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.

  • Larry19

    Maybe Sori said no?

  • Barry

    Where is the Fat Lady when we need her?

  • Vulcan

    And it begins…

  • Eric

    And there’s a hangup…

  • Tim

    Uh OH

  • Brandon

    Andrew Bailey likely done for year, needs shoulder surgery to fix it and it takes 12 months to rehab. Gregg to the Red Sox??

  • @cubsfantroy

    I just heard from a home less guy down the street that the deal is off unless Rizzo is involved. Take that for what it is worth.

  • kmr1453

    Did Pearl Jam send out a tweet that a deal was complete?

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I know there are wild speculators on Garza, but Olt’s eye issues are said to be more serious with the drops being only temporary. When a guy is hitting that poorly I’m sure that’s an issue. Also Ramirez has had issues including a shoulder. The cubs torpedoed Harren on exchange of medicals wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t want more here.

  • Mr. P

    You guys didn’t think this was going to go smoothly did you? #CubbieOccurence

  • Rcleven

    Baker getting slapped around at KC. Gave up four in the first.

    • Jp3

      What’s new??? He’s right on schedule then..

  • Vulcan

    Assman. Assman. Where art thou Assman?

  • MichiganGoat

    Come on everybody… Why would we want this party to stop? Hopefully this continues through the trade deadline so Brett truly goes insane during the blogathon.

    • Jed Jam Band

      You know the reasons. Risk of injury. New names entering trade market. Etc.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I’m hoping Garza’s Medical’s aren’t the reason why this deal is starting to fall apart

  • gridge

    Assman, any new info? Will be much appreciated =)

  • Jason Powers

    Well if it is Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, C.J. Edwards, and Luis Sardinas, we got 2 guys that are progressing but young, and two guys regressing, but have still potential.

    3B Olt could be a corner platoon guy – 1B/3B at MLB.
    SP Ramirez backtracked too – but had good Ks. Middle relief possibility.
    SP C.J. Edwards might be creme of the crop. Only at A ball, but throws free and easy – high K rate. Needs to be in AA this year, a new challenge : This dude has yet to give up a homer in 160 minor league innings. So he really needs a challenge.

    SS Luis Sardinas – may play a better 2B? Needs a challenge at AA. Be only 21 at the start of next season, so that’s good. 2016 arrival at 2B.

    • Drew7

      Sardinas’ .710 OPS screams “Ronny Torreyes!” more than, “needs a challenge” to me.

      Am I missing something with this kid? Must be a wiz with the glove.

      • Jp3

        Drew7 I was thinking the same damn thing when I went to baseball reference…. Little guy that is not earth shattering fast and has around a .300/.350 slash line….

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Sardinas is no wiz kid with the glove. He has 23 Errors at SS already on the season. He’s very athletic but people question his work ethic out in the field. He has potential be pretty good in the field at SS but he’s still young and still has a lot of development to do

      • Jason Powers

        Yeah, hell win no power bets.

        If he can walk…and steal…and Darwin Barney his way to the bigs. He is what he is – until otherwise. 😉

        But he’s not going to learn it at A ball.
        You have to push sometimes – another 300/400 AB at A ball aint gonna teach him much.
        He’s a prospect.

        But maybe not anymore for us…

        • Drew7

          My point: add some power and bat-control, take away some speed, and you’ve got a guy we just traded to the Astros for International Bonus $.

          • Justin

            Yeah the Cubs giving Torreyes away for 800k Intl cap space when they planned on blowing it out anyway is pretty freaking weird. I didn’t love him, but I don’t get it either..

  • Rcleven

    Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 12m

    Sources: Cubs-Rangers deal for Garza hits snag, no longer a certainty. While teams still negotiating, Chicago seeking alternatives to Texas.

  • Mick

    Mystery team, Washington? Wow, never thought an NL East team besides the Braves making moves. I suppose Danny Espinosa would make a decent 2B or 3B, he’s been dominating AAA since his demotion, and Washington’s been reluctant in calling him back up with the success of Renaudo. Boras was rumored to be meeting w/Washington this week to discuss service time issues or demand a trade. Throw in AJ Cole and Lucas Giolito and we might have a deal.

    • Rcleven

      Don’t count Boston out of this just yet. Bad news for them today.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Snag might be Ramirez getting bombed

  • Kevin

    Cubs tried to sneak Tunney in the deal.

  • Rcleven

    Wayne Randazzo ‏@WayneRandazzo 6m

    Scott Baker throws 34 pitches in the first inning for @KCCougars and allows 4 runs on 4 hits, including 2 2B. FB topped at 85 on stadium gun.

    • Jason Powers

      Not good. His velocity in another report hit 89 once. I think he’s got some work to do – unless he can hit 90-91 consistently, he’s not going to be useful. Gaining that much, probably take 6 months or more, depending on his conditioning routine and whether he stays healthy during it.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Baker did not start in Kane County as previously announced. Hurt again ?

    • Rcleven

      Baker gave up four in the first. 34 pitches. 2 2B.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Box score shows Heesch as pitcher – sorry.

  • J Zuniga

    The deal is Dead!!! It’s all over twitter……

    • Jp3

      I read it on the Internet… Bonjour.

  • cjdubbya

    I love the dude on Twitter that just said he was going to sucker punch Daniels in the nads if Garza slips away.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Haha if you guys are following the Dallas/Rangers blogs and media, they are dying to land Garza right now. They’d give up pretty much anything other then Perez and Profar to land Garza.

  • Boomtown

    Probably didn’t like Olts medical report

  • caryatid62

    There seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of information about a potential trade that gets leaked and the likelihood that the trade happens.

  • Jason Powers

    Weird Washington is the mystery team, and they are playing the Dodgers – a not so mystery team.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      If we could land Lucas Giollito that be huge. But doubt it. They’d probably rather give up AJ Morris and IMO is overrated

      • Mick

        I’d say AJ Morris is underrated, I can’t find a scouting report anywhere!

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          AJ Cole sorry. Not Morris

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          AJ Cole Scouting report:

          (present/future): Fastball: 6/7 | Curve: 4/5 | Changeup: 4/5 | Control: 4/5 | Overall: 4/6
          It often takes time for those high-ceilinged, hard-throwing high schoolers to develop into pitchers. For some, it takes longer than others and while Cole fits more into the latter category, there’s still a lot to like about the projectable right-hander. Clearly, the Nationals agree as they re-acquired the player they initially drafted during this past offseason after sending him to the A’s in the December 2011 deal that brought Gio Gonzalez to Washington. He still has the big arm that made him a big-time prospect in the 2010 Draft, delivering fastballs that touch 96 mph with good movement. His curve can be a bit slurvy, but has the chance to be at least an average power breaking ball. He has good feel for a fading changeup. There is still plenty of time for him to develop his secondary stuff and overall command and become the frontline starter many think he has the potential to become.

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  • Oswego Chris

    Forget the Garza stuff…the Junior Lake era commences in T minus 27 minutes…what the hell does that mean anyway?

    • Jp3

      I think it’s wild he’s starting in center and probably has never played there in a game (other than spring ball) before… Sveum’s got jolly green giant size balls

    • MoneyBoy

      It’s geeky NASA engineer types doing what they do!!

      Hey boys and girls!!!

      A really, really excellent book at an absolute steal of a price written by one Oswego Chris!!!!

      Get ’em while ya can!!!

      • Oswego Chris

        Hey thanks, Money Boy…

        I think it’s about time for another Garza extension story to leak…

        Simply put…Texas needs Garza more than the Cubs need to trade him there…

        • Jason Powers

          Amen to that. We’s playing a Texas sized game of chicken! See who blinks first.

  • Oswego Chris

    Time before take off..that was easy…t minus 23 unti Lake-mania…