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matt garza cubsWith this morning’s Garza Watch post already loaded with comments and updates, I thought it might be useful to start a new post (especially considering the new information).

Today, Bruce Levine spoke to Matt Garza, who confirmed that he’s expecting to be traded. In a piece that you should definitely read, Levine quotes Garza: “They told my agent [earlier in the week] that they were going to move me. They said as much as they like me they need to add inventory for the future. I want to stay but that doesn’t seem possible now.”

Presumably, this came in part out of one-last-try negotiations on an extension. It would be understandable if Garza would prefer to test the market (he’s primed to get paaaaid), and understandable if the Cubs weren’t willing to commit full free agent market price at this time. Good on the Cubs for keeping Garza abreast of their plans. These are all people, you know.

Levine suggests that the Rangers, Indians, Blue Jays and Dodgers are or have been involved, with the Cubs seeking third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in a deal from the Indians (with the Cubs sending back an infielder, potentially), and the Dodgers unwilling to part with their top two pitching prospects (presumably Zach Lee and Chris Reed or Julio Urias). All teams have been told to make their best and final offer.

We’ll see what ends up happening, but it sounds like a deal will happen before Garza’s scheduled start on Monday. It’s just a matter of finding the right trading partner to blink first.

UPDATE: Reports out of Boston – this one comes from Alex Speier – continue to say that the Red Sox feel comfortable with their starting pitching situation because Clay Buchholz will be back eventually, the other four in the rotation are doing all right, and there is a great deal of pitching depth at the upper levels of the minors. Posturing? Maybe. But Levine didn’t list the Red Sox, and they haven’t seemed like the strongest suitor at any point.

UPDATE 2 (11:43am CT): From Gerry Fraley out of Dallas, the Rangers’ offer is likely Mike Olt plus one of a group of young infield prospects (Fraley speculates Luis Sardinas, Leury Garcia, or Rougned Odor) plus a pitching prospect (Fraley mentions Neil Ramirez and C.J. Edwards). I’m just shooting from the hip here, but if the Cubs could get Olt, Edwards, and one of Odor or Sardinas … that’s looking like a mighty fine package to me.

UPDATE 3 (1:00pm CT): George Ofman chimes in to remind folks that this is not a done deal with the Rangers, and, yes, the Cubs are still working with other potential teams.

UPDATE 4 (1:02pm CT): A big one. Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee (who references Garza’s Freso connection, in case you’re wondering why someone in Sacramento would be reporting on this) says that a Cubs/Rangers deal is “99 percent done,” with the medicals now being evaluated. Davidson says there are six players involved, but that doesn’t mean it’s Garza for five players. It could be just about any combination. The medical step with Garza, who has had that stress reaction in his elbow, reportedly related to a screw that was placed there as a kid, isn’t totally perfunctory. In other words, the deal could be “99 percent done” and still kinda-sorta not be a “done deal,” if that makes sense. Not solely because of the medicals, mind you, but that’s a factor.

UPDATE 5 (1:13pm CT): Although he doesn’t yet know the other names involved, Davidson appears quite confident that Garza is going to Texas. Isn’t it funny how the last year has jaded us? Pre-Dempster Saga, we would all also be convinced that Garza to the Rangers was definitely happening, because obviously it’s happening. But now? You’re all probably feeling the way I do: yeah, seems likely he’ll go to the Rangers, and, yeah, seems likely it’ll be today or tomorrow. But nothing would surprise me anymore.

UPDATE 6 (1:38pm CT): Man, the ‘net is a wildfire of speculation about other Cubs’ names potentially being involved in this deal. It’s certainly possible that other Cubs will be in, but no big names have been reported anywhere. In other words, I’d be very, very surprised if Alfonso Soriano was suddenly in this deal (especially considering his no-trade rights) and we didn’t hear a peep about it. A lower-profile, or non-obvious trade target type? Sure. It’s possible.

UPDATE 7 (3:18pm CT): Jesse Rodgers says that we can expect to hear something on a Garza trade today or tomorrow (though he added a “?,” so there’s probably some speculation there).

UPDATE 8 (3:35pm CT): An ESPN report out of Dallas has Jim Bowden saying that Neil Ramirez has “emerged as the center piece” of a Garza deal. That would be pretty surprising given that the other names reportedly discussed – Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, etc. – are generally thought to be better prospects. Might Ramirez be in the deal? Sure. Might he be an important piece? Sure. The “center piece”? Implying that the other pieces are far inferior? That would be a surprise.

UPDATE 9 (3:55pm CT): Garza is still with the Cubs in Colorado, doing his normal warm-ups, per Patrick Mooney.

UPDATE 10 (4:03pm CT): Gordon Wittenmyer has a Cubs source who says a mystery NL team could pop up and “intercept” Garza from the Rangers. If there was one thing this process was missing, it was a mystery team … (Pirates? Diamondbacks? Cardinals? Dodgers? They were the most frequently mentioned NL teams.)

UPDATE 11 (4:43pm CT): Jim Bowden tweets something that will probably be unpopular, but backs up UPDATE 8: “The Rangers – Cubs…Matt Garza deal will get done and Neil Ramirez will be center piece according to source.” If the deal truly ends up being Garza for Ramirez and then a lesser prospect or two, I would be surprised. I’ve said all along that I expected a return less than the Greinke deal last year, though – something more in the realm of a top 100 and then a couple top 15 organizational types – so you’re encouraged to keep expectations reasonable, however this plays out.

UPDATE 12 (4:46pm CT): BP’s Jason Parks expresses – in his unique, colorful way – disbelief about Ramirez being the “centerpiece” of a Garza deal: “Neil Ramirez might be in the Garza deal, but if he’s the centerpiece of the deal (which I doubt), the Cubs are getting [um, a bad deal].”

UPDATE 13 (4:53pm CT): Bowden reports that Ramirez has been scratched from his scheduled start tonight, which could be nothing, could be an injury, or could be holding him out in advance of a trade. We’ll dig into that one a bit.

UPDATE 14 (4:58pm CT): Hooray for conflicting reports (at least temporarily) – T.R. Sullivan says Ramirez is still in line to start tonight. Maybe he just hasn’t heard yet, or maybe Bowden jumped the gun.

UPDATE 15 (5:02pm CT): Bowden retracts and does a little mea culpa: “I am now being told that Neil Ramirez wasn’t scratched.Was given wrong information. My fault for not following up with 2nd source #apologies” Not that you needed another reminder after the last year, but: take the information, all of it, with a grain of salt. It’s interesting, it’s useful, it’s fun. But we live in an era where things happen quickly and mistakes are made. Try to stay calm throughout the process, and just enjoy.

UPDATE 16 (5:17pm CT): A report from Jeff Wilson (Star-Telegram) suggests (but does not state explicitly outright) that the deal on the table is Garza and an unidentified Cubs player for Olt, Ramirez, Edwards, and Luis Sardinas. If true, I’d expect the other Cubs piece to be something fairly good, as Sardinas is a legit prospect (good enough that you could argue he’s the best prospect in the deal … hard to say who the “centerpiece” is). That six player deal would comport with the original Joe Davidson report (UPDATE 4).

UPDATE 17 (6:14pm CT): Tim Brown tweets that the “final stage” of the deal has been reached, with the exchange of medical information having taken place. Joe Davidson’s original report included that bit, so it’s fair to guess that evaluating – and then discussing within the context of the trade – those medicals has taken some time. Neil Ramirez is still pitching (at last check), so, if he’s in the deal, we haven’t yet reached the stage of bro hugs.

  • NotThatAssman22

    Deal is about 99.8% complete. Expect an announcement by 5 P.M.

    Oh and by the way, I’m not really an insider. I get my information from the Cubs forum at Prosportsdaily, just trying to clear things up.

    [You guys put me in an awkward position. Without saying whether Assman’s information is legit or not, folks should know that this person is not the Assman that you’ve come to know.]

    • ssckelley

      you do not give yourself enough credit

    • LWeb23

      Does Assman normally have a period at the beginning? I want to believe this is an imposter and we really do have an Insider patrolling BN.

      • bbmoney

        Me thinks not. But that was my thought too.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Doesn’t matter. As hansman said, it saves us a trip to that site. So, thank you.

      • Dudeski

        That’s a fake account

        • Jed Jam Band

          Ah, hell, you’re right. There’s a period in front of this dude’s name.

          • Abe Froman

            Brett time to double down on the bans! .Assman22, we will find out soon if the Assman’s prediction has merrit.

    • Mick

      Quit Neiling again, Neil you freakin Neil!

      • Neil

        Im not a troll, this definitely wasn’t me

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      He’s not the really Assman. He’s just a guy who put a period in front of the name.

    • Big_O

      99.8% really???? fake account

    • Headscratchin

      Just trolls trying to drive traffic to their inferior site.

  • jeff1969

    Wow, Assman, laying it on the line there. I admire your cryptic ways sir. Let’s see what happens!

  • Rebuilding

    If true…WOW

  • jeff1969

    Don’t be fooled by the .Assman22 confession people…nice one dude.

    • Johnnny222

      Whatever you say, Assman22.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Do the Indians still have a shot at Garza? I saw Assman post a little earlier he could be going to Clevel and Gregg and/or Valbuena. Haven’t heard much about cleveland the last few hours. It seems from a national reporting perspective that its almost foregone conclusion Garza’s going to the Rangers

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

    Brett, please clear up if that assman post was the real assman. My heart can’t handle it!

  • rbreeze

    If Assman is right then maybe the Rangers sign Garza to an extension?

  • AlwaysNextYear

    You wanna infuse the farm with pitching then make these moves

    Garza to Rangers for Edwards, Ramirez + positional prospect

    Soriano and eat most of contract + Infield help to Pirates for Tyler Glasnow and low end prospect.

    • afinch

      I would love Glasnow to be in the mix.

  • Crockett

    Not to temper things, but I texted my buddy with the following:

    “Just heard it my be PEREZ, Olt, and 3 others for Garza and Schierholtz.”

    He replied:

    “Uhh…no.”

    • Johnnny222

      Assman22 is full of shiit. What a poser.

      • Crockett

        Yep. Very annoying. I hate getting baseball erections and then there’s no payoff.

        • Carew

          The assman that posted that was an imposter. Brett fixed it up

          • Mick

            It was freaking Neil.

            • Neil

              ask Brett to check the IP addresses genius..

              • Scotti

                Obviously faked but IP addresses can be faked all day. The way Brett would know is the email address…

        • mudge

          If it lasts more than four hours, go to the emergency room.

    • Ricky

      This is what I saw on Twitter –
      Ben Devine ‏@Chicago_NFL_NBA 4m
      Matt Garza to the Rangers is 99.9% done. Finishing medical records right now. Cubs get Olt, CJ Edwards, Neil Ramirez & 2 more.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Who is Ben Devine? Never heard of him. Not really trusting anything right now

    • gocatsgo2003

      Plus Brett confirmed that it came from an imposter anyway.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Henry Rodriguez has been assigned to Iowa

  • Rizastro

    I’m hoping for the Assman post involving Perez that also sends schierholtz to Texas. Starting lineup tonight has lake in center varying 6th and sappelt in right

    • CubsFaninMS

      Valbuena is not in today’s starting lineup.

      • George Jetson

        Lefty on the mound

  • NotAssman22

    That was an imposter in an earlier post. No Perez as far as I know.

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

      Wow. Just wow.

  • Rizastro

    Batting*

  • HammySosa

    Wow this place is atrocious and this assman dude is throwing shit out there that has been talked about for days……

    • Crockett

      Your name is pretty awesome though.

      • HammySosa

        ty good sir

    • Carew

      There have been imposter struggles…thats the problem with the internet

  • Starlin Rizzo

    Assman takes his info from posters such as ABTY and Marlin Bystro on PSD

  • Assman22isafakeInsider

    This guy is such a douche. He’s been rehashing the same information from real insiders and claiming it to be his own.

  • josh ruiter

    God’s wrath on Garza may end up being a blessing. This time last year we were praying for a deal centered on Olt. Now we are upset at the thought. A different centerpiece with him as an addition, with one less year of control and injury history on garza. Anyone else counting our lucky stars?

    • mudge

      good observation, jr.

  • Crockett

    Brett…paging Brett…

    Do you know who the real Assman really is? I am not asking for you to divulge, but does he have “legit” sources? Or are you in the dark about him as we all are?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know nothing about him other than what he presents on here, like the rest of you.

      • Edwin

        Wait, how do I know you’re the real Brett? Quick, tell me something only the real Brett would know!

      • mudge

        But can you tell us if he’s really an ass man?

    • HammySosa

      I’ve seen the same info posted other places before assman says anything. I think he just has a lot of time on his hands to compile from other boards/twitter

    • CubsFaninMS

      I would trust him as much as a confident poster who names himself Slutpuppy.

      • Carew

        I actually did laugh at that name

  • Oswego chris

    Sweet…just saw Henry Rodriguez cleared waivers…going to Iowa…never enough 26 year olds who throw 100…give him a year or two

    • cubchymyst

      That is good news. Hopefully he can start get some command before next year.

  • Starlin Rizzo

    He even has the same username, Assman22, on PSD

  • Neil

    Hes just talking out of his assman lol

  • josh

    If this deal with the Rangers is true we’re getting a TON in return for Garza! Olt, Edwards, Ramirez and 2 others! Hope this is true!

    • Neil

      by 6 players involved, seems more likely to be Olt, Edwards, Ramirez, +1 more for Garza and 1 other player, most likely Navarro IMO.

      • josh

        I agree. Navarro has been Garza’s catcher so far this season and look at Garza’s numbers. I would definitely want both of them if I were the Rangers GM.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        If the return is Olt, Edwards, Ramirez, +1. Hopefully that +1 is Odor or Sardinas. I’m not a big fan of Rameriz. or Olt for that matter but I get Olt is a solid return though. Edwards is the only one of the 3 that I actually really like, but he’s in A ball still.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          If the return is Olt, Edwards, Ramirez, +1. Then I really hope +1 isn’t just a “meh” guy. If it end up being Odor or Sardinas then I’ll very happy, if the other player is label as +1 then I don’t think it will be Odor or Sardinas though. I’m really not getting my hopes up

  • Crockett

    FWIW –

    Me – “So anything else to share?”

    Minnesota – “This is the same deal I’ve been talking about. No changes that I’ve heard about. Cubs were just waiting for other teams to make their last/best.”

  • Dale’s Ear

    In other news Junior Lake is starting in center field tonight

    • Rizastro

      Yep and sappelt in right. Where is schierholtz

      • Carew

        Facing a lefty

  • http://none millhah

    i feel like there’s too many assmen on this site…

  • Mvandy524

    Barney is not in the lineup. I think he is gone

    • Mvandy524

      Apologizes overlooked his name

    • CubsFaninMS

      He is there. Valbuena and Navarro are not.

  • TonyP

    Whoever fake posts is a asshat, short dicked nerd. A PLAGUE ON YOUR HOUSE DOUCHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jp3

      Wow, that’s funny TonyP😀. Putting the voodoo on the pooopooo

  • rbreeze

    We won’t recognize this team by July 31st

  • Abe Froman

    Brett, I appreciate your comment about being put in an awkward position, but I think you handled the fake Assman post well (yes, i just typed that with a straight face, Assman). If someone is clearly impersonating another user on the message board I would think this should be edited in the manner you did, or banned if they continue. If someone is impersonating me I would want it clarified.

    Of course the two exceptions IMO are 1) someone is new and they go by ‘Adam’ and it is an honest duplication, or 2) the name is part of a joke/statement, but clearly not trying to fool people into thinking they are someone else (i.e. “Assman’s Boss”).

    Bring on the .Abe Froman posts… :I

  • Rizastro

    Yep and why is schierholtz not in right

    • Crockett

      LHP

    • Carew

      The not-trade idea: aren’t they facing a lefty tonight?

    • Mr. P

      Probably because we are facing a lefty tonight.

      • Blank

        Are we facing a lefty tonight?

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