consummate a deal with the Nats.

  • 5412

    HI Brett,

    Your analysis of the negotiation tactics was excellent. If a deal is close and there is a snag as you suggested, then the team who purports to take on a bigger risk than they thought is indeed prolonging the process.

    In most cases, assuming good faith negotiaitons, the other party should small concession. It is offered up as a deal closer. It sounds like this with the party appearing to agonize, “OK, if I could find a way to include this (additional concession) do we have a deal?”

    In other words I will only offer the concession if the negotiation process stops and the deal is done. In this case, were it a tactic being used by either party, the concession more than likely would be money as opposed to a player.

    regards,
    5412

    • Abe Froman

      5412, thank you for your thoughtful, sincere posts. For message boards you don’t have to have a formal beginning or end to your posts, “hi Brett, or regards 5412.” I hope I am not insulting you, just trying to explain how informal US mess age boards are.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I always just assumed 5412 liked doing that as his “thing.”

        • 5412

          Hi guys,

          Between this board and the Cubs board which I have long ago departed, I have well over 20,000 posts. I was a total newbie when I started over a decade ago and looked at a post like writing a letter and typed the greeting and salutation instinctively.

          On the Cubs board, at first I caught a lot of crap about it, not nearly as polite as this board…..which is why I am here. I finally concluded that is just who I am.

          Indeed, old school. I am 73 and saw my first Cub game in 1944. I’m just hoping I can see the sign on the building beyond the right field wall with all zeros across the board before I die.

          I made it a point to meet Brett after a Cub game earlier in the year and he is a really good guy. I told him I had written books and taught negotiations in industry for over 35 years and he encouraged me to bring my experience to the board when it was appropriate.

          When I addressed my message to him I was subtly saying, OK, I am doing what we dicussed.

          This board is a breath of fresh air to me. We can discuss Cubs baseball, diaagree without all the accompanying bullshit you see on the Cubs board. Brett thinks like we do, and writes about our immediate concerns in an easy read and timely fashion.

          FWIW, Junior Lake just got another hit. I saw him in ST, he is a big kid and looks to be a heck of an athlete…..

          Anyway, no big deal guys, as long as I am not offending anyone with my courtesy, it is just me being who I am.

          regards,
          5412

          • Cubbie Blues

            Keep on keeping on brother.

          • Abe Froman

            5412, please accept my sincere apologies, I think you have some great posts and now i understand the formality of them. Have a great night and go Cubs!

      • Cubbie Blues

        That’s kinda his shtick.

        • Abe Froman

          My bad.

        • baldtaxguy

          Yes, very old school cool.

    • Justin

      I actually think that 5412 typing his posts like that makes me read whatever he types. It’s kind of cool in today’s society to have something so proper. Maybe thats just me..

      • Abe Froman

        Thanks for your opinion, 5412 please ignore my comments, most feel differently, and above all else please continue to post as you do.

        • 5412

          Hi,

          No offense taken. I offered an explanation above.

          You were offering feedback in a polite constructive way, and it is appreciated.

          Regards,
          5412

        • Whiteflag

          This is why I love this blog/comment section. I realize that apologies, manners, and good nature ribbing aren’t things of the past. Just makes talking about our favorite boys in blue much more fun. Good Stuff.

      • 5412

        HI Justin,

        Thanks for the nice comments. At 73 I am back to work writing a newsletter for a living, probably directed at your parents generation. We have just completed our first year in business and have 165,000 subscribers. I am having fun again.

        I’m not trying to promote anything but if you want to see what I look like go to
        http://www.millersmoney/com

        You have no idea how it feels at my age to feel you can still make a contribution and help others. I have spent four hours at the computer tonight after dinner answering emails from subscribers with the Cub game on next to me.

        Regards,
        5412

        PS: Best part of doing this for a living is I have an editor that fixes all my mistakes, unlike this board where they slip through.

  • Vince

    Thanks for all your efforts to keep us informed Brett. You do a great job. Going to force myself to get back to having a life. Hopefully a deal happens that most of us are happy with!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha, thanks, Vince. Please: go enjoy your Friday night.

      • Tim

        I think it’s going to be a little tough to enjoy my Friday night. Just take my cell number, Brett. Keep me posted on all things Garza tonight.

  • Andrew
    • Tim

      Give me more updates on this! Anyone on base during that?

      • Andrew

        Bottom of the 8th is when he hit it, nobody on base. Just went into extras

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