Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Cubs and Rangers Free to Date Other People (UPDATES)

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 …. )

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

392 responses to “Obsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch: Cubs and Rangers Free to Date Other People (UPDATES)”

  1. Brandon

    What I don’t like about this whole process is that the Rangers could win it all this year and they want Garza…and they want him for “nothing”. Meaning they don’t want to give up a top prospect. At this point 5/$75-$80 million doesn’t sound so bad. I hope when the Cubs are that close to a W.S. they will not hesitate to get that “Garza” in a deal for a top prospect. Unbelievable!!!

    1. gcheezpuff

      I know Olt has issues, but unless I am mistaken with Perez and Profar up with the Rangers, Olt and the SS are the Rangers top 2 prospects. I obviously don’t know what our FO opinions of these guys are, but they are considered by many to be “top prospects”. I actually thought the pieces coming back looked like a good haul, that being said, I don’t know what in addition to Garza the Cubs were sending. I would have been suprised and maybe disappointed if it was Russell…. Gregg or a low level prospect would be better.

      1. wvcubsfan

        I think it’s time to sell high on Russell. Including him would be the lest of my worries.

  2. William

    My sentiments exactly, Brandon! They pretty much want Garza for free and I hope the Rangers miss the playoffs because of this. They can keep their garbage.

  3. William

    Not only can they keep their garbage, they can shove it up their ass!

    1. Stevie B

      I didn’t get a harrumph from that guy!!!

      1. hookersocake

        Give the Governor a harrumph!

  4. Mike F

    Yeah, I think it works both ways. BB sees the Rangers offer and it could actually work to the Cybs advantage. BB is a bold and dynamic guy. He gets trading. I really hoped Ricketts interviewed him at the time, but was happy and still am with Theo. All that said, BB can swoop in and get him quickly, he doesn’t screw around so Texas now faces a problem and should know it. It is not all that difficult for BB to top the Texas offer when you strip away some of the junk like Olt. BB could bring this to a head very quickly. Great news.

  5. Salesguy

    Rosenthal says A’s are trying to enter the fray for Garza. Personally, I love this, a team with great upside prospects in their farm system, and low cash reserves, and a team on the other side with cash, and in need of high upside pitching. Let’s do this!

  6. aCubsFan

    According to a report I read the Red Sox have entered and as many as 8 teams have inquired.

    1. DarthHater

      I think Garza will make his next start for the Cubs and this will drag on a while.

  7. Spoda17

    I know there have been a lot of haters on Theo and Jed.. but this process proves they are definitely smart dudes, and vet out every part of the process, and if they feel the Cubs are not going to benefit from the deal, they just won’t budge. I love that approach.

    1. 5412

      Hi,

      Wasn’t it a medical report that scuttled the Marmol deal last year?

      Regards,5413

      1. 5412

        I don’t type well on iPad…

        5412

        1. Eternal Pessimist

          You forgot to say Hi!

          1. DarthHater

            LOL

      2. Brandon

        Yea Cubs didn’t like Dan Harems medical report, I think it had to do with his back…good move not making the trade, last I heard Haren is on the DL for Washington, he took his 4-9 record,6.15era,and 1.44whip along with him(shoulder) and we still got something for Marmol. Great non-move by the FO.

    2. Satch Dobrey

      Yeah, just like they didn’t budge on Marmol but of course he should have been traded 3 or 4 years ago…

  8. Dale Jr

    Hope they walk away the cubs an sign garza

  9. Sandor

    Hopefully….they can do it quickly…so it benefits both teams.

    1. Eternal Pessimist

      If they walk away Cubs lose an opportunity. They can still sign him in the offseason. No need to lock him up now. He provides more value to other teams this year than the Cubs since we ain’t going anywhere. Time to sell and get value, and buy all the pitchers they want in the Winter.

  10. Deacon

    Can anyone shed some light on why we would want Sardinas? Aside from the fact that our focus is supposed to be on pitching, we are so full of middle infielders we had to trade Ronald Torreyes to open a spot for Baez! And the scouting report from Baseball America in its annual handbook makes Sardinas sound like a clone of Torreyes. What am I missing? Olt I kind of get, as long as he’s not a centerpiece as it gives us flexibility with Valbuena and Bryant may end up in the outfield. But I’m totally baffled on Sardinas.

    1. Tommy

      http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/

      I’m no expert – I can only repeat things I’ve read or heard other people say. That link is to Mayo’s rankings and he’s the 2nd top prospect in the Rangers farm system according to him.

      You can’t have too much talent, can you? So if we have a glut of high end prospects at one position, would you consider that a bad thing?

    2. Jackson Scofield

      You acquire talent whenever you can, and Sardinas > Torreyes

      1. Kramden

        I for one LOVED the inclusion of Sardinas. He’s a top of the order, high OBP hitter that sets the table for Rizzo, Bryant and hopefully Olt.

        1. Drew7

          Torreyes: A+ = .711 OPS

          Sardinas: A+ = .717 OPS

          Torreyes was 4 months younger, and had a BABIP that was .08 lower.

        2. Cubman23

          Sardinas has serious wheels (20-30 SB potential), which will significantly improve his BABIP. He’s a switch hitter with plus defense and a plus arm and he plays SS.

          I like both players, but if you dig there are plenty of reasons that Sardinas is in higher regard than Torreyes.

        3. Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

          Rougned Odor is the one we should be trying to get anyways. Not Sardinas.

          1. DarthHater

            I hate the Odor of Sardinas in July.

            1. Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

              been waiting for a good Sardin(as) Odor comment

    3. mudge

      Sardinas high in calcium.

      1. Doug

        And delicious on Sociable Crackers.

  11. Kevin

    I would do a Deal with Oakland. Comparable to the deal that fell through with Texas, id do Garza for Alcantara, Maxwell, and Granier

  12. jacob w

    The yankees called up brent lillibridge so theres that

  13. Tommy

    Jonesin’ for some Cub’s news. Can’t…leave…BN. Must…wait…for…update…

    1. Jp3

      What do we do with Bourbon at this point since he was Texas’ down payment for garza?😝

      1. DarthHater

        If Cubs don’t complete the deal with Texas, then Borbon ceases to be a trade asset and instead becomes team income. At that point, because the Cubs have not reported that income for tax purposes, the IRS will charge the Cubs with tax fraud and put a lien on the new jumbotron. Haven’t you been paying attention? :-P

  14. Boba Fett

    Assman make any updates today?

  15. Pookyshow

    Got to believe if the A’s are involved the Cubs will go after Sonny Gray with Derek Johnson as the Minor League pitching coordinator.

    1. dumbledoresacubsfan

      Exactly what I said. Exactly what I hope. He was just optioned back to AAA after another great two innings against the Angels last night.

  16. cubsin

    I don’t mind the Cubs receiving position players in the final Garza deal. If we have too many stud prospects at one position, we can flip one or more of them for pitching or acquire a better catching propect. But I would really like to get at least one pitcher with TOR potential, even if he’s now in A ball.

  17. 5412

    Hi guys,

    We have had monsoon rain here in central FL so I have a little more free time than normal. You guys have motivated me to find a website that gave a synopsis of the top ten players in the Rangers farm system. Olt is #1 showing his grades and saying he is MLB ready. When you look the list over and read about them, Olt was born in 1988 and the rest were born in 1992-1993.

    I sure do not see Rizzo type numbers being put up by Olt in AAA and the fact he is 25 years old tells me the Rangers are ready to unload him with 3B blocked by Beltre.

    If he is the key guy, I hope to hell they are right, on paper he does not look all that exciting. If he is not a whole lot better than Ransom and Valbuena, there better be a lot more in this deal or I agree with those who say look elsewhere or extend Garza.

    regards,
    5412

    regards,
    5412

    1. 5412

      How the hell did my signature get on there twice?

  18. Oswego chris

    Chris Rusin is getting on a plane…

    According to the Kapman

    1. turn two

      Here we go again…rumors commence

      1. Jp3

        2hours and 40 min til game time so they should be thick until then…

    2. Afinch

      Saw that too. Who do you think he’d be replacing?

      1. Oswego chris

        Just going home apparently…according to Kap…who has apparently time traveled back to 1998

    3. Jp3

      He’s the Rocketman? That’s weird don’t you think? How are they going to make room for him? A trade would be an obvious way but what is he if one doesn’t go down before Monday night, a spectator?

    4. Afinch

      Nevermind. Kap just clarified Rusin is on his way home.

  19. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    11 days til deadline hardly makes the Cubs desperate.

  20. johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    The Cubs use the term inventory. You use that inventory for players like Price a true Ace.
    So, stockpiling talent affords you those kind of moves without blowing up the system

    1. AlwaysNextYear

      Inventory is key otherwise you find yourself like the Yankees old and a weak farm because you traded it away to be competitive. But then again would you trade your farm for a WS.

      1. EQ76

        Not to mention how crappy it would be to go to the playoffs like 15 straight years. Must be terrible robe like the yanks.

        1. AlwaysNextYear

          I would give the whole farm in a second

  21. Jp3

    WHAT!?!?! Lake is only hitting 6th!?!? Fire everyone! (Unreasonable expectations have begun)

  22. Lou Brock

    Has anyone mentioned this is the second deal in less than a full year that Daniels at Texas has tried to stick a bad arm into a deal with the Cubs ? Wasn’t a guy in the Soto deal sent back to Texas last year ? That is why I walk away from this deal unless they offer maybe Russell for Edwards and Sardinas. Let’s shop Garza elsewhere.

    1. someday...2015?

      I agree LB. A’s would be a great fit. Same with the Pirates and Nationals.

      Have you heard anything new from your SF connect?

  23. cubsin

    I just did a statistical comparison of BJax versus Olt. They’ve both been awful in the minors this year, but Olt was slightly better (average OPS around .900 for Olt, .850 for BJax) earlier in their minor league careers. They both strike out far too often. BJax’s MLB stats are better (OPS ,644 versus .432 for Olt). BJax can play all three OF spots. Olt can only play 1B or 3B. As the Cubs are already loaded at 3B (Bryant, Baez, Villanueva, Candelario, Valbuena), I wouldn’t trade for Olt unless I already had a trade in place to flip him.

  24. Die hard

    I called it 2 wks ago –Oakland is destination if Borborn suspended … So they got word from Bud

    1. DarthHater
    2. Carew

      I try so hard to ignore your dumb comments, but alas, you draw me in. Darn it.

      1. DarthHater
      2. Die hard

        Double standard — if one of Theos planted rumors surfaces that’s ok— but if my insight and foreskin makes same prediction not ok

        1. DarthHater
          1. Carew

            you’re on a roll, Darth

            1. DarthHater

              9322737514_6eca3ff54b_o.gif

              1. Brian Peters

                Darth, you’ve put a smile on my face. Thank you!

                1. DarthHater

                  And here I’ve been trying to get you all to embrace the Dark Side… ::sigh::

        2. Rob

          Ok, I’ve lurked for a longtime but I feel the need to finally speak up…

          Die Hard, you need to look in the mirror and seriously reassess the significance of your life. I mean, is the highlight of your existence really coming to the comments section of this blog to troll and post unfunny, unintelligent, nonsense? If so, you should consider any of a number of different hobbies- like, maybe, picking up an instrument, helping the homeless, or getting your GED.

          I feel guilty for finally caving and responding to one of your posts, but I guess even I have a weakness for calling out stupid people on the interwebz.

          Good day.

          1. DarthHater

            For Heaven’s sake, no! If Die hard looks in a mirror, it will open a wormhole to the Bizarro dimension!

          2. fromthemitten

            Damn it Rob

            I+trolls.jpg

      3. Die hard

        Colon — meant to say … Not Borborn as saw that mentioned in prior text and was semi startled .. If fully startled would have said Colon.. I a polyp chide

        1. Geech

          “I a polyp chide”? At this point I’m starting to worry that Die Hard is having a stroke.

    3. bikemonkey

      Shut up.

      1. Die hard

        Darth is entitled to his opinions but thanks for support

    4. DarthHater

      Die hard, I think you mean if Colon is suspended, not “Borborn,” right? I’ll concede that, about a week ago, you did say that Oakland would be interested in Garza if they lose Colon. And that makes sense. But it has nothing to do with Borbon and, in fact, is inconsistent with your earlier view that Borbon was a down payment from Texas for Garza.

      1. Geech

        He probably also means “foresight” rather than “foreskin”, although I admit with Die Hard it’s hard to tell.

        1. fromthemitten

          autocorrect hall of fame

        2. DarthHater

          A foreskin that can predict baseball transactions could be extremely valuable — and extremely dangerous in the wrong hands … if you get my drift.

          1. 5412

            HI,

            I always thought the foreskin test of a baseball trade meant you were about to get screwed….

            regards,
            5412

            1. MichiganGoat

              ZING… nicely played

            2. Headscratchin

              Now THAT was funny!

            3. MichiganGoat

              Or snipped…. ZING

          2. Bilbo161

            Best laugh I’ve had in a year! Hmmm, what does that say?

      2. Die hard

        Now I have all my bets covered red and black.. Time to spin Texas or Oakland

  25. JulioZuleta

    Totally off topic but there’s another hearing for the zoning committee on Tuesday at 11 I believe. I’ll be there, some of you guys should go. Also, if you sign the online petition and get in contact with the people in charge, you can request to speak in support of the Cubs at the hearing. They asked me to speak; as much as I’d love to I had decline (working for a judge right now, shouldn’t get on the city’s bad side too much.

    Attending these things has much more of an impact on the organization than attending a game, come out if you can.

    1. Tom A.

      If they sold beer, might even be better than some games I gave seen the year.

  26. Jason Powers

    Thinking out loud: Can we, would we do 2 major trades?
    Samardzija + Gregg; Garza + Russell for the various suitors?
    AZ, TEX, OAK, LA, CLE, BOS

    AZ and TEX would be the likely partners.

    AZ does not have the pitching to go deep this year. I wonder if they
    are motivated enough to even try?

  27. Bret Epic

    Dempster all over again. Maybe the medical reports came back from Texas, and everyone was TOO healthy. You know how Theo likes to trade top pitchers for injured ones.

    1. baldtaxguy

      Ha. Cute.

    2. Die hard

      Picking on Theo not cool now as under lots of pressure

      1. Bret Epic

        In all seriousness, I think we’ll end up receiving something decent for Garza. I think a package deal is the way to go.

  28. CubsFanInTheDesert

    Hey Bret, besides the focus on Garza, any other news happening on other trade chips the Cubs might move?

  29. Coach K

    It’s quite obvious what happened….The front office caught wind of the blog-a-thon. Now, they’re gonna hold onto Garza until the last minute- when the anticipation and anxiety is the highest, and Brett’s sanity is the lowest!

    1. DarthHater

      Yes!

  30. dumbledoresacubsfan

    Completely off topic, but I need to know.

    I’m wasting time before the game starts by watching Big Bang Theory. Am I the only one who doesn’t hear “the autotrophs began to drool“?

    I always hear “began to dree.”

    Am I the only one who hears that??! I swear they don’t actually say drool.

    1. DarthHater

      It’s because the following line about “Neanderthals” begins before “drool” ends, with the overlap sounding like “dree.”

      1. dumbledoresacubsfan

        Aha! My mind has been simultaneously blown and opened at once. It’s bothered me ever since the show freaking started. I’ll have to pay close attention to that part next episode I watch.

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