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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.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Off subject, but can we please end the Barney leading off experiment?

    • Ballrock20

      I agree…and Ranson batting 2nd

      • Drew7

        Not sure why that’s so bad – he’s been a lefty-masher.

    • 5412

      Hi,

      Even though LeMahieu is not all world, I cringe when I see him. We gave him away and his numbers are not all that bad. BA is 40 points higher than Barney although he is a singles hitter. He has a much better OBP.

      They missed the boat with him in my opinon. At the same time, were he with the Cubs he likely would not be any more of a core player than Barney is.

      regards,
      5412

      • Justin

        I hear 5412 on the LeMahieu deal. That was clearly a miss. If the front office hit on every deal who would want to deal with them? In a weird way it’s probably good to do bad on certain/lesser players when you deal them. Let’s just miss on the fringe/scrub type deals and hit on guys like Rizzo. I am good with that..

        • Justin

          For example, if I were Jed I would tell the Rangers “look at our Ian Stewart deal, we clearly are clueless.” I really think it’s good to miss on fringe type deals from time to time. Just my opinion. Use the misses to your advantage.

  • Bsteady

    I thought we should’ve taken fliers on Kazmir, Liriano, and Jurrjens. The first two are having good seasons, but I think Jurrjens is available and we should try and turn him back into the old him. I mean, WHY NOT?!?

    • Dob2812

      The Cubs took lots of flyers. There are only 25 roster spots.

  • Atfinch

    I telling you…Junior Lake for life!

  • Atfinch

    I’m. Sorry. Too many sodas tonight.

    • baldtaxguy

      Caffeinated Lake Watch :)

  • CBP

    New lineup for tomorrow Lake, Valbuena, Rizzo, Sori, Castro, Castillo, Barney.. I like it

  • Stogie

    Those “geniuses” Jed and Theo say Lake isn’t ready…but looky there! He’s 3-4, with a double and stolen base. If this is what “isn’t ready” looks like, we need more players who aren’t ready.

    • baldtaxguy

      Yeah, small sample size be damned. Bring Up All The Players!!

    • Cking6178

      Careful with the small sample size…the “show” is about adjustments, I’m personally withholding judgements until the advance scouts develop their reports & see how he adjusts. Liking the initial signs though.

      • roz

        Well no shit.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Of course! After one game! Let’s crown him Rookie of the Year!

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    If Olt has health issues Cubs could not flip him like they wanted to. Let’s take him out of deal and just do the Garza and ? for Edwards, Claudio, Ramirez, and Sardinas.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      No thanks, not interested in a Edwards, Claudio, Ramirez, and Sardinas. Get rid of Ramirez/Claudio for Odor/Alfaro and we got a deal. But that a lot too give up. Garza/Russell/Navarro for those guys?

  • Afinch

    Hey! Samardzija spelled backwards is ajidramas!

    • Cubbie Blues

      No, it’s not.

  • Oswego chris

    E Z

    He looks good tonight…I really think he might have been up earlier had he not been hurt…

    He definitely should get some opportunities in the second half

  • Afinch

    Ajizdramas? Damn auto correct?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Wow…White Sox most likely got Top Pirates prospect Alen Hanson for Alex Rios. The Sox got a stud for Rios (Rios is solid but not great IMO) Hanson left the game. Not do to injury. Ben Badler

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Maybe they got Alexi too.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Doesn’t matter what other junk they throw at the Pirates. Kudos to Rick Haughn for stealing Alan Hanson

    • Rcleven

      Rios removed for loafing.
      Per Ventura.
      Rios still a CWS.

      • Rcleven

        JJ Stankevitz ‏@JJStankevitz 20m

        Ventura says Rios was pulled for not hustling. #HugWatch

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Part of me want the Hanson for Rios trade to happen bc i didn’t want to have to face Hanson in the division, but then part of me hated it bc if Hanson turned out to be a star then I would hate for the White Sox fans to get a big head. I hate taking shit from white sox fans about being a cubs fan

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          White Sox fan’s say they are true fans and say most cubs fans are just bleacher bums that don’t care about baseball and just wanna get drunk. At least when we suck we can draw more then 10 fans to a game. Yep White sox fans are soooo committed to their team

  • Bsteady

    Good thing “balkin Bob” Davidson isn’t umpiring 2nd tonight

  • Bsteady

    Wonder if they have to go through days of rumors and “near trades”? It’s crazy. I want one really good package of prospects for one of our good players

  • iowacubs

    Rios was pulled for not hussling…not traded. Per Ventura

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      White Sox players hug each other in the dugout for not Hustling.

      • iowacubs

        ??? Just repeating what Ventura said during his post game

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Haha I know. I’m just taking a shot at the white sox.
          Gordon Beckham: “Duuude, love the non-hustle out there, keep it up”
          Rios: “Thanks, Bro”

          • iowacubs

            Sounds about right!

      • Kevin

        LMAO, that was funny!

  • 5412

    HI Guys,

    Off topic. The blond in the shampoo commercial is sure an attention getter. I would love to see the demographic breakdown of the WGN audience on a night like this.

    Beer commercials with good looking chicks belong on baseball games not pink shampoo.

    regards,
    5412

    • Cubbie Blues

      Not all commercials purchase actual slots. Some just buy so much time and they are placed wherever.

      • 5412

        Hi,

        Take the same chick and stick a bag of burritos in her hand and they would be better off.

        Part of the reason I raised the question was wondering if they know something about the demographics that we might not be aware of.

        regards,
        5412

  • Bsteady

    when guys blow snot-rockets what’s the point in closing one nostril? I know to get more on the other one, but just blow-em both and wipe it off when you’re done. Same Thing!

    • iowacubs

      Its all about velocity.

      • 5412

        HI,

        I wonder if it applies elsewhere. For example, when a guy reaches the ultimate moment of sexual enjoyment, does the velocity decrease if he opens one eye?

        Some of you young guys will have to give us a research report.

        regards,
        5412

    • Cubbie Blues

      You get twice the velocity out of just one nostril rather than using both. Helps to clear the hangers. (Really didn’t think I would be answering this one tonight).

      • Cubbie Blues

        Also, with the increased velocity there is less to wipe off since it shoots out rather than dribbling down your lip closing in on your mouth.

        • Drew7

          You = late to the snotty-mouth party.

    • Afinch

      Hilarious.

    • Drew7

      You can’t double-barrel it – you’d have it all up in the mouth, chin, etc.

      The Farmer’s Blow is the *only* way to go.

      • hansman1982

        This. Apparently someone didn’t watch that Dodge commercial during the Super Bowl. Farmers are the greatest thing ever and are so incredibly smart, clearly we have perfected the technique of blowing ones nose sans hankerchief.

    • Doug Gray

      Ah the camper hanky. Nice.

  • Bsteady

    HaHa! Thanks for playing along guys!

  • Vegas Cubs Fan

    Does anybody have a real-time Kevin Gregg trade value meter (yes I mentioned Kevin Gregg and trade value in a serious sentence together)? I think its going down with every pitch.

    • 5412

      HI,

      I think there was a blurb about that somewhere. A scout or someone said just that, his trade value dropped in his last two outings as his ERA took a big jump.

      regards,
      5412

  • Oswego chris

    That was a helluva play by Castro

  • Mr. B. Patient

    I’m scared. Does anyone think Garza’s going to blow out his elbow giving Lake a shaving cream pie?

    • 5412

      Hi,

      I was scared but not anymore. That too was a heck of a DP.

      nite,
      5412

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Nope. Quad walking in the high five line.

      • Austin5596

        Hammy walking down the dugout stairs

  • Bsteady

    I’ve got a huge schnozz and I can do the double barrel shotgun snot rocket. But there is a little cleanup off the upper lip. Just thought I’d try it out one day. Ok, I’m done. Cubs win!

  • preacherman86

    Could it be a Ramirez concern, he has had a rough go lately, maybe a fatigue issue, rotator cuff stuff? Better add in Jackson!!

  • http://bleachernation.com Brian

    Would have been nice to have closed deal tonight but good to have some snot rocket stuff to keep us all sane

  • http://bleachernation.com Brian

    Oh forgot my manners, been following this site for a few months now and find it to be the best one by far. Used to follow on scout but it has went from bad to useless. Great job to all who put time in here.

  • Boba Fett

    Assman update on Garza trade???

  • rockin’ dawg

    How do we know the snag wasn’t Olt not passing his eye exam?

  • Dustin S

    Rumors elsewhere from a supposedly decent source were that the medical issue was Olt having lingering vision/concussion issues (headaches and light sensitivity). Again, just a rumor though as of now and nothing more firm yet.

    If both sides get agitated by all this and break off negotiations, it puts the Cubs in a bad spot where they lose a lot of leverage. Other potential buyers would know that the top team that wanted Garza is out, and they also basically know the names that made up the top offer. So in theory any future offer will probably be at least a bit under what Texas offered. If history holds Garza will probably end up going to a team for a package that wasn’t rumored at all and none of us saw coming.

    • Jp3

      Light sensitivity for someone going to play at wrigley 82 games a year might not be a good thing

  • Rich

    Headaches and light issues for Olt
    Not always an eye problem
    Cervical spine issue
    Chiropractic great for those symptoms

    • Lapdawg

      I would try fairy dust and a mustard poultice first.

  • MichiganGoat

    We got Profar… right? Damn back to another day of obsessively checking BN.

  • Rooster

    Baker got shelled again last night. Sounds like he’s tentative in regards to the elbow…Cubs officials believe he doesn’t yet trust the repaired elbow enough to snap off pitches at full force.

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