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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.

  • Austin8466

    700+ comments so far.

    Hell yeah :)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Add in this morning’s Garza piece, too …

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Let’s shoot for a 1000 ;)

  • Matt

    Throw in garza and some of our own prospects for Zach Lee.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    We’ve got an hour or so, until we see the remaining 2013 Chicago Cubs…

    If Matt’s on the bench, we should bubble wrap him and put packing tape around him, and mark “Fragile – handle with care until Texas (or LA or whomever) come for him.”

    Here’s to pitching for a contender, Garza.

  • DarthHater

    Days like today really remind me just how f-ing much I hate Twitter…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s the most wonderful thing ever.

      When used properly.

      • DarthHater

        I understand that it has certain value, which is why I check it on days like this. But you will never convince me that it’s the most wonderful thing ever. Never.

        • DarthHater

          I guess because there is no way to force the 99.9% of imbeciles on the web to use it properly.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            But that’s the beauty of Twitter: if you don’t want them to, that 99.9% doesn’t matter.

            • DarthHater

              Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I can’t claim to know much of anything about it, except that I find it incomprehensibly annoying. Perhaps I need to read the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Using Twitter or something.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Don’t get me wrong, I (obviously) think more than 140 characters is required for a complete experience.

    • Internet Random

      I save the bulk of my hatred for Facebook. And, well, the Cardinals… especially Molina.

      • DarthHater

        I don’t even look at Facebook for baseball stuff. I have to conserve my hate for those more deserving. ;-)

  • DarthHater

    The Frisco game starts in about 5 minutes. Shortly thereafter, we should find out for sure whether Ramirez is pitching.

  • Harry Ramirez

    I believe that Jeff Wilson report. It’s probably Garza and either Soriano or Schierholtz for Luis Sardinas, Olt, Ramirez and Edwards. nice.

  • Tobias

    I wonder if the “unidentifiable” player will be Russell or Villanueva?

  • CBP

    If the cubs get Edwards, Sardinas, Olt, and Ramirez then our top 25 in our system will be loaded with talent!

  • Assman22

    Been the same offer all afternoon…4 coming, 2 going…

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      So they got a pool of candidates, and we got a Garza +1.

      Is it a matter of contracts (signing Garza), or talent? Or a combo of both?

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

      Is the Sardinas, Olt, Ramirez, and Edwards package legit?

  • johnny chess

    The fact that there is a major delay suggests Soriano has to waive no trade

  • HackAttack

    Too many post to read through.

    Has Mike Olt being flipped to another team been mentioned?

  • Die hard

    Reports are that Cubs to trade Olt to Yanks

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Arod is coming back tonight….for now he’s on the team and not suspended yet. Not sure Olt is ready for majors, especially on contending team

      • Die hard

        Suspension makes opening

    • DarthHater

      Remember, folks, go to Diehard.com: your source for rumors that are so made up, you can’t even find them on Twitter.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Actually, lou brock (who is a reasonably credible source on here, said that the Braves and Mariners have been mentioned as teams interested in a double-trade to receive Olt. The Braves make the most sense, really. The Yankees don’t.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, but those are presumably reports that have actually been seen in this dimension, as opposed to those that exist only in diehardian N(umbskull)-space.

    • scorecardpaul

      ignore diehard no such report of anything he is just being his usual tool

  • johnny chess

    I mentioned Boston needs 3rd baseman

    • DB

      They do? I don’t think they’re ready to give up on Middlebrooks yet.

      • johnny chess

        Word is Middlebrooks not up to par

  • Joe

    Garza and Navarro. Navarro can replace Soto as the backup there.

  • DarthHater

    Rough Riders game has started and Milb.com still shows Ramirez as the scheduled starter.

  • johnny chess

    FYI I believe I stated 1st Soriano Navarro Garza to Texas

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I can attest for that. johnny chess did say it first. I’d be pretty darn happy if that happened

    • Cyranojoe

      It’s a good guess.

  • North Side Irish

    Friend has 2 extra tickets for Pearl Jam tonight if anyone is interested. Section 532…just trying to help.

    • solomo11

      How much does he want for em?

      • North Side Irish

        Shes asking $350 apiece…she paid more than that.

        • solomo11

          Oh, damn! Didn’t realize they were going for so much.

          Thanks anyways!

  • Harry Ramirez

    Jeff Wilson says Mike Olt batting sixth and playing third base tonight for Round Rock.

    • kmr1453

      The game in Round Rock doesn’t start for over an hour. A lot can happen between now and then.

  • Dustin S

    23 errors for Sardinas at A+ this year already, I don’t know what we need with another poor defensive, good bat, SS though…

    • DB

      You’ll take the bat and hope you can work on the defense.

  • SO CONFUSED

    Olt and Sardinas would be great. But, what on earth do we need another middle infielder for? Or even a 3rd baseman for that matter. We could trade a few of these elite prospects for proven pitchers, but what is the point of trading Garza then???

    • kmr1453

      Like houses, players can be flipped.

      • Dustin S

        True, but as hard as trades are to pull off it seems like it’s making things a lot more difficult and complicated than they should be. Unless you line up a side-trade in advance you’re still just taking on a surplus piece with the hopes of things maybe working out down the road.

        • kmr1453

          Who says a side deal isn’t in the works? Multi-tasking

        • Mvandy524

          What a good problem to have. Too much talent up the middle

    • Harry Ramirez

      You get the best prospects you can and then trade them for David Price.

      • bryan

        or another pitcher like Kershaw?

        • Harry Ramirez

          The Dodgers can afford to keep him. He is not going anywhere, which is unfortunate because he is exactly what the Cubs need.

    • Rebuilding

      Who are the All-Stars at 2b and 3b entrenched for the next 10 years blocking someone? And if those people do develop couldn’t we trade these guys for other needs? We are at the point in the cycle where you get as much talent as you can wherever the play

    • MBZ

      For the simple fact that Bryant could be Vitters and Soler could be Brett Jackson. You stockpile talent in hopes some of the talent becomes useable. And then you trick other teams into trading aces for the scrap parts.

  • DarthHater

    Ramirez is in the game pitching for Frisco. So probably no deal announced until Cubs can confirm that he doesn’t get bit by a scorpion or something during the game.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Yep. He walked the first batter, the second one hit a homer.

      it looks like he’ll be a great fit.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        We’ll feel right at home. “Hey, you look strangely familiar to the various sorts of pitchers I’ve seen over the last 30+ seasons. Mitch Williams, Dick Tidrow, George Frazier, Warren Brusstar, Carlos M and Z. et. al.” Kinda like the Ted scene where he names off white trash names…
        [img]http://i1.cpcache.com/product_zoom/665528567/white_trash_names_rectangle_magnet.jpg?height=460&width=460&padToSquare=true[/img]

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Or a Praying Mantis…
      [img]http://www.buglogical.com/images/products/secondary/59.jpg[/img]

      • DarthHater

        ::shudder::

    • kmr1453

      If Ramirez was included in the deal, he would not be pitching. Either the deal isn’t close to being done or Ramirez is not included.

      • DarthHater

        yep

  • Dustin S

    Lol Ramirez walks the 1st hitter, gives up a homer to the 2nd…

    My guess is that the closed sign is up for the night for the FO which is where the by 5pm time came from. I can’t imagine anything happening while they’re at the concert. I’m going to enjoy an evening out with the wife and will try to not obsessively check for updates anyway.

    • DarthHater

      Wisest thing I have read all day.

  • bryan

    more depth! I have to imagine that the cubs will have the top ranked farm system now. maybe all olt needs is a change of scenery and maybe our development guys can fix him. You don’t get ranked in the top 50 prospects for nothing. And its not like we couldn’t package him in a deal for a proven legitimate prospect. alcantara baez Bryant soler sardenes almora olt Vizcaino Johnson vogalbach… that’s a legit top 10.

  • DarthHater

    LOL. Ramirez’s first 3 batters: walk, homer, walk. Coaching visit to mound. That’s the guy we’re getting? Where’s my pitchfork? :-P

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      He could be anti-Doc Ellis, just LSDed out of his mind!
      [img]http://doubledayandcartwright.com/wp-content/gallery/dock-ellis/doc-ellis-poster.jpg[/img]

  • johnny chess

    Who says 6 players are 4 for 2? Why not Olt, Edwards/Martin, and Luis Sardinas for Garza Navarro Soriano 3 for 3

    • MBZ

      Because if Perez isn’t in there for sure AND we eat most of Fonso’s salary, that would be a horrible return that wouldn’t pass the eye or smell test. Assuming we eat 80%+ of salary, a $3-5 million dollar rental of Soriano for a year and a half requires something of decent value in return.

  • bryan

    or matt moore from the rays. shit why not offer baez alcantara olt and some filler guys for maybe wheeler or Harvey?

    • turn two

      Because no one likes being laughed at

      • Cubswin

        lolololol^^^

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Want to help hit that 1,000 number. These 4 names tossed around in Update 15… how do they stack up in prospect lists?

  • frank hutch

    jim Bowden is a complete idiot

    • DB

      Yes he is.

  • Bigj2197

    Whats the most comments ever on a post does anyone know? this is the most i have seen but i have not been around too long lol

    • DarthHater

      Pretty sure the Dempster fiasco last year had more than this.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Hard to say, because it was broken up into several posts over a week. The biggest (I believe) was the original, which had about 550 comments. This could be the largest, but I’m not sure.

        • King Jeff

          It’s going to hit 1000 easy if you don’t put up a new one before the deal happens. I think this is the most responses by far already.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            If he’s not dealt before the game starts, I might start a new one mid-game-ish for the rest of the night. This many comments just becomes unwieldy for folks to follow.

  • DarthHater

    Theo isn’t going to allow work to interfere with his enjoyment of the concert. Nothing’s gonna happen until tomorrow.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      Are you kidding? Eddie Vedder might stop the concert mid-performanceto call out Theo if he doesn’t see him on the phone enough.

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