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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.

  • rbreeze

    Now we play high stakes poker! Theo and Jed are toying with Daniels in Texas and they have other teams on the lines making their best offers. And back and forth they go until sombody flinches. The drama is great. Either way I wish Garza the best and hope the Cubs get two quality major leaguers out of this.
    Go Cubs!

  • Kenster

    Ha Yankees call up Brent Lillibridge. Shhh no one tell them that he isn’t good!

    • CubsFaninMS

      Poor Lillibridge. Those Yankee fans are gonna pluck him apart one petal at a time.

  • RD

    Completely off topic but I live in St. Louis and I saw a John Jay, Daniel Descalso, and Shane Robinson out at a bar last night. I wanted to slip them a micky George Costanza style but it would have been in poor taste. It probably wouldn’t have mattered because they are their worst hitters at the moment anyways.

    • Internet Random

      At the very least, you could have stink-palmed them.

      • RD

        Ferris Bueller always knows what to do…

        • cubchymyst

          That is move from Mall Rats being preformed by Brodie (Jason Lee played him)

          • Josh

            Choc covered pretzel

          • Noah

            I think RD was referring Internet Random’s avatar, the “Save Ferris” sign from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

            • RD

              Yes, Noah, thanks!

            • cubchymyst

              Completely missed that link.

  • Adam

    If Rangers are truly pulling Luke Jackson off the table then I’d let their phones go cold for a while. Edwards may have upside but is at a low level. Ramirez has some upside but has been up and down throughout his MILB career and is 24 at AAA and Olt’s struggles this year have been well documented.

  • STEEEEEEVE

    Jackson is the center piece of the deal. You cant pull the center piece. This deal is going to fallapart.

  • DReese

    What about Buckel or Font? Are they completely off the table?

    • CubsFaninMS

      I hope Buckel is off the table. Buckel, Olt, and Edwards is risk piled on top of risk. We need at least one high-floor prospect.

  • josh ruiter

    The Rangers are negotiating as if they are in a position of strength. If we are not getting Sardinas and Alfaro we damn well need Jackson to make this deal. We have the desired chip, not them, we have to deal from strength. It will take at least what they are offering to even get the next tier guys on the market, so y let them trophy fish with crappie bait?

    • On The Farm

      I wish Clevland and Boston would be reported by someone like Heyman about working on a deal for Garza, that way it would at least apply pressure to Texas. I feel like Texas thinks they are in the driver’s seat and the only team that really wants Garza so they are going to pay their price and make the Cubs come down.

      • Assman22

        Cleveland and Boston have tight-lipped FO’s…Texas is the exact opposite and always have been…

        • Jp3

          Yes!! An assman sighting! I feel like Texas isn’t meeting us half way though who the hell knows what to think of all this anymore… I’d like to see a team swoop in at the last moment with a deal too good to give the Rangers another shot at it.

        • Noah

          So Assman, what do you think Texas’s theory on being open with information is? Make it clear what you’re willing to give up to the rest of the league so that they’ll know if they want to bother trying to beat it or not? I could see the advantage to it. If no one is going to beat the reported likely return from Texas, they’ll walk away speeding up the trade. If another team is willing to beat the return from Texas, it will speed up that process and make it easier for Texas to move on to plan B more quickly.

        • auggie55

          That’s refreshing to hear that there are still 3 teams negotiating with the Cubs on Garza. The way the Rangers were announcing who was off-limits, you would come to believe that they were the only team negotiating with the Cubs.

    • Cody

      Why would the cubs trade for someone hurt? In this case, Alfaro and Mendez?

  • MichiganGoat

    I’m really start to dislike rumor season… It’s gone the other direction now we have 1000 people speculating off of speculation and a ton of wagging the dog to confuse everything further. Maybe Theo & Nolan have agreed to a deal but decided to sit back and let the media play their games and enjoy the show.

    • DReese

      I would totally do that, it would be so much fun. “Ok lets leak that were getting Olt as the centerpiece but then when we announce the trade Olt wont even be in the deal. The media would flip. lol, jk im Jason McLeod”

      • MichiganGoat

        I know right… I can totally see other FO would sit back and just laugh through this whole process.

        • DReese

          “Look at all these bloggers complaining, little do they know our payroll is about $500 mil and the extra goes to me! hahaha”

    • Eric

      Yeah, this has gotten tedious.

    • DarthHater

      It would be a nice opportunity to jerk around any media d-bags who have pissed off the FO in the past.

  • North Side Irish

    John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 43s
    @tomloxas and I have learned Cubs holding steadfast on Jackson and will consider other options if he’s not included.

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

      Good. If this is a poker game, there is no way in hell I’m folding that easy. I hope Theo tells John Daniels to F-off.

      • Kyle

        One of the things Boston fans said when he was hired here is that Epstein *revels* in drawing lines in the sand and torpedoing deals that seem done if the other party won’t budge.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Well, (i) considering Garza’s next start is a false deadline, (ii) I don’t think would REALLY move the needle much on the return due to one less start for his new team, and (iii) allowing Garza to start again could be spun to show that the Cubs are truly confident in his health, I could see them calling the Rangers’ bluff.

          Of course, I would then be on the edge of my seat throughout the start praying that he threw well and didn’t get hurt.

        • hansman1982

          Good, nice to have a strong FO in place.

        • Noah

          Sometimes lines in the sand can be very good things. Considering that line is likely where Theo and Jed view a winning trade for the Cubs as opposed to a losing trade, I’m glad they have one.

      • North Side Irish

        Texas knows that the Cubs don’t want Garza to make his next start…Cubs know they have other offers and more time before the deadline. Should be interesting.

  • Josh t

    Wait them out till they give jackson

  • afinch

    Good for them. High-stakes poker, as another poster recently indicated.

  • Rebuilding

    The Rangers have Ross Wolf scheduled tomorrow night. Wolf has started all of 8 games since 2005 and has 9 Ks in 33 IP this year. They haven’t even named a starter for Monday because well there is no one. Daniels doesn’t have any leverage here

  • itzscott

    Just seems to me that the Rangers are taking a cue from the Cubs/Orioles deal by trying to move a few “what if and might be” pieces that haven’t worked out too well this year but MAY bounce back….. Olt & Ramirez. Like Edwards, but we’re talking 2-3 years down the road. Not sure if Hoyer should roll the dice on Olt and Ramirez.

  • On The Farm

    We could really use Jim Hendry right now

    • DarthHater

      You’re right. We could use a delivery of donuts just about now…

      • On The Farm

        This would without a doubt upset Hansman, who was hoping to that some burgers would be included in the deal.

        • DarthHater

          I’m sure we could get Texas to throw in a couple tons of prime ground sirloin.

    • hansman1982

      Yup, Garza would be gone for a whole lotta nothing.

    • DReese

      “Garza how bout a no trade clause and will extend you till your 45, sound good?”

  • josh ruiter

    when we started with the rangers you gotta think the first questions were Profar and Perez, most likely countered by the Rangers saying no, but how about Olt and Jackson with few other pieces. Now that it is on the table the Rangers are going to pull back as much as possible knowing the Cubs bottom line on the deal. I still think we should include Sori and cash to net Jackson, Edwards, Alfaro and if possible Sardinas. That would be a big haul, but not over the top for meeting a need with the two top options respectively.

  • HateDemp

    As long as Boston doesn’t jump in and trade Dempster back to the Cubs for Garza, I am good.

  • Dijon

    Why havent there been any discussion about Cody Buckel? Was he just never an option?

    • On The Farm

      Some people are saying he is having issues with command.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Issues? 28 walks and 3 HPBs in 9.1 innings… yeah… that’s just a couple issues.

        • On The Farm

          Well there you go, gocatsgo confirms control problems. I was too lazy to look up his stats when I knew someone had said he is not worth it.

      • Jp3

        Like Chris Volstad? Great stuff…. If he could only put it all together… Just kidding I think Edwards would stick as a starter, his numbers are amazing!

      • Jp3

        Yeah, I’ll take his 3.5ish BBs/9 for sure. If we can have patience with Dillon Maples at 9.somethig/9 we can work with this guys walk problems

    • Crockett

      Go look at his numbers from 2013. They are astounding.

    • DReese

      I was wondering that as well.

    • gocatsgo2003

      I’m going to guess it has something to do with 28 walks and 3 HBPs in 9.1 innings at AA this year. And the fact that he hasn’t thrown since May 1.

    • Rebuilding

      They’ve completely shut him down and he seems to be struggling with the same mental issues that plagued Rick Ankiel

  • STEEEEEEVE

    Am i the only one who thinks that given Edwards size that he projects as a relief pitcher?

    • On The Farm

      Jason Parks of BP said he projects Edwards as a back end rotation, possible bullpen guy, so no its not just you.

      But he is still putting up video game numbers

    • Crockett

      6’2 155? I am not sure why he would. Lincecum was listed at 5’11 and 150 at the same age.

      I think that worked out okay for a while.

      • On The Farm

        They don’t call him the “Freak” for nothing though. Lincecum is a bit of a rare breed.

      • Brunsmk

        He is more the exception then the rule “the freak” as they call him.

    • hansman1982

      Size has no bearing on a pitchers success or durability. You either have the talent and the muscular/ligament structure to be successful or you don’t.

      • Rebuilding

        I’m not sure why you think that. There are only a handful of starters in MLB under 6’0″ tall. The amount of extra effort it takes to create a 95 MPH from shorter limbs is a significant issue

      • Kyle

        There’s a pretty large correlation between size and success as an MLB pitcher.

      • Kygavin

        Its more about plane of the FB than anything. Shorter guys dont usually get that downward movement on their FB which makes them more homer prone

        • Rebuilding

          This is true as well. But if you think about a trebuchet, which essentially a pitching motion, the longer the arm the more velocity you can create for the same amount of effort

      • Cubman23

        I don’t think that’s 100% true hansman, but close. It’s probably not a coincidence that some of the most durable ‘horses’ in the league are big dudes.

  • Timmy

    BREAKING NEWS: three years later Garza still under a daily radar to be traded, will provide extremely disappointing returns not remotely close to the hype Theo built around him

    • gocatsgo2003

      Seriously… why do you keep coming back if apparently everything the Cubs do is wrong? Just to make people upset?

      • Timmy

        because i love them and hate to see them mistreated

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8390/8615495267_cc1991e1ff_n.jpg[/img]

      • On The Farm

        Timmy is just upset because he is rumored to be included in the Garza deal, and he really doesn’t want to be traded to Texas

        • D.G.Lang

          I thought it was because everyone else here voted to kick him out.

    • ncsujuri

      Not sure, but I don’t think Theo is responsible for any of the hype…I’ll check his job description and get back to you.

    • bleeds cubbie blue

      when has theo ever “hyped” Garza up

  • Timmy

    they have a bad governor

  • JoeyCollins

    Let’s go Friday night Update madness.

  • Trevor

    It is worth noting that Round Rock (Mike Olt) is playing against the Iowa Cubs this weekend. What are the odds he is on the right side of that match up before Sunday? The Junior Lake call up seems to create the perfect opportunity to slide him into the lineup.

    • On The Farm

      Wouldn’t it be awesome if one of the games got suspended, so that he has an opprotunity to appear for both teams in the same game?

      • gocatsgo2003

        HA — that would have guys in the minor league offices scrambling to see if it were legal. And the umpires… their heads might explode.

        • DarthHater

          Pretty sure I recently read about that happening with a minor league player. If so, then it’s apparently legal.

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  • Josh t

    @ProfessorParks: Potential to start; prefer the short-burst potential in late-innings role. RT @SirSteveMiller @ProfessorParks What is Luke Jacksons ceiling?

    • Josh t

      Sounds like Luke Jackson isn’t a top shelf starter according to at least one expert. Only a chance to be a starter. Sound like he see him more as a bullpen guy. Probably the control issues

  • Dave

    Went to see the Round Rock (Rangers AAA) vs Iowa last night. Olt looked horrible. I think he may be a Brett Jackson strike out machine….not what we need. Leury Garcia had nice bat pop and great speed. On the cubs side, the SS Murphy was looking locked in at the plate, and shocked Ranger’s rehab ace Ogando as he was cruising through 6 with only 1 hit allowed. Murphy jacked a 2 run homer and then had a 2 run double in the 8th. JC Boscan looked good too, as he asserted himself into Moscosco’s “grille” after he was walking everyone and getting behind in the count to most others. Cubs should “pass” on Olt

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