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stoveObsessive Matt Garza Trade Watch and the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez free agency aren’t the only rumor stories going around these days …

  • Is James Russell merely a guy the Cubs are willing to listen on, or is he a piece they’re actively looking to move? Well, “other teams” tell Buster Olney that it’s the latter, and the Cubs are looking to trade Russell this month. As we’ve discussed, he certainly has trade value (cost-controlled young lefty who is effective against lefties and righties), and I doubt the Cubs would give him up without getting a nice return (or without upping the return in a Garza deal nicely).
  • Everything coming out of Pittsburgh has the Pirates as ready and willing to add pieces as any team in baseball (given that they’re looking to break a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons, you can understand why). Their biggest need, arguably, is a big bat for right field. The Pirates have previously been connected to Nate Schierholtz (who could platoon with Jose Tabata), but, given his cheap year of control left in 2014 and the Cubs’ lack of immediate outfield replacements, I doubt the Cubs unload him just to unload him.
  • A source tells Gordon Wittenmyer that the Yankees have Alfonso Soriano on their radar following his recent prolonged surge. It should be no surprise, given their long-standing need for a bat (which pretty much dates back to Curtis Granderson’s injury this Spring).
  • The Nationals are waiting to determine the health of Ross Detwiler before making a move for a pitcher. If they do decide to go for a pitcher, Adam Kilgore suggests it will be Jake Peavy, and not Matt Garza. Given that the Nats are so far behind the Braves (to say nothing of the Wild Card), maybe that’s a reasonable position.
  • Speaking of Peavy versus Garza, Jon Heyman spoke to executives about which pitcher they’d prefer to add this year, and Peavy was pretty much the consensus. Although some feel like Garza is the better add for 2013, only, Peavy comes with an extra year of control (albeit an expensive one at $14.5 million; of course, if you want to extend Garza, it’ll probably cost you at least that much annually). I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that Peavy could net more in trade right now than Garza – but in a clear seller’s market, I’m not sure that Peavy’s now-healthy presence is going to damage Garza’s market too dramatically. It could cause teams to want to wait a little bit before pulling the trigger, though.
  • The Diamondbacks are merely at the “periphery” of any Matt Garza trade talks, per Nick Piecoro. They’d only make a move if Garza “fell” to them, with the implication being that they aren’t prepared to make a considerable offer.
  • Aramis Ramirez could be out for a couple weeks with a knee issue, and may no longer a realistic trade option for teams looking for a bat before the deadline. Because of his contract, though, he’ll be an August trade option. The relevance here is to comment only on the bat market – it’s one less “bat” available, regardless of position.
  • Some in the Tigers organization are “hopeful” that they’re the team that lands Francisco Rodriguez. He is pitching ridiculously well this year, so maybe that’s a fair position to take. If the Tigers are hoping for Rodriguez, they might not be all that interested in settling for Kevin Gregg, for example.
  • Remember Cuban outfield free agent Dariel Alvarez? He was the outfield complement to infielder Aledmys Diaz, in whom the Cubs had interest, but who has to wait a year before signing due to some alleged age funny business. The Cubs weren’t in on Alvarez, but I’m letting you know that he signed with the Orioles for $800,000. Why am I letting you know? It’s a reminder that not all international prospects/Cuban defectors who get media play are big timers. (Though you can usually get a rough sense – Alvarez was not expected to be a big-money guy.)
  • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

    Like I said earlier more pitching is coming on the market and Garza’s return is getting smaller by the day. I said Peavy and other people said no Garza well that extra year is huge including getting something back if he leaves after next year. If Lee comes on the market as well we will not get that much for Garza. Be prepared to be disappointed with the return.

    • On The Farm

      Or the people who are afraid of the Garza injury risk would have to be even more cautious with Peavy. And Amaro decides that he wants to hold on to Lee for next year. I am not sure the Phillies want to sell all of their assets now.

      • Mick

        Why would teams be more cautious with Peavy (broken rib) compared to Garza (stress reaction in his ELBOW)?

        • On The Farm

          Because Peavy is having durability issues. Since 2008+ he has pitched over 120 innings once.

          • Mick

            He also had a 4-year trend of increased IP until his broken rib injury. He’s also coming off of an All-Star and gold glove season so…

            • bbmoney

              Peavy’s rib isn’t the real injury concern with him. He’s had a shoulder surgery that I believe is unique to him in professional pitchers. Most thought he’d never really pitch again after he hurt his shoulder.

            • Mr. B. Patient

              He’s pitched more than 120 innings once in the last 4 years. He’s 32

              In the last 5 years, Garza has pitched under 180 innings, once. He’s 29.

              I don’t see how anyone can make an argument Peavy is safer.

            • On The Farm

              Yeah 101->107->111 those where some pretty huge IP increases. 2012 is the last time he has put together a season of not. Matt Garza on the other hand has never pitched below 184 innings (full season) aside from last year. Garza has made how many starts since his injury? So far so good, this is a guy who is trying to build his value to get his biggest paycheck of his career, he isn’t going to blow it by rushing back to soon.

              • Mick

                I’m not picking a fight, I’m just trying to give you an impartial opinion of Peavy vs Garza. Some people seem to be too biased to judge which player has the greater value to an acquiring team. In regards to their injury or injury history, I don’t think either should have any bearing going forward. Peavy’s was a non-throwing arm related injury and Garza’s demonstrated his health over his 11 starts this season. If you’re worried that Peavy’s previous shoulder issues are going to reoccur than you have to be at least equally worried that Matt Garza’s elbow ligament is going to finally snap after all of those IP.

            • CubbieBubba

              he’s ALSO been injured EVERY year

              • Mick

                Well, that’s simply untrue so I’m going to discredit anything you ever have to say.

            • Rebuilding

              Man, I would think that extra year of Peavy control would be a huge DISINCENTIVE. Who would want to look at the books next year and see J. Peavy $14.5 mil. No thanks

              • Mr. B. Patient

                I agree with you, but teams like the Rangers, Red Sox, and Dodgers probably wouldn’t care.

                • Cory

                  Peavy is known as a max effort thrower look at his last 2 injuries. He tore his lat off his body then went out and broke a rib while throwing not from any sort of contact. Those are rare injuries one had never been seen before. The Reds are super concerned that Cueto has this same type of issue why would anybody trade for a guy like this?

              • Mick

                Yea, I’m sure a team is going to highlight that $14.5 million salary and kick themselves for paying a #1 SP so much.

                • Rebuilding

                  First of all, it’s been about 5 years since Peavy was a #1. And considering he’s likely to pitch 100 innings if you’re lucky that’s quite a bit pro-rated

                  • willis

                    Yeah that’s kind of a ridiculous salary for a dude that doesn’t rack up a ton of innings and is a good but not great pitcher.

                    • Mick

                      You guys are ridiculous. If he was a Cub, there’d be no doubt he’d be the best pitcher in all of baseball. I only said he was the 14th best SP and that was based off of actual statistics.

                    • On The Farm

                      You are mistaken, we used to have one of these guys named Kerry Wood. He was great for a while, but after he got injured every year (didn’t Wood injure his rib by falling out of his hottub?). I am not crazy for looking at a guy who has a history of pitching less than 120 innings for 4 of the last 5 years..

                  • Mick

                    He was on track to put up almost identical numbers this season that he did last season until his broken rib. He put up a 128 ERA+ last year which is about as #1 SP as you can get. He ranked #14 in the entire league with a ERA- of 79 in 2012.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Except he got hurt…again. And his ERA+ this year is 104 so don’t know where you got that from

                    • Rebuilding

                      And his ERA+ in the last 4 years (3 of which he barely pitched 100 IP): 93, 88, 128 and 104. No wonder you picked last year

              • Rcleven

                Garza and Peavy are pretty much the same pitchers if looking at the numbers. The contract control seems to be the difference between the two. If I a GM I want that extra year either to flip him next year or still have the qualifying offer if things go bad. Dollars would not be the determining factor but total return would.

              • CubsFaninMS

                I would like to jump in and say that, because Peavy is an injury risk, his extra year of control may be a detriment to his trade value. Even if you were to see the injury risk with Garza and Peavy being identical, that extra year of control is an extra year of risk that he will suffer an injury. True, the acquiring team can trade him during the off season, but will another team offer something solid for him? Garza is a gamble, but the gamble on him may be more attractive than the gamble on Peavy. Garza is a proven commodity this year, whereas Peavy is not… yet.

  • Mike S

    Remember a little over a week ago I mentioned that the Cubs wanted to move Garza before Peavy came back b/c Peavy would be a better option to some teams, and then you people called me crazy? Just sayin….

    • Mike S

      What do you mean you people?

      Had to be said :)

    • arta

      no I don’t remember!

      • mak

        me neither. liar.

  • steve123

    As much as I hate to trade Russell, I think we could replace him with a Free-Agent signing. JP Howell is an example. I only trade him though if he really gives us a good prospect. I also believe that Schierholtz is very replaceable. I say this only because I think Sweeney could easily put up similar number to what Schierholtz currently has.

    • willis

      Plus there is Rosscup who needs a good look as well as some other left handers in the organization that don’t have the stuff to be starters in the bigs but could be servicable LH relievers. I think if you can get something decent for Russell trading him wouldn’t be the worst thing.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    It could be the Cubs feel Russell is starting his regression to being strictly…oh no….a LOOGY.

    Sell high.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I’m gunning for a Pirates trade….

    (1) A team deep in prospects having a good year is a team most willing to part with better prospects to make a pennant run. The Pirates can afford to lose a couple of Top 10’s and still have a loaded farm system. It’s a win-win. The Cubs get a good haul of prospects and the Pirates most definitely uppen their chances of making a pennant run with a key piece in their rotation. How long will Liriano pitch this way? All year? I’m skeptical. I bet the Pirates are a little skeptical as well.

    (2) I’m not a fan of the Reds or the Cards. We have no chance of making a playoff run this year. A successful Pirates team is good for baseball, the National League, and the NL Central in particular. I’d much rather see Garza pitch in a Pirates uniform and see the Pirates win it all.

    • OregonCubsFan

      You’re sounding like a PiratesFaninMS

      • willis

        I agree with a Pirates trade being a good option if they throwh their hats in. Not to mention they wouldn’t poney up to extend him after the season, allowing him to get out of the central, whereas the cardinals would extend him and make him the best pitcher ever to live.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Willis:

          The Cardinals could make an ewok their closer and he’d be lights out.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    And, an update on the news of the day, the royal baby is a boy!

    I’m hoping for a new Prince Albert. (cuz that joke NEVER gets old).

    • On The Farm

      Its not like he is my prince.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        I know. It’s just hard to navigate news sites without seeing ‘Royal Baby’ headlines.

    • DarthHater

      Favorite tweet: The fetus soon to be known as prince.

  • Ivy Walls

    Russell is the time to sell high. Garza is well passed his sell high and Soriano is a great time because all streaks come to an end.

  • On The Farm

    Nick Cafardo just tweeted he is hearing Boston favor’s Peavy more than Garza. But it all is dependent how Buchholz’s meeting with Andrews goes.

    • On The Farm

      Actually it was a half hour ago, so sorry if it has already been mentioned

  • Patrick G

    Is it reasonable to say Russell would net something similar to Marshall? Lefty, not as polished but younger and under team control?

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Biggest hurdle on Garza has been his agent’s request for top dollar on extension. There are teams willing to put up the players Cubs are asking about but only if Garza contract can get done. Garza team sure they will get asking price in F/A bidding war during off season.
    This means the teams in have dwindled to a very few including the Rangers, Orioles, and Pirates. It seems all others are focusing on other options like Peavey and Norris or are waiting for Cubs demands to lessen.
    Orioles have no money in budget so Cubs would have to pay remaining salary on Garza, Pirates are wary of prospects burning them in division for years to come. Rangers are still best bet.

    • Justin

      I believe this is true. I think the Cubs need to play hardball and tell Garza they won’t move him unless he is willing to sign an extension. I know compensation picks suck really, but at this point who cares.
      Hey Garza will trade you to the Rangers if you sign a 5 yr 90 Mill extension, or you can have the qualifying offer over your head and you get 5 yrs $55 Mill.?

      I really hope they are doing that.

      • Falselife

        The process is playing out fine. Leveraging his future is not the way to go.

        • Justin

          I disagree, but that’s cool..

  • curt

    please. Can anyone tell me what the fascination with the royal family is, they have no real power their figureheads and remind England of a time when they were relevant the whole world I’d heading for ghe crapper and all thd news can talk about is 1 more silver spooned baby nothing really wrong with it I guess just don’t see the point.

    • DReese

      I think it is actually really cool. The best part is whoever is running the country (Prime Minister) whether people like him or not they will always back the royal family which will always give England type of unity.

      • Rebuilding

        I think it’s interesting that a country so reveres a family who has featured a long list of madmen that subjugated them for nearly 1000 years. I guess it’s interesting for the Us Weekly types who don’t know history pre-Kardashian

      • On The Farm

        Too bad the country of England cut the head off of the last king that they didn’t like so they brought in a relative from a different country to serve as their King after their revolution. A king that would know his place as not their ruler, pretty much a glorified figure-head. I still don’t get it.

    • Kyle

      Says the man on a site devoted to people who obsess over the athletic competitions of other people that have nothing to do with their lives.

      • YourResidentJag

        So watcha sayin about yourself, Kyle? Speak for yourself, Kyle. While on Bleacher Nation, I’m cutting the gross, reading Shakespeare, while all the while teaching my cat how to speak Spanish.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://t.qkme.me/3v9gs2.jpg[/img]

          • YourResidentJag

            Somehow I knew that was coming, and BTW, my cat thanks you. ;)

    • Mr. B. Patient

      It’s history. It’s not everyday a monarch is born. I’m done with it, though.

      fun fact (it’s true because I saw it on the internet). The Brits are expected to spend some 600 million pounds on royal baby parties.

      • On The Farm

        And what does a monarch do per-say?

        • DarthHater

          I understand monarchs eat a lot of milkweed and fly to Mexico in the winter.

          • YourResidentJag

            Kind of like the red beaked warbler. :)

        • Mr. B. Patient

          How the ‘blank’ do I know. I live in America. Okay:
          -they have a really cool wave…
          -their family’s love lives resembles that of the Kardashians
          -live in a kick ass palace.
          -get to play with the crown jewels anytime they want.

  • Ben

    Biggest issue with Garza situation is Theo/Jed insisting on “great” return rather than good. In current market they may get less than Texas offered.

    • baldtaxguy

      Where did you see that, i.e. “great” vs. “good”?

  • Justin

    Maybe I’m just down on Peavy, but he is always hurt and just coming off injury. I really don’t look at his $14.5 Mill owed next yr as a plus to the aquiring team. I would be schocked if he remained remotely healthy thru next yr. Teams get to caught up in having yrs control, even garbage contract control. I get that you don’t want to give up the next Mike Trout for a rental like Garza, but I would be completely ok with my team to grow some nuts and get the best pitcher to help you win in the current yr for a couple top 40-75 ranked guys if they were close.

  • mak

    Does anyone else think that maybe teams want Peavy because dealing with Kenny is better than dealing with Theo?

    • ETS

      I do wonder if things like the botch degado/haren trades and how much stuff was leaked leading up to make other GMs cringe or maybe that’s just par for the course and they all expect that kind of thing.

      • hansman1982

        Delgado was not botched by the Cubs.

        Haren, that wasn’t really botched. Marmol told someone that he had been traded and it was reported as such. The Cubs had some concerns about the medicals and the trade didn’t close. Unless we are going to call the Garza to Texas trade botched.

        • hansman1982

          Side note, trades don’t fall apart because suddenly the whole world knows about it. This isn’t middle-school dating.

      • jeff1969

        I agree, there hasn’t been any botching going on, but I would think the Cubs FO would want more secrecy in their dealings and quite a few times their non-deals have become full blown stories. Do they have some leakers? Or are they the leakers? Oh the intrigue!

    • Justin

      I could see that.. I would feel much easier trading with a guy like Kenny than a sabermetric genius like Theo who has a history of finding diamonds in the rough. I also think it’s good for front office’s to miss on certain trades from time to time. Who wants to trade with a team who kills it every deal they do? The Stewart deal may help other GM’s think they can take advantage of the Cubs…

      • hansman1982

        Well then, why do teams ever deal with the Rays?

        • Justin

          I would avoid the Rays like the plague if I was an opposing GM. Just saying…

          • hansman1982

            Just they have really good pre-FA players they generally sell off.

            • Justin

              Yep, they have those badass pre-FA players because they are ridiculously smart. Give those guys payroll the whole league would be in serious trouble. If I’m the Dodgers I kick Colleti and his group out so fast and pay Friedman an amount he can’t say not too. That would be pretty scary for everyone..

      • MoneyBoy

        Not to muddle your position, but Hahn is the GM, not Williams!!

        • Justin

          Not sure if you’re talking to me but I know Hahn is the GM of the Sox. By all accounts he actually goes with more than his gut. But I was responding to a previous post and it probably came off wrong..

    • hansman1982

      If they think they can get a similar pitcher for less price, of course they are going to choose the guy they think they can get for a lower price/less hassle.

      The question then becomes, is Peavy cheaper because there are significant injury concerns or because the GM is a “nicer guy”.

  • North Side Irish

    Nick Cafardo ‏@nickcafardo 3m
    Dr Andrews concurs with Red Sox doc opinion no structural damage just inflammation in buchholz neck. Will continue throwing.

    • Jon

      Man, the Boston meatheads are all over Buchholtz, with their hockey(Nathan Horton) references. I actually feel bad for Buchholtz.

  • Jon

    Pedro Strop has not been getting enough love

    6.2 IP | 2 H| 0 ER| 2BB|8K

    I know SSS, but so far, Thoyer’s best trade deadline pickup?

    • Kyle

      It’s 6.2 innings.

      • Devin

        That’s like 8 outings though…It’s not like it’s a SP and it was just one start. He’s gone out and performed for all 8 of his appearances.

        • Kyle

          And that’s why relief pitchers are perceived as more volatile. Any schmuck can go out and have eight good appearances totaling 6.2 innings. We don’t know much more about him than we knew when he was acquired.

    • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      Because of those SSS limitations, you can’t really compare this year’s pickups to prior year’s yet. Especially when no one knows how Kyle Hendricks, Barret Loux, Arodys Vizcaino, or really even Jake Arrieta will eventually turn out.

      So far, it looks like the change of scenery has worked. But I’d like to see how he pitches at least the rest of this year before making any conclusions.

  • Vince

    Well it looks like Garza might end up traded right at the deadline. Which will be right when I finish taking the IL bar exam. That will be a good day.

  • Adam

    I think we are bound to be disappointed with what we get for Garza as no teams are willing to give up good prospects and Peavy is back. With the Rangers, they offered us two older prospects currently struggling and a pitcher who i think will end up as a reliever, with Sardinas as the only “good” prospect. Whatever we get for Garza will end up being worse than what the rangers offered us the first time. Oh and I am a first time commenter.

    • Adam

      And i forgot to mention that Olt has his vision problems.

    • hansman1982

      Excellent first comment.

      I want Olt, but only as a “Hey, I guess we will take this guy as well” kind of thing.

  • Otsum11

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 41s

    Sources: Garza will not pitch tonight for #Cubs, deal with #Rangers near.

    • wvcubsfan

      groundhog day?

    • Jon

      OH SH.t!

    • Falselife

      I know it will fall a apart but, for the moment, I am excited. I just hope it wad them moving to us and not the Cubs acquiescing to them.

      • Otsum11

        We shall see! Just saw this as well:

        Jerry Crasnick ‏@jcrasnick 30s

        Hearing that the #Cubs and #Rangers trade talks involving Garza are back on.

    • Jp3

      I don’t believe it until he’s not pitching tonight. We’ve seen this movie before

    • hansman1982

      Wait, wha?

      I wonder if they finally settled on some future considerations for injury/effectiveness.

      • Tobias

        Much like the provisions of the Soto deal last year?

        • hansman1982

          Ya. That’d quell most of the Cubs injury fears from Edwards and Olt.

  • Kramden

    Wow! That’s REALLY putting it on the line.

  • Tobias

    Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Garza will not pitch tonight and that a deal with Rangers is close.

    • On The Farm

      I think he did that to mess with Arizona hitter’s batting plan.

  • Ballgame

    Just saw that report on MLB Network. Right as I was about to admit defeat hearing about this the past week+ and wishing it would just happen, the situation totally redeems itself. I’m additionally excited because I really think the Rangers upped their offer. Just assuming because the Cubs most likely wouldn’t go right back to the Rangers for a lesser package! Let’s go!!

  • Ralph

    Wow…. Saw that too! Garza not starting for Cubs tonight according to Rosenthal

  • Ginny C

    Just saw a tweet from Ken Rosenthal that Garza ISN’T going to pitch tonight, that a trade with Rangers is near….

  • Kramden

    You do realize that many, many Cub fans are going to gauge how good Epstein/Hoyer are based on the return from this singular trade?

    • Rcleven

      As should be. Every trade should be on the GM but just cant be judged on the immediate return.

  • Dustin S

    Just as I was about to stop watching for news for a bit… Names…we need names!

    Royal baby connection?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      You mean the Royal to be named later?

  • figgelbert

    Brett,
    I heard Olney on WEEI
    He said the Red Sox would not be interested in Russell because he is a situational lefty with bad splits against right handed hitters. And the Sox don’t need another situational Lefty.
    This contradicts what you mentioned about Russell being good against right handed hitters
    Was olney wrong about his splits?
    I looked them up and seems he’s been below par over the last year +
    I may not have the right data.

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