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matt garza cubsThey’ve been the favorite for some time, and if Ken Rosenthal’s sources are to be believed, the Rangers are going to get their man.

Rosenthal reports this morning – according to two officials with knowledge of the negotiations – that the Rangers are “close” to acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs. Nothing is final here, so let’s be certain to continue proceeding cautiously here. Indeed, Bruce Levine just spoke with Garza on his flight to Denver, where the Cubs are playing the Rockies this weekend. Garza said he’d not heard anything from the Cubs, and obviously hasn’t yet been traded.

That the sides have obviously reached an advanced stage of negotiations makes you wonder if the Rangers and Cubs have had the basic parameters of a deal in place for a little while, but have been negotiating at the periphery for some time (hence the call for best and final offers yesterday).

The names we keep hearing are third base prospect Mike Olt, and pitching prospects Luke Jackson and C.J. Edwards. Does that mean the Cubs will get all three for Garza? Nope. Does it mean that any of those three will be involved? Not necessarily. Does it mean they were already in the deal and the Cubs wanted more? Not necessarily. But I have to believe their names keep popping up from a variety of sources for a reason. (And those three players together for Garza is a plausible, albeit strong, return. Rosenthal mentions only Olt and Edwards, for whatever that’s worth. Those two, only, would also be a plausible return.)

Peter Gammons reminds folks this morning that young Rangers pitcher Martin Perez is out of the deal, but also believes a deal is close. Obviously things are getting hot, but you already knew that.

UPDATE: Jon Heyman adds pitching prospect Neil Ramirez’s name to the mix as one who had been discussed, according to a source. Heyman also mentions Roman Mendez, but doesn’t explicitly connect him to the talks.

UPDATE 2 (8:50am CT): I missed Patrick Mooney’s new report earlier, but a source told him late last night that the Rangers were still not crazy about the steep asking price, and were in the advanced stages of moving on to a Plan B. That sounds like a bit of negotiating to me, but you never know. The question now is whether Rosenthal’s info came after Mooney’s.

UPDATE 3 (9:20am CT): Tim Brown from Yahoo – who always seems to swoop in during rumor season with solid info – says the Cubs and Rangers haven’t reached the point of exchanging medial information, so a deal isn’t quite that close.

UPDATE 4 (9:30am CT): MLB.com writer T.R. Sullivan, who covers the Rangers, has a source who says there is “no deal yet,” but that the sides have been working hard on getting this done. Sullivan makes sure to caveat that although something “could” get done, it isn’t done yet. For what it’s worth, Sullivan’s initial report on trade talks between the Cubs and Rangers mentioned a smattering of prospects that were not particularly captivating.

UPDATE 5 (9:43am CT): In a separate update (which actually preceded the prior one), Sullivan says that the names being discussed are Olt, Edwards, and Ramirez … and that the Rangers have put Luke Jackson off-limits. Makes you wonder if the current negotiation is about getting Jackson back on the table in place of Ramirez. After 2011, Ramirez was a fairly well-regarded pitching prospect, but a rough go at AAA in 2012 knocked his stock down a bit. He’s had to settle for pitching (well) at AA this year as a 24-year-old. The stuff is well-regarded, but there are control issues. If it’s the case that the Cubs prefer Jackson, I could understand why.

UPDATE 6 (9:43am CT): This is from the same Sullivan piece, but I wanted to give it separate billing here so it didn’t get lost: Sullivan says the Rangers are hoping to get a deal done in time to have Garza start tomorrow night against the Orioles.

  • DReese

    I just glanced at the Rangers top 20 at MLB.com and none of the pitchers have an overall future rating of 50. I know this is not the best way to evaluate prospects but I am not a scout. Knowing that I think any pitching prospect in their top 20 is gonna be a possible 3-4 started in the future.

    • On The Farm

      I don’t really like Mayo’s ‘scouting’, while its better than nothing. I just prefer other scouting services.

      • DReese

        I know but its the first place I looked just to get some sort of idea about the names being thrown around.

        • On The Farm

          Yeah, that’s why I threw in the “while its better than nothing”. I get what you are saying though even if it is MLB.com’s rating, it is dishearting

          • Jay

            How about keep Olt and give us more pitching?

  • Cubfan Budman

    This might even make us the top 3 farm clubs…IMO

    • Kyle

      We’re already there.

  • Trey

    For whatever it’s worth, Olt is batting .293 vs LHP and only .158 vs RHP this season

    • bbmoney

      SSS alert. Especially considering the first two months of his season were basically a waste.

      Not that I’m that excited about him anyway. Splits were fine last year in a full season.

  • Cubfan Budman

    This might even make us one of the top 3 farm clubs…IMO

    • On The Farm

      With Almora, Soler, Baez, and Bryant being consensus top 35(ish) and Alacantra being a top 100, and P. Johnson being a top 150, I think the Cubs are already top 3 and MIGHT be #2. Adding Olt and Edwards would cement us as #2 and make a push for #1.

      Although Minnesota having the #1 (Buxton) another guy ranked anywhere from 3-10 (Sano), a top 35 (Meyer), and a couple more guys like Rosario and 2013 draftee Kohl Stewart. Minnesota may be hard to beat because they are so top heavy.

  • KidCubbie

    8:22am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that Rangers minor league right-hander Neil Ramirez has also been discussed in trade talks. -MLBTR

    • afinch

      Ramirez is having a good year but history shows it’s maybe a fluke? Or maybe he’s finally figured it out at age 24?

  • todd mccombs

    Bryan you don’t get it – Olt could be a top 5 offensive 3b in baseball and a gold glover – He was in the top 20 prospects in all of baseball at the start of the year. The Cubs are filling in at 3rd base(Not doing a good job of it) and we need one. Why would we trade the best 3rd base propect in baseball. My thinking is use the money we are saving and get one of the Cuban defectors.

    • Jed Jam Band

      We would trade him because that kind of thinking may apply where other teams still see him that way. We could capitalize off of that perception in order to bring back one or two high-minors pitching prospects that we actually like.

      • Kyle

        Why wouldn’t the team that liked him just trade with the Rangers directly, now?

        That sort of arbitrage isn’t really a thing.

        • Jed Jam Band

          Yeah, that’s definitely an interesting question. My best guess on that is that this is a team that didn’t want to give up major league players in order to get someone like Olt. A team that is at least a fringe contender right now that could use a 3B of the future and even possibly down the stretch this year. Say….a team like the Atlanta Braves for instance. The Cubs would be a better partner for such a team, as the Cubs would want prospects rather than major league talent. A competitive team needs its MLB guys, so parting with a prospect or two to get a prospect/MLB-ready guy who they like a lot would be worth it to them.

        • CubsFaninMS

          The only good explanation here may be that Olt’s stock value is at it’s lowest right now. If the Cubs can trade for him, they can increase his stock value and, when Kris Bryant is ready, trade him away for some stud pitching prospects in the upper minor leagues (2015?). This is, of course, contingent on how well Olt and Bryant both perform. Those are always question marks.

  • Smackafilieyo

    Buster on espn radio and states Texas rangers will get garza today!!!

  • Timmy

    No Perez? Sounds like Theo blew it again. It’s ok, we can get that 25 year old minor leaguer with failing eyesight.

    • Trey

      Good to see you back again today, Timmy

      • bbmoney

        Yeah he was a barrel of laughs last night too.

        • Timmy

          The important point here is that the GMs will blow it and the owners will ruin the ballpark while suing the neighborhood to make slightly more money that they don’t need.

    • Feeney

      No trade has been finalized. We don’t know the players involved. Olt is still 24. His eyesight issues appear to have been fixed. Theo isn’t the GM.

    • KidCubbie

      Oh Timmy boo boo. If it was easy to just take whatever prospects you wanted every body would do it.

  • North Side Irish

    John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 2m
    @sullivan_ranger says TX not willing to give up Perez or Jackson.

    Doesn’t seem like Texas is all that desperate to complete the trade…

    • Jed Jam Band

      Geeze, Texas! I mean, you won’t give us Perez and now you won’t give us Jackson? Some team HAS to have a better offer. I find it hard to believe the Red Sox or Indians wouldn’t be able to put up better than this.

      • Feeney

        Being able to is not the same as wanting to

        • Jed Jam Band

          Look, I enjoy a good prospect quite a lot, but if you’re in a position to win now without mortgaging your farm system (and these team are) then why wait? Garza is a good pitcher who can really help a competitive team. You can’t just be like, “Well, we’ll give you a recently unheard-of A Ball pitcher and a fruit basket.” That’s insane!

  • Adam

    A few years back the Diamondbacks traded Dan Haren to the Angels for Joe Saunders and two minor league pitching prospects. Those prospects were named Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs.

    I’m fine with lower lever prospects with higher upside. This franchise is not ready to win next year, but if we can have some solid arms busting in around 2015-2016, that better fits this franchise’s emerging time frame. I’d be thrilled with any combo of Jackson, Edwards and Ramirez. If you can drop Olt and get all three, go ahead and do it.

  • Brent

    If the roles were reversed, would you want our FO to give up Perez for two months of Garza? I’d be pretty ticked if I was a Rangers fan and he was included.

    • Adam

      Perez really hasn’t been discussed much as a possibility, and quite frankly, his strikeout numbers don’t do much for me. This front office seems to prefer power arms. I’d prefer to go with a couple higher upside but further away from the majors arms.

      • Brent

        I know. I meant to put that as a reply to someone, but didn’t. While we all want to maximize our return for Garza, I think some people are being pretty unreasonable thinking that we will fleece anyone for a two month rental…even if Garza is the best SP available at the moment. If we were buying right now, I know that I’d be pretty unhappy if we gave up someone like Perez for a rental player.

  • macpete22
    • cubchymyst

      I’d like to see a 3rd pitcher added to that list or a PTBNL.

  • JUICED1

    Why is every texas prospect old. it seems like yhe whole system is above.average age wise.for every stop. olt should be in the bigs already if hes that good. makes me weary

  • JUICED1

    I love how people are writing off a 23 yo vitters but in love with an almost 25 yo olt.

    • hansman1982

      BUT THE OTHER KIDS OLD BEAT UP TOY IS BETTER THAN MINE!!!!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Olt has pitch recognition, Vitters does not. We Cubs fans have learned over the years that pitch recognition almost never “comes with time.”

      That written, Olt’s eye issues obviously are a concern. That could deprive him of any ability to perform.

      • Kyle

        Vitters’ pitch recognition has improved steadily over the years.

    • Justin

      Vitters can’t play 3rd base in the majors. Do the Cubs really want Vitters playing a corner outfield spot? So to me Vitters is almost worthless, if they can get value back they should move him. I like Olt a lot better just because he can stick at 3rd and has better power.

  • Timmy

    OK here’s my final offer: profar and perez for garza and castro

  • Lou Brown

    I would much rather have Jackson than Ramirez.

  • North Side Irish

    Phil Rogers ‏@ChiTribRogers 17m
    Very good names in those Rangers-Cub talks. RHP C.J. Edwards, 21, has Cy Young tools. RHP Neil Ramirez, 24, is safe bet as No. 2-3 starter.

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 6m
    @ChiTribRogers Edwards is more of a backend starter type and possible bullpen arm. Ramirez is definitely a bullpen arm; possible 7/8th type

    I love the Professor…

    • On The Farm

      Dang it would have been nicer if the two guys reversed what the said.

      • cubchymyst

        agreed, Parks comment tempers expectations some.

    • Kyle

      Edwards has struck out 207 in 160 minor league innings while allowing zero home runs. Zero.

      I guess maybe the scouting reports aren’t there to back it up, but dang that gives me a lot of want.

      • Edwin

        I’m just curious to know what it was about him that got him drafted so late originally. Does he have nasty stuff that will translate into K’s at the major league level, or will he end up more like Mike Fiers or Rich Hill, great minor league K numbers/performance, but poor MLB performance.

        Either way, I’d love to get a prospect with that kind of high K/9 potential in the Cubs system.

        • Kyle

          Looks like a combination of very non-projectable size and being a bit of a late bloomer.

    • Rebuilding

      Parks, in other places, seems to like Edwards more than that. Edwards numbers are video game quality. Most of the concerns seem to center around his weight/durability. I would much rather get a guy who is too skinny than too short. You can do something about skinny

  • STEEEEEEVE

    Jackson, Edward, and Ramirez for Garza is fair. Just complete the trade already

  • Assman22

    All three teams (Texas, Cleveland, Boston) still tinkering Garza offers as of this morning…Cubs want to get this deal done to move on with other trades…have not budged far from original asking prices…

    • Jed Jam Band

      Oh, thank God, assman brings the news. Do you know if the Cleveland/Boston offers were comparable to Texas?

    • Adam

      Is the Cubs asking price being met? Also is Luke Jackson really off the table?

      • Assman22

        Not yet but Rangers have come up considerably…third piece coming back to Cubs will likely be a PTBNL scenario from Rangers (based on Garza’s production in 2nd half) unless they cave…

        • Afinch

          Meh. I still say get Boston to somehow trade a few of their pitchers. They are loaded with good pitching prospects.

          • Feeney

            “Somehow get Boston to trade a few of their pitchers”. I am pretty sure that is how trading works. You just get the other team to trade you what you want.

            • afinch

              The Cubs clearly need pitching at every level. Boston has tons of it. There’s a match there somewhere. Not sure what’s so confusing about that, but if you really need to take time to make a condescending remark like that to make yourself feel better then more power to you.

              • Feeney

                There is nothing confusing about it. I think there may be a match there. But in no way can any team’s FO just get another team to make a trade with them. Which is also not a confusing point.

                • afinch

                  Right, because that’s exactly what I meant. “Hey Boston, we want this guy, no questions asked. Deal is done”.

                  • Feeney

                    ” get Boston to somehow trade a few of their pitchers”

                    • afinch

                      If you are going to critique everything that closely, you’ll be online for quite awhile.

          • Assman22

            Boston likes to swoop in last minute…don’t count them out yet…Cleveland has a strong offer too but Cubs prefer Rangers offer as of this morning…

            • ETS

              I’m def not counting out boston.

            • Patrick G

              I like both Cleveland and Boston as better pitching partners for the Cubs opposed to the Rangers

              • AD

                I agree. I trust the FO to get the best deal, but the Ranger’s farm system does little to excite me.

                • On The Farm

                  I wouldn’t say they don’t have an exciting system, its just the fact that they aren’t willing to deal their guys like Perez, Buckel, Jackson, etc..

                  • Brunsmk

                    Buckel has less clue where the strike zone is then maples right now, and that is saying a lot.

            • On The Farm

              AH man Boston is still in the picture? it is definitley not healthy for me to keep drooling over their pitchers all weekend..

  • Timmy

    my final offer: jordy, troi, and warf for jar jar, luke’s dead mom, and lot

    • Jed Jam Band

      Man, could you just stay away?

  • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

    Edwards might have the best ceiling of all the prospects mentioned but he’s 21yo in mid level A ball (old) and only 155 lbs (tiny). You don’t see to many front line starts that size.

  • Timmy

    BREAKING NEWS: Gregg traded for Raul Mondesi

    • TonyP

      This breaking news shit is getting really old Timmy……………

      • Timmy

        tell me one breaking news that hasn’t been accurate

        • DarthHater

          Much easier to provide one that actually IS accurate:

          BREAKING NEWS: Timmy Douche-A-Thon Enters Record 132nd Consecutive Day

          • Kyle

            That isn’t even close to the record. He’s a promising young kid, but he can get off my lawn if he thinks he’s taking my record.

            • DarthHater

              NEWS ERRATUM: Timmy Douche-A-Thon Enters 132nd Consecutive Day – Record Remains Untouched.

              We apologize to our readers for the earlier error.

          • chrisfchi

            No offense Brett. Keep up the good work!

        • Jeff K

          Timmy,

          Here’s an excerpt from the Bleacher Nation Terms of Use agreement for your consideration:

          “You agree, through your use of this service, that you over 13 years old and have parental consent to use this service if you are under 18 years old.”

          Do you have your parents consent, Timmy???

          • DarthHater

            Based on Timmy’s political rants, I’m pretty confident that he’s over 18. Now if the terms of service required users to BEHAVE like they are over 13, it would be a different story. But, then, I’d be in big trouble, too. :-P

            • hansman1982

              During the Bush/Clinton election I was highly aware (for a 10-11 year old) of what was going on. Knowledge of political issues doesn’t require age.

              • DarthHater

                Yea, but you’re obviously a nerd.

          • chrisfchi

            I thought this was a baseball blog. Seems like its becoming a failed improv comedy show. Can we focus on the cubs and keep the crap in facebook.

            • Jeff K

              Yep. A reasonable request. My apologies…I had a Timmy overload-induced moment of poor judgment.

              • chrisfchi

                I was speaking to the likes of all the Timmy’s and Die Hards. To the rest enjoy your rumor filled day.

              • Timmy

                “timmy induced”, i like the sound of that!!

                • DarthHater

                  [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3795/9322423864_a5e6c125f6_n.jpg[/img]

      • Oswego chris

        And extremely unfunny…hey, what happens if the Cubs make all of their movies prior to deadline…what will Brett do for 30 hours…

        All blog and no moves makes Brett a dull boy
        aLL bLOG aND nO mOVES mAKES bRETT a dULL bOY
        AllblogandnomovesmakesBrettadullboy
        A l l b l o g a n d n o m o v e s m a k e s B r e t t a d u l l b o y

        • Abe Froman

          Nice.

        • Danny Ballgame

          Heeeeeeeers Johnny!!!!!

  • Jed Jam Band

    I don’t know. The Rangers don’t seem all that anxious to get this done, at least not to me. I’m not saying they have to give up Perez, but then they have to be willing to bend. They don’t want to give up Jackson and all indications are they have denied the Cubs’ requests to send back Alfaro instead of Olt. Yeah, definitely sounds like a team that wants to get this done.

  • STEEEEEEVE

    Someone has to have a better offer than the rangers. they dont want to give up anything. You gotta pay to play.

    • Jed Jam Band

      I basically just said the same thing. On this, we most certainly agree. I just don’t think Garza to the Rangers is the done deal the rest of the media seems to think it is. I don’t think we’ve ever known Theo (not with Boston, not with the Cubs) to accept an unsatisfactory deal. I mean, hell, we got Villanueva and Hendricks for Dempster! We should be able to do better with Garza.

  • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

    Maybe we need to toss in Soriano to sweeten the pot.

  • http://JUICEDMOTORSPORTS.COM JUICED1

    Here’s a good question guys. If the Cubs were in contention and needed a starter fairly badly…..The Rangers had Garza…..What Cubs prospects would you give up to get him as a rental.

    • Kyle

      Alcantara, Johnson, Vogelbach.

      • ETS

        Pretty decent haul especially after Alcantara recent surge in rankings (and value).

      • ncsujuri

        Yes, Yes & Yes…

        But I think its not exactly the same situation since the Rangers have had success but not quite gotten over the hump whereas the Cubs have been in a bit of a drought..

    • cubchymyst

      If we had the Rangers middle infield, I’d be willing to give up Alcantara (since would he is blocked), Maples (don’t trust his ability to stay health and throw strikes), and Cabrera.

    • DReese

      I would give up Baez, Almora and Bryant. So I expect the same back from Texas

      • DarthHater

        We Texans don’t cotton to no liars, pardner.

        • DReese

          Damn you got me

  • STEEEEEEVE

    No need to sweeten the pot. Garza for Jackson, Edwards, and ramirez is more then fair for a chance to win the World Series

  • North Side Irish

    Matt garza ‏@Gdeuceswild 8s
    In Denver, but for how long? I hope the whole series!#gocubsgo

    • ncsujuri

      Gonna miss that guy!

  • ncsujuri

    RE: Update 2

    Nice try Rangers but VERRRRRRYYYYYY transparent. The problem you face is that EVERYONE knows there isn’t a Plan B out there to be had if you are serious about making it over the hump. Sure you could get Gallardo and have a couple more years of control but the way he is pitching compared to the Cat’s Pajama’s is no comparison at all.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Bud Norris isn’t a bad Plan B, but is more of a longer-term option and likely wouldn’t have as much of an impact this year.

  • Ivy Walls

    Reading the comments I gather so many have strong opinions regarding Olt and never seen him play only have seen what has been written about him. I have seen him here in Colorado Springs jack two homers and he is the deal. I saw him pick one on the line and throw a laser to first.

    I am unsure what people expect, we traded for Wood and Rizzo and both had serious questions and blemishes and now what?

    Her are my thoughts,

    A) If Olt is in the package the Cubs probably want to have him see their own doctor.
    B) It could be two pitchers as mentioned, one a fast developing 48 round draft choice and the other a HS first rounder
    C) But I think there is more or something from Chicago, could be utility IF’er, Barney? or Valbuena as their Profar might not be ready yet.
    D) It could also include a Cubs throw in like Vitters where the Cubs are looking at a lower 30 TX prospect.
    Lastly, ironically the IA Cubs play the Rangers AAA team tonight.

    • Kyle

      This is exactly what I don’t care, at all, about non-professional scouting reports. Seeing a guy on the day he happened to hit 2 home runs has a way of seriously clouding your judgment.

      • Edwin

        Exactly. It would be hard not to look good hitting two home runs.

    • Feeney

      No offense. I would rather work off of scouting reports and minor league stats than a report from someone who saw him play once. I am sure you know what you are talking about. But anyone can have a good game.

    • pj

      There is nothing ironic about the Cubs and Rangers AAA teams meeting each other in a baseball game.

      Irony, OED: “A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things.”

    • ETS

      I have seen olt play. Still do not want.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      I’d take the risk on Olt as long as we can take him to the eye doctor before finalization. If he works out we have a very solid young infield, he’s a top 50 prospect for a reason.

      • Jp3

        Insert stupid Die Hard eye test joke here.

    • ncsujuri

      In his defense at least he has seen Olt w/ his own eyes whereas many haven’t, I’d trust the scouting service over my own eyes if I was in the position where I had seen him once, but at the same time its still a nice data point to actually be able to say you’ve seen the guy play compared to the majority of us who haven’t.

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