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matt garza cubsI was simultaneously relieved and annoyed to wake up to no new Matt Garza rumor bits. (Aside: seriously, can you imagine what it must be like to be one of these players involved in incessant rumors? It can’t be easy, and once again, all due praise to Garza for handling it as well as he has.)

But it sounds like, although the nearly-completed Cubs/Rangers deal hit a “snag” last night, the two teams continue to try to make it work today. Jon Heyman reports that there’s still a chance that a deal gets done – presumably this weekend, in advance of Garza’s scheduled start on Monday – between the Cubs and Rangers.

That said, like a high school relationship turned sour, Heyman indicates that the teams understand that they are free to explore other options out there. The Rangers have been rumored to be exploring back-up plans including Bud Norris from the Astros, and the Cubs have been connected to many more teams than the Rangers with respect to Garza.

While the Rangers still make strong sense as a fit for Garza, there are other fish in the sea, as far as the Cubs are concerned. It doesn’t sound like any medical issues that snagged yesterday’s day were on the Cubs’ side, so their asset remains the best on the market.

As far as the Rangers go, there are rumors out there about which prospect is dealing with what “snag”-inducing medical issue (assuming that reports that the issue is on the Rangers’ side to begin with), but I don’t really want to speculate too much about a kid’s health. The Rangers have a deep system, and, although they appear reluctant to part with their elite talent, I suspect they could still put together a competitive package even if one of the original prospects is no longer in the deal. According to T.R. Sullivan this morning, the Rangers are, indeed, looking for a second player from the Cubs in the Garza deal – a player they can control beyond this year. James Russell was mentioned in reports yesterday, and, with two years of control left, he fits that bill. He would also, to my mind, increase the Rangers’ price in this deal significantly.

So, where do we stand? Well, somewhere more advanced than we were on Thursday when reports had the Cubs calling for “best and final” offers. We know that the Cubs and Rangers have had very advanced talks, and essentially came to an agreement before medicals threw up a (temporary?) roadblock. We know that many teams are interested in Garza, and we suspect that the Cubs are still in contact with those teams. I guess it’s back to playing the waiting game.

UPDATE: Word out of Texas (T.R. Sullivan) is that the story is the same: the deal isn’t dead, and it’s being worked on. It might happen, it might not. A non-update, really, but one that still kind of provides a useful confirmation from the Rangers’ side that they still want Garza.

UPDATE 2 (1:32pm CT): Sullivan with another helpful confirmation from the Texas side that, yes, as we’ve heard, the “snag” involved the medicals of a Rangers prospect in the deal. Sullivan’s sources say the medical concern was not major, but was “fair.” Sullivan mentions that, previously, Mike Olt had been dealing with some vision issues earlier this year, and Neil Ramirez has had shoulder issues in the past. The Cubs and Rangers are still working at an alternative deal.

UPDATE 3 (1:44pm CT): Cleveland reporter Matt Loede says that he’s hearing if the Rangers don’t get the deal done for Garza today, it won’t happen at all, “which could open the door for the Indians.” Now, that could be a little bit of wishcasting, or it could be a reflection that the Rangers are going to make the best offer they can, considering the medicals, and that’ll be that before moving on to a back-up plan. For the Cubs’ part, they probably don’t feel quite the same urgency as the Rangers, because there are other suitors out there (like the Indians). That said, if the Cubs felt like the Indians were going to offer a better package than the Rangers right now, would they really be waiting to engage the Indians in serious discussions until after a deal can’t be completed with the Rangers? Put differently, I wonder if the Rangers’ offer (well, range of offers) is clearly superior to the “best and final” offers of other teams, and that’s why the Cubs are still at the table despite their reservations about the medicals.

UPDATE 4 (2:35pm CT): Jeff Wilson says it’s status quo, with no new headway made in the impasse today. The deal, according to Wilson, was indeed Olt, Ramirez, Edwards, and Sardinas for Garza and another Cub (generally believed to be James Russell, but Wilson does not say).

UPDATE 5 (2:38pm CT): Ken Rosenthal just reported on Fox that the A’s are now trying to jump into the Garza fray. That makes sense, as just about any interested team should now be calling the Cubs. Problem is, if you’re an interested team and you know the Cubs found a package they liked (but which was flawed by an injury concern or two), you’re “checking in” to see if the Cubs will take slightly less now to just get the deal done. The Cubs, of course, will hold firm – though the price it’ll take to get the deal done has now widely been reported. That doesn’t necessarily help their position, but they’ve still got the asset that many teams want. Information isn’t going to scuttle their return. (And, if you’re going to have teams jumping in, the A’s might be as good as it gets, since they might provide just a touch more motivation for their divisional counterpart, the Rangers.)

UPDATE 6 (4:43pm CT): Danny Knobler writes that, despite the uncertainty surrounding Clay Buchholz’s return, the Red Sox still aren’t prioritizing acquiring a starting pitcher (they’re focused on a reliever). As I’ve said before, the Red Sox sure would make a nice trading partner for Garza given the Cubs’ familiarity with their system and the large number of high-quality, upper-level pitching prospects they have. But if they aren’t biting, they aren’t biting. This could all be spin to cover up desperation, of course.

UPDATE 7 (5:31pm CT): Bruce Levine says the rumors have slowed, and Garza is busy getting himself ready for Monday’s start.

UPDATE 8 (8:55pm CT): Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says the Cubs asked for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in a deal for Matt Garza (a player to whom the Cubs have been connected in the past), and the Indians declined. I wouldn’t read too much into the Cubs’ pursuit of Chisenhall (or Mike Olt) with respect to him being a young third baseman, and the Cubs having just drafted Kris Bryant. This is about getting talent at a position where the Cubs could stand to immediately install a young player (and maybe shift Luis Valbuena to second, opening up the opportunity to shop Darwin Barney). I am not completely enamored with Chisenhall, so I’m not too broken up by this report. I also understand the Indians’ position, because they likely need Chisenhall as much right now as they need Garza. Which, by the way, is a lot – Hoynes goes to great lengths to discuss just how much the Indians could use Garza. Well, then, step up your offer, boys. Here’s your shot. (Hoynes mentions that the Indians also will likely focus on picking up a lefty reliever at the deadline …. )

  • Jp3

    That’s is a great title Brett…I’m ready to see us play the field as well… There loss really

  • TheoHoyer

    Brett, any thoughts on which player had the bad medicals report? Neil Ramirez?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There have been well-documented past medical issues with Olt and Ramirez, but, no, I don’t have any thoughts. Nothing solidly enough that I’m willing to pair my name with it.

      • TheoHoyer

        Thanks, Brett. Keep up the good work, big fan of the site!

    • aCubsFan

      Olt has had medical issues. Ramirez just came off the DL due to a sore shoulder. And, there was a report last night/this morning that Edwards has had medical issues as well. So pick your poison.

  • Jp3

    I also sounds like we’re a bit of a whore… “Cubs have been connected to many more teams than the Rangers.” Am I reading that wrong?

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      At least a bit of a flirt.

  • aCubsFan

    And, yesterday it was said that Texas wanted Garza because they felt they could talk him into a long term contract.

  • socalicubsfan

    Wow… Back today from a fishing trip where I had no Internet and apparently, I didn’t miss much on the Garza front!

  • Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

    If we can get them to take Ramirez and Sardinas and replace them with Odor and Jackson does that get it done? Garza and Russel for Olt, Odor, Jackson and CJ, I personally like Odor more then Sardinas anyways, but i am nobody so that doesnt matter much. But this gets me more excited.

    • Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

      I live in Hickory and actually am in the same apartment complex as some of the Rangers affiliates players, talked to them in broken english last nite and they all seemed to think CJ was definitely getting traded.

  • TommyK

    The Waiting Game sucks. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos.

    • oswego chris

      nice Homer reference…the Simpson…not the…how do you spell oddessey?

      • Spriggs

        Easier to go with Iliad?

    • Josh

      All kidding a side you’re a genius

  • Dustin S

    Can’t help but think of Journey’s song Separate Ways in my head…

  • James Mason

    Have the Cubs’ Front Office any respect at all from any other organizations? They always seem to blunder about 80% into negotiations and get stuck with the bill.

    • Tom A.

      Ugh ! Really believe what you wrote ?

    • frank

      Are you serious? Really?

    • Alex

      Although I don’t consider it so much as a lack of respect, I definetly agree that the cubs need to improve on keeping the deal under wraps until everyone involved, including the player, have agreed ( I.e. marmol to LAA, Sori to the giants, Demp to LA.) obviously it may not even be coming out of their end, but we know they dropped the ball on communications with those 3, and were far to advanced with those teams without fully understanding if the players would waive there clauses or not.

      • Carew

        ever think that maybe its the other team that tells too much?

        I’m just saying its possible because the FO can be pretty tight-lipped

        • James Mason

          Except that the only team this keeps happening to, resulting in a non-deal, is the Cubs. They talk big and long and then can’t execute on the day to day basics of logistics and maintaining good relationships with other ball clubs.

          • Earl Cunningham

            Waaah, waaah, waaah

          • frank

            Or maybe it’s exaggerated because we only hear about it when it happens with the Cubs.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            This happens to plenty of other team as well. Cub fans tend not to notice when it happens to other teams, though, because Cub fans tend not to follow all those other teams.

            There are also absolutely no indications that the Cubs have poor relations with any other front office. I’m not sure where that got started, but it lacks evidence.

            • DarthHater

              Evidence? We don’t need no stinking evidence!

          • Tom A.

            You absolutely are talking jibberish ! Thanks to BN and people that post to this site, we likely hear many more things about potential/in-process transactions than other fans of other teams. Personally, I think all of the back-n-forth is just negotiation 101 and it is cool to almost feel part of some of it. Thanks to Brett and the wonderful BN posters for such.

            If you really want to follow a team where the front office never makes a mistake (chuckle, chuckle), go follow what is happening on the south side of the city. BORING !!!

      • aCubsFan

        The Cubs can due all they can to keep negotiations under wraps, but it takes two to tango. They can’t keep their trading partner from sending out stuff, and if in the case of Dempster and Marmol they have had no trade rights so they have to be contacted through their agents. Agents aren’t obliged to keep quiet.

        Furthermore, with the 24/7/365 news cycle and the media environment journalists and bloggers are trying to dig deeper and harder to one up their colleagues and competitors.

        • Carew

          *do

          I’m sorry, but that would have bugged me :)

          • aCubsFan

            My bad Carew for the typo.

      • james k

        Marmol’s camp leaked his trade and the dempster trade to Atl was from a Braves beat writer.

        • Jim L

          Yep but James Mason has a beef with Theo & Co, and damn if the facts are going to get in the way.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Salesguy

    I have to admit, the level of professionalism that the front office shows is quite refreshing. They analyze, they’re thoughtful, and if it dosen’t fit what they’re looking for, they’re not afraid to walk away. We may bicker about the package, but just knowing that they’re going to come out with a fair deal, and quality players, is very refreshing compared to years past.

    • Tom A.

      This !

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank

    Any idea who the mystery team is? Pirates? Phillies?

    • figgelbert

      Could just be the mythical Scott Boras mystery team he touts every year in negotiations that doesn’t exist to drive up prices
      He’s had teams bid higher against themselves before.
      So it could be a front office ploy

  • waittilthisyear

    there will be (at least) 2 mindsets…either people will love the front office for holding firm on their asking price, or they will accuse them of incompetence for blowing the deal. i am of the former

    • willis

      You praise them for holding firm. If they are insistent on losing a great power arm, damn right they should hold firm as hell on their price. And it should be a big price. Good for them.

      • waittilthisyear

        agreed. side note, pearl jam was awesome last night. my guy snuck in during the delay, sneaky bastard

        • YourResidentJag

          Heard Ernie Banks came out on stage last night. True?

  • Brad K

    I think I read at mlbtraderumors that the mystery team is the Nationals

    • cubspong

      Speaking of mlbtraderumors, the Yankees removed Alberto Gonzalez from their roster.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For what it’s worth, the Nationals have been mentioned in Garza rumors for quite some time (http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/07/07/obsessive-matt-garza-trade-watch-the-heavy-asking-price-orioles-rangers-nationals-more/), but have fallen off in the last week or so.

      • cubspong

        This is somewhat off topic, but I read some posts this morning that scouts from the Diamondbacks attended the game. People were speculating that it could have been to watch Samardzija. Do you think it is in the best interest for the cubs to trade Samardzija? I know it was shot down before because the Diamondbacks did not want to give up both Skaggs and Bradley, but I would think that Bradley plus a few other prospects not including Skaggs could be fair depending on who the other prospects were.

        • Chad

          I think the cubs would need both Skaggs and Bradley + another prospect. Getting Samardzija is going to take a lot.

          • YourResidentJag

            I would take EITHER Skaggs or Bradley because that’s all the Cubs are getting. Not both. Never. No way. And I would still do the deal if one of them is in the deal.

            • jpeck

              I would take Either also, BUT the Cubs will not sniff either of them.

              • YourResidentJag

                And that’s their problem or could be potentially in the future. You just don’t pass on Bradley plus the depth of farm system that the Diamondbacks have. You don’t pass especially when AZ is in a winnable division and the pressure’s on them at this point in the season to make a deal.

                • jpeck

                  Yes, I would think the Cubs would love to get one of those guys, but Arizona wont dump them. Garza can be had for lower prospects. (albeit more of them.)

  • CubsFanInTheDesert

    I’m hoping if Arizona keeps struggling they will jump back in.

    • another JP

      Our cubbies can help the snakes with that next week. Both Garza & Shark can give them an eyeful and ass-kicking at the same.

  • http://bleachernation.com Brian

    Two mindsets on the fo iis fair. Ian stewart gives pessimists fuel to ig.ore anything good this fo has done. I have been following tbis team for 30 years or so and as a pessimist myself i am actually pleased so far.

  • MNeuman

    Totally off topic here but with all the cancellations each year in Daytona why has te organization stuck with this minor league affiliation? Contractual? Political? It just seems that this would hinder our prospects at a crucial level of their development…

    • 5412

      Hi,

      You asked about Daytona. I suspect some has to do with money. A lot of teams are here for spring training and they use those stadiums. I’m sure they would rather be in AZ but there is no league nearby with that level of competition.

      Regards,
      5412

      • Whiteflag

        I’m a little confused by your post 5412. You think the cubs would rather have the high A squad in AZ? If so why is that?

        • Whiteflag

          Other than that’s were their Spring Training facilities are.

          • Whiteflag

            where*

        • DarthHater

          It doesn’t rain in Arizona.

          • Whiteflag

            Got ya. Thanks Darth.

          • Roughriider

            It did last night.

            • DarthHater

              …nearly as much as in Florida. :-P

        • 5412

          Hi,

          It is a lot cheaper. The Tigers train here in Lakeland. Their A team uses the same facilities.

          No St team is in Daytona so this is a separate facility all together.

          I would imagine the team would much prefer to have them use the ST facility. Offices, weight rooms, you name it would would not have to be duplicated.

          Regards,
          5412

    • HackAttack

      Contract with Daytona runs through 2014. Many teams in the Carolina League have contracts that expire then too. So perhaps a switch is in order then. There’s the California League as well. But that makes it so tough on the pitchers.

  • Cyranojoe

    Off topic, but wow, SI has the Cubs in the top half (#15) of their Power Rankings today!

    • ETS

      apparently SI has activated unreasonable expectations.

  • waittilthisyear

    while religiously checking BN, i get irrationally excited when i see UPDATE on an article ive already read twice

    • Jp3

      +1

    • sven-erik312

      Spoken like a true BNer!

    • Tommy

      LOL waittilthisyear! Great moniker, btw.

  • Deacon

    Whether these guys were injured or not, if you include “Everyday” James Russell with Garza then a return of Olt, Edwards and Ramirez would mean the Rangers were totally fleecing us! I can’t believe we almost agreed to that deal! Am I the only one nervous about this? If it were Garza alone it would have been one thing but throw in one of the best LHP relievers in the game with two more years of control and, well, that’s a deal you settle for at the deadline not so far ahead of it.

    • Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

      I do believe Sardinas was also included, it was a 6 player deal from what I read, If thats true I think its a good offer, Personally though if Ramirez meds were the snag, Take out Sardinas and Ramirez, add in Odor and Jackson and put a stamp on it.

  • David

    I wish Baltimore would be more aggressive and be in the mix. Add a guy like Garza and Russel with the awesome offense they have… They’d be pretty damn tough. Garza, Russel & Hendrix/ Maples for Gousman????? Who would do it? That cub proposal for Bundy? I’d do either.

    • Chad

      I would like to think you could get something else in return, but I’d do Gousman before Gundy due to the TJ.

  • Die hard

    Garza being flown to Texas for body scan to check for damage to elbow and shoulder

    • DarthHater

      Die hard undergoing brain scan to check for brain.

      • Die hard

        Texas doesn’t want to buy a pig in a poke— if so would be all hat and no cattle ….they would rather hang onto Olt cause a bird in hand worth 2 in the bush…

        • Tommy

          From the reports, it sounds like the Cubs are the ones with the cold feet, or am I reading the updates wrong? Didn’t Brett say there was medical issues with one or two of the Texas prospects?

          • Josh

            Can you really call it cold feet? It’s not like a deal was agreed to and then the Cubs backed out. They did what every team does……they evaluated medical records and determined that some of the players involved were not worth the risk in a trade. This is exactly what they are supposed to do.

            • MichiganGoat

              You realize who you are commenting with, right?

            • Tommy

              Wasn’t writing a media report, just a figure of speech. You’re not saying anything more or less than the point I was trying to make.

              • Tommy

                That was to Josh, not you, Goat. Yeah, Diehard def sees things from a different perspective for sure, but this message board would be a lot different without him, wouldn’t it? ;)

              • Die hard

                Caveat emptor

                • DarthHater

                  damnant quod non intellegunt

                  • Tommy

                    Loqui Latin vir

                    • Die hard

                      Res Ipsa Loquitor —-Thing speaks for itself

                • Abe Froman

                  “Sic transit gloria” Max Fischer.

                  • Tommy

                    Finem huius amentia

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5472/9301705719_ea4166464a_o.png[/img]

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeee Hawww little doggie

        • Hansman1982

          Wow, so much cliche in one post.

    • 5412

      Hi,

      If that is true, there is a wonderful business opportunity. Buy a body scan unit and set up shop in Denver.

      regards,
      5412

      • Jp3

        5412,

        You have been on a roll the last 24 hours, well done sir. You are a character sir, that mess about the blonde in the commercial had me in stitches.

        Regards,
        Jp3

        • 5412

          Hi,

          Glad you enjoyed it.

          regards,
          5412

  • Bilbo161

    I like the pirates. Would like to see Polanco and Glasnow involved in a multi-player deal. Depending on the player coming with Garza other pieces could be added if appropriate.

  • Tommy

    I get the impression that Theo and Jon Daniels have a lot of respect for each other and work together very well. Just considering that’s the place that Dempster ended up last year, and this whole process is going down without a disparaging word from either side is extremely positive. Unlike what happens when we deal with teams, for instance, like the Dodgers.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    It sounds to me like this. The Cubs asked for best and final and hopefully they have several offers to choose from. At the end of the day (meaning a point in time only) they sit down and decide to take the one that best fits and they move on with it.

    The minute to minute updates we are all having fun with is our problem, not theirs. The teams are methodically going about thier business. Unlike the Dempster or Soriano non-deals last year, a deal will take place in due course.

    With that being said, ENOUGH ALREADY, get it done, the natives are getting restless. We want to open our presents and look at our new toys.

    regards,
    5412

    • brunsmk

      My concern with all this is that the front office clearly liked Texas’ offer the best of the ones they received. I think it was somewhat fair but nothing to get excited about. So what was the best others would offer? I am still shocked Boston isn’t a bigger player. With Buchholz hurt plus bailey going down. They have a big group of higher ending pitching prospects that they could afford to give up and still be stacked in that area, seems like a no brainer to me.

      • Die hard

        Yosemite Sam will make an offer Bugs Bunny cannot refuse —

        • Tommy

          This is why I love Die hard.

          • DarthHater

            But there are so many reasons…

            • Tommy

              Wouldn’t be the same without you either, Darth! There’s a handful of folks that make this message board a hoot. You’re definitely at the top of the list, my friend!

              • DarthHater

                [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/9322737514_6eca3ff54b_o.gif[/img]

                • Tommy

                  Love it. Stealing this one for Facebook.

              • MichiganGoat

                Damn talking Twinkies

                • Tommy

                  LOL! And I was gonna say the same thing about goats!

                  • DarthHater

                    Be careful. Pretty sure goats eat twinkies.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Chomp chomp

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3797/9327447841_2b2794048a_n.jpg[/img]

          • Die hard

            Drop the carrot and grab the canole

      • Rcleven

        Boston is taking a long hard look at Peavy. They will have more control. Garza is a rental to them. I can see Boston not wanting Garza for just that reason. Why give up top talent when you are going to lose any gain now in November.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Expensive control on a more broken (and I believe, less effective) alternative.

    • jpeck

      I’m with you 5412. Get it done already. If the report is true about last and final offers, pick one and move on. I think the Cubs lose leverage the further it goes on. ( especially if the Rangers move on first.)

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    The other two things Sullivan said is there is no timetable and all the usual names remain in play although it is hard to decipher. I would think if that means all off limit names remain off limit then its time to move on. Frankly I think Garza and Russell was lopsided and a bad deal for the Cubs even before the Ramirez/Olt potential issue.

    • Jp3

      There is at least somewhat of a timestable with the trade deadline right around the corner.

      • DarthHater

        Dammit, somebody let the horses out of the timestable again.

        • Hansman1982

          Is a timestable for Tardis waiting for a Doctor?

          • Brandon

            Hopefully we can get his sonic screwdriver…it will fix all. Watching season 6 right now…maybe all we need is Amy Pond!!!

            • dumbledoresacubsfan

              Without Rory, Amy isn’t all that great. We can all agree that Rory is amazing.

  • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

    M n f.

    B.m
    P

  • Tommy

    Some days, I just really love the message threads on this site. Today is one of those days.

  • Jim

    I was thinking that if the Garza deal with the Rangers still gets done and Olt comes back in the deal, how good would this look for a lineup next year?

    CF Junior Lake
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Nate Schierholtz
    3B Mike Olt
    C Welington Castillo
    2B Arismendy Alcantara
    Pitcher

    With this I think that Barney and Valbuena would make great ultility players for the Cubs and add a lot of depth. If DeJesus is still with the team then there would be great versatility with Dejesus / Lake / Schierholtz in CF and RF. If Soriano is gone then Maybe Bryant ends up in LF at some point in 2014?

    • Cyranojoe

      A bit too young, but maybe not crazy.

      • Cyranojoe

        That said, I don’t see Bryant switching to the outfield and hitting the majors all in the same year.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    If the A’s are talking, make Sonny Gray happen. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.

  • falselife

    I’m spending my time equally between researching HIV and the status of a Garza deal. I’m finding the Cubs end of things considerably more stressful.

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