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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.

  • Justin

    Brett, I got to say whatever happens with Garza you have done another amazing job keeping us fans updated. I get on other teams sites to check out their thoughts on stuff, and they can’t hang with Bleachernation. We’re spoiled.. Thanks.

  • Brian Peters

    Thank you, everybody. No more Donald Downer.

    • Afinch

      You must know my wife. Nikki No-Fun.

      In all seriousness, sorry to hear the news.

    • Jp3

      Remember other team’s SPs can go down too, if that happens we have more options I guess. Also my guess is relieved Garza hasn’t been dealt yet and I guess could technically go to the blogathon…

  • HackAttack

    John Arguello at Cubs Den saying it was a Ranger pitcher who had the bad medicals.

    • baldtaxguy

      I think I read in Obsessive Garza Watch post #750 this morning that one of the named had missed a couple of weeks with a shoulder? Maybe that dude….?

      • baldtaxguy

        Or post update #25.. :)

  • Bsteady

    So Junior Lake looks good huh?!?!

    • baldtaxguy

      Real nice, just singled. 2-3 with a 2B and SB

  • Cubbie Blues

    Sahadev just tweeted that it was a TEX pitchers medicals that held up the deal.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Most like Ramirez.

      JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm 57m
      If Cubs were waiting to see Neil Ramirez one more time to make sure shoulder is ok…they couldn’t be pleased with performance 3.1ip 7H 5ER

  • Jp3

    Hey update 7 means I can go to sleep now!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Bowden reports Texas and Cubs working on a deal to replace the player with questionable medicals. Niel Ramirez is my guess, who was the one with questions Bowden kind of hint at it being Bowden in this Tweet:

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm 57m
    If Cubs were waiting to see Neil Ramirez one more time to make sure shoulder is ok…they couldn’t be pleased with performance 3.1ip 7H 5ER

    JIM BOWDEN ‏@JimBowdenESPNxm 4m
    Rangers – Cubs both working hard to complete deal involving Matt Garza by trying to find a replacement for player w questionable medicals

    I’m actually a little happy because I wasn’t a fan of Ramirez

  • Afinch

    Junior Lake for life!

    • Justin

      Ha.. Reminds me of Castro’s first game. He was so electric his 1st game against the Reds. Lake sure as hell looks like a ballplayer too..

      • Afinch

        He definitely looks natural out there. We shall see what happens….

    • Bsteady

      looks like a dang ath-a-lete! If he can stay focused and be PATIENT at the plate(which will take time) he’ll be alright. Looks like he could jump out of the ballpark!!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Haha everyone should tweet @Kevin_Goldstein a tell him Junior Lake 2-3 w/2B and stolen base. Just for shits and gigs. Haha only one game but it be pretty funny to give him grief

    • Justin

      I’m not familiar with Goldstein’s take on J Lake. He’s not a fan?

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Well, I know K. Law is a hater.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Haha no not really. 2-3yrs ago, when the Cubs farm system terrible, Lake was consider one of the exciting crown jewels of the system, and pretty much the only thing we cubs fan had to get excited about so about literally 100 times a day, Goldstein would get asked about how good Junior Lake was and why he didn’t rank him higher. He got pretty annoyed about it (don’t blame him). So now its kind of a running joke now, between “Prospect Experts in the media”.

  • Oswego chris

    Lake looks bigger than I thought…

  • Bsteady

    For me, the most impressive thing he did was wave to Sappelt to get to second so his out in the run-down wasn’t in vain

    • Andrew

      Impressive indeed. Sounds like a smart kid too.

  • Chief

    Maybe thinking outside of the box, but could the hiccup be something along the lines of Mike Olt’s poor eyesight? Perhaps it’s worse than thought?

  • Sam

    I was hoping to see Garza Monday night in Phoenix!! Perhaps I still will?

  • Kramden

    Okay, back to the obsession….

    So it was Garza and Russell for Olt, Sardinas, Edwards and Ramirez. But Ramirez has a bum shoulder….

    Who do the Cubs replace Ramirez with to complete this deal?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I believe Profar is healthy. :lol:

      • Jp3

        I was saying the same thing😜. Which prospect do we need to throw in to make this happen? One of the big three and done deal.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Well, I’d take Alfara, Odor, or Jackson. But I’m just making that up.

  • jacob w

    I still want jackson

  • cubbies4life

    Severe weather headed toward Wrigley! Be careful, everyone!

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Swap Wimer Font for Ramirez and we should have a deal.

  • Jp3

    Funny tonight in Iowa Vitters 1st game back he’s 2-3 with a HR

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Garza and Russell for Olt, Edwards, Sardinas, and Odor or Luke Jackson? Probably too much but it be great package of prospects in return

  • Bsteady

    Got y’all off the subject for a min!! Jackson would work. But a lefty out of the pen with 2 years of cheap control-add Navarro(cause we know they need a better backup backstop)and make that last person Perez or backout. Play hardball with them.

  • Kramden

    To me, the weak link in that deal was Ramirez so I’m not really ticked that he’s the one that needs to be replaced.

    I like Sardinas and Edwards a lot and I’m okay with taking a flyer on Olt, but I’m not familiar enough with what the Rangers have in their system to pick someone else.

  • Justin

    Does anyone know how or where a players medicals come from? I’m really not trying to sound ridiculous, just wondering… Are there all kinds of Xrays and pics taken of joints/ligaments of baseball players prized areas before the season starts? It’s kind of mind blowing to me..

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      MRI’s, Xray’s and probably every medical exam known to man kind. I’m not sure if its the Team doctors that perform them or what. Good question

      • Justin

        Thanks. It makes sense why teams would want them. It’s just crazy to me that every player from Low A to the Big Leagues has such an intense amount of medical reports done on them. Also, if all this is done before the season isn’t there a chance that a players medicals are different after 4 months of intense baseball before the deadline?

        • Cubbie Blues

          Yeah, I always assumed they were recent scans.

          • Justin

            Yeah, but are players constantly getting scans throughout the yr? Were the guys in this trade discussed pulled away to a medical facility in the last 24 hrs? Kinda weird to think about..

            • Cubbie Blues

              Tat has always been my assumption, players that are being discussed heavily will get scans at the beginning of trade season. (This is just me guessing)

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          It probably gets pretty pricy to perform player medicals. 1 MRI is a thousand bucks a pop. But I guess that chump change to MLB teams

          • AlwaysNextYear

            No cause they own their machines well most due.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    They wouldn’t of Pitched Ramirez injured. Something else or maybe performance based.
    One last look before the deal went down. He bombed

    • Cubbie Blues

      I doubt they would scrap the deal because of one game.

  • Kramden

    Wilmer Font had TJ surgery and I don’t think I could deal with hearing the theme song from The Flintstones every time he was brought in to pitch.

  • Vegas Cubs Fan

    Just a little first hand commentary I thought I’d pass along from my family in Myrtle Beach, where the Rangers’ A ball team is located. Edwards has had tons of scouts in attendance for his recent starts and Sardinas is a smooth fielder with good energy that makes a few mental errors occasionally (Castro anyone?). Overall good impressions on both, though.

    Also, anyone want to bet the Rockies are trying to get a refund on that last minute scouting report they got on Lake?

  • Bsteady

    As far as filling needs we could do a one-stop shop with the Rangers. i.e. They could use Garza, Russell, Soriano, and Navarro. I’d take Perez, Olt, Jackson, Edwards, and split Soriano’s contract.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Bro Hug Alert: On the south side Alex Rios was seen hugging his teammates and saying his good byes in the duggout

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Well Rios potentially being traded takes a trade partner for Soriano, Schierholtz, and Dejesus off the board unfortunately. My guess is the Pirates

  • Bsteady

    guessing Pittsburgh

  • CBP

    Odor, Edwards, Sardinas, Olt, and PTBNL for Navarro, Russell, Garza would that be fair??

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Actually seems fair, but I doubt Texas wants to lose 4 of their top 10 prospects in one trade. I just don’t see them doing that

  • 5412

    Hi Guys,

    Earlier up the page someone mentioned Olt’s vision and wondered if that was the holdup. I thought I read something about that. Does anyone know any more details?

    A guy at 3B who can’t see well is looking for a major injury, Mr.Magoo never made it at 3B.

    Regards,
    5412

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yes, he had an eye problem, but it was supposedly taken care of.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      This is old news, and I don’t remember the source, but I read the first diagnosis for Olt was a neurological problem. Then he’s playing again. That diagnosis was a tear duct problem that they corrected with eye drops.

      I have no idea if tear duct issues are considered neurological, or if the first diagnosis was wrong. All I got.

      • 5412

        Hi,

        Thanks, that makes sense.

        regards,
        5412

      • Kramden

        I had read that Olt got hit in the head with a pitch and suffered a concussion, which was being blamed for the vision problem.

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