matt garza cubsHere we go …

Ken Rosenthal reports that Matt Garza will not make his start tonight for the Chicago Cubs as expected. Instead, sources tell him, a deal with the Rangers is “near.” That’s is for details so far, but I expect this to develop in the next few hours.

In case you missed it, the Cubs nearly completed a trade involving Garza on Friday. Although you had to do some dot-connecting to get there, it appeared that the package was Garza and another Cub (possibly James Russell) for third base prospect Mike Olt, infield prospect Luis Sardinas, and pitching prospects C.J. Edwards and Neil Ramirez. A medical issue caught the Cubs’ eye after the exchange of records, and the deal was temporarily held up.

We’ll see if the ultimate package – assuming this deal with the Rangers actually goes down now – is similar.

UPDATE: Jon Heyman also reports that Garza has been scratched for tonight, and a deal with the Rangers is close.

UPDATE 2 (3:59pm CT): Jerry Crasnick isn’t quite hearing the same thing as Heyman and Rosenthal, instead saying only that the talks between the Cubs and Rangers have picked back up. He adds that another involved club tells him that the Rangers are making “another big push” to get a deal done.

UPDATE 3 (4:03pm CT): Oh my – Jeff Passan, who initially reported the “snag” on Friday night, now reports that Garza is going to the Rangers.

UPDATE 4 (4:04pm CT): Buster Olney says a deal with Texas is “close.” They were the “most motivated.”

UPDATE 5 (4:04pm CT): Mike Olt is in the deal, per Jeff Passan.

UPDATE 6 (4:06pm CT): Dave Kaplan says the deal is “being finalized,” but not quite done.

UPDATE 7 (4:07pm CT): Jeff Wilson reports that young Rangers reliever Joe Ortiz could be involved. He’s already having success at the big league level at 22, so it’s fair to wonder if he’s been substituted into the deal, given the Cubs’ concerns about Neil Ramirez (again, per Wilson). Wilson says the Rangers did have health concerns about Garza, for whatever that’s worth.

UPDATE 8 (4:10pm CT): Rosenthal reports that it’s Garza for Olt, C.J. Edwards, and a third player.

UPDATE 9 (4:11pm CT): Passan says it’s actually Olt, Edwards, a third player, AND a player to be named later. Evan Grant reports that he’s heard two versions of the package, with one being Olt/Edwards/Ramirez, and one being Olt/Edwards/Rougned Odor (a very good second base prospects at the lower levels).

UPDATE 10 (4:13pm CT): Kaplan says it’s a done deal, and Garza is a Ranger.

UPDATE 11 (4:16pm CT): Jon Heyman says the deal is done pending medicals, and we know how that can go. Unless the replacement piece has any issues, this is going to happen.

UPDATE 12 (4:23pm CT): Although the Cubs aren’t yet ready to announce the deal, they have identified Chris Rusin as tonight’s starter, according to multiple reports.

UPDATE 13 (4:25pm CT): Jeff Passan reports that the final package includes Major League starter Justin Grimm, making it Garza for Olt/Edwards/Grimm and a PTBNL. If so, that’s a hell of a nice haul (albeit a slightly flawed one) for Garza.

UPDATE 14 (4:27pm CT): Grimm, 24, hasn’t had big league success yet, but he’s the same age as Neil Ramirez and already in the bigs (minor league track record is short and decent for Grimm). That’s a nice substitution right there (I’m assuming that Sardinas was dropped because the “other Cub” was dropped).

UPDATE 15 (4:30pm CT): Passan says it was the A’s involvement that spurred the Rangers to “up the ante,” meaning that those involved believed Grimm is an upgrade from Ramirez. I think I’d agree.

UPDATE 16 (4:34pm CT): Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the PTBNL list *includes* Neil Ramirez. If true, this deal is a huge, huge haul for the Cubs. No one else has said anything about the caliber of players on the PTBNL list, or if it’s contingent on anything (like Justin Grimm’s current forearm soreness becoming something more serious).

UPDATE 17 (4:41pm CT): This might be the last update until this thing goes official. When that happens, and some dust settles, I’ll have more on the prospects involved, and an overall evaluation of the trade. Right now, gut says: very solid return for Garza, and just about what I’d expected all along (top 100ish prospect (Olt), and two organizational top 15s (Grimm and Edwards (yes, I know it’s debatable how high up they are – Edwards is borderline top 100 at this point, and Grimm no longer is technically a prospect)). If that PTBNL ends up being someone like Ramirez, then it goes from solid return to oh-wow-seriously-well-done-borderline-squeal.

  • Jason P

    Third name is Grimm!!

  • Kygavin

    I like the return. Olt wasnt available at this time last year (same with Vizcaino last year) Grimm is a MLB ready 4/5 and Edwards has upside. Plus still have that PTBNL

  • DReese


  • ssckelley

    Woo hoo….I just got home and seen this. We getting Olt!!!!

    Whar Hansmann???????


    Boo to Grimm but the rest of the haul looks pretty good. Wouldn’t count on anything from the PTBNL though.


      Wow, spoke wayyyy to soon on that PTBNL thing

  • Ben

    Does acquiring Olt allow for a Russell/Valbuena deal to Atl? I would think he becomes expendable to allow Olt to play.

    • Corey

      I’d think Valbuena, if it’s true that Olt will start in the majors.

    • DReese

      They might want Olt to sit in AAA to fix him. I heard he was having contact issues.

      • Luke

        Olt has looked overmatched in Triple A. No way he starts any higher than that.

        And I can make a case for having him open his Cubs career in Tennessee.

        • Rebuilding

          I agree, Luke. I would back him up to AA where he’s had success and go from there

          • Jason Powers

            This I disagree with. Olt just started coming around, I guess, and demoting to AA is not a way to start a new relationship. Now, I wouldn’t rush him into the AAA lineup, but let the guy be who he is.

            To me: These are people you know, and probably would prefer to be up at AAA.

            Just my two cents.

          • Jason Powers

            And being he just played against the Iowa Cubs, to send him to Tennessee would not send a good message to him.

    • CubsFaninMS

      They may trade Barney and move Valbuena to second. Either way, Valbuena is comfortable in a fill-in role anyway.

  • caryatid62

    It’s amazing how much some people overvalue 10-15 starts.

  • cubsfanforever

    I think its a great deal. More deals to come…

  • Mush

    You are not going to get a great return on 2 month rental. Last year’s injury, really hurt the overall haul. Edwards and Olt live up to hype should be good trade.

  • Jed Jam Band

    If this is true, I really like this haul a lot. Grimm is someone who can help us now AND in the future, Edwards looks more like a stud every time he pitches and Olt has his issues, but he’s a guy who could be good. I don’t think he was considered the main piece, but he could be good. Honestly, for a rental pitcher, this is a nice return.

    • Corey

      Is Grimm more like Feldman or Wood?

      • Rebuilding

        On a Texas blog I read an article titled “Why Justin Grimm is the Next Scott Feldman”

        • nkniacc13

          I think moving to the NL will help him as well some time at the AAA level

        • Jason Powers

          Well, we renovated that project. Got prospects out of that too.

          Texas, you want to send us more troubled children? Eventually it could pan into more than fool’s gold or Texas tea.

  • Joe

    I really like this return.

    What happened to the rumors of Olt being flipped though??

    • Jed Jam Band

      They haven’t gone away. Braves, Yankees, Phillies still among teams rumored to be involved.

    • nkniacc13

      maybe that was because Russell was in the original deal and now because he isn’t in this that allows a Russell and Barney or Valbuena deal

  • Mrcub1958

    Wonder if quality of PTBNL depends on Garzas extended health?

    • Rebuilding

      I would almost guarantee it. That and/or and extension. My guess is that Sardinas or Odor will be on that list

  • cjp

    Is this the same Justin grimm that left his last start with forearm tightness?

    • Benjamin


      • CubsFaninMS

        Can you say “throw in”? Hopefully he ends up being more than that.

        • nkniacc13

          I wonder if that list is also contingent on Grimm’s health

  • Peter

    now lets just put olt at third please, cubs like to keep guys in the minors until they are old men. If he sucks in the majors, than thats the way it is, but lets just see what he can do.

    • Peter

      of course I mean put him in as soon as possible, obviously he could not be there tonight

      • Kyle

        He needs to stop sucking in AAA first.

  • North Side Irish

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 1m
    Not a bad return for a rental. Rangers didn’t give up big impact. RT @drewoneill2 @ProfessorParks thoughts on cub deal? Is Grimm decent?

    • When the Music’s Over

      I thought that whole point of dealing Garza was to get impact???

      Yes, yes, it’s of course to make the Cubs as an organization better, and I’m guessing this deal did that if Garza was going to be let walk with only a supplemental coming back. Just had seen it written here, there, everywhere that the Cubs really needed to get high impact guys when trading Garza.

      Is Parks off base here? Did the Cubs build more depth, instead of top line talent?

      • willis

        Yep, it’s a marginal return that we’ll have to wait and see for awhile if it ever pans out to major league talent.

      • Edwin

        It depends what you think of as an “impact” talent. Most likely Garza was never going to bring back an “impact” talent. Want isn’t always get.

  • Dustin S

    I like Grimm, the only thing that’s odd is that I did a quick search for info on him and noticed that he left his last start early in the 4th inning injured (July 12th) with “right forearm stiffness” and they were talking about a possible DL stint. So it’s strange that he’d be a replacement in all this.

  • AB

    Not sure why people are complaining about Grimm. Depending on Cabrera’s success and where they put him, he looks much better than any starting pitching the Cubs have in the upper minors.

    • Rebuilding

      I think you could say right now Rusin and Hendricks also might be better

      • willis

        And if they are better…that’s not a good thing.

        No like. Do not want.

  • Jason Powers

    We got a lot of potential for 1 Garza. Grimm could find it later. Looks like he loves his curve ball when ahead. Olt conversation had. Edwards – like his stats.

    • Jason Powers

      For Garza, we might get 2 SPs – 1 to put in the MLB as soon as he’s 100% healthy. Forearm issues…

      So we got a couple of slightly damaged goods- but Olt has been hot lately. Can’t complain since we did not give up Russell it seems.

  • Jason P

    The inclusion of Grimm changes my perspective on the deal. Grimm’s struggled in his first year in the bigs, but that’s far from abnormal. He was the Rangers number 5 prospect going into the year according to baseball America and dominated AA last year.

    Perhaps he was rushed through AAA, but he has a solid 3-pitch mix with command.

    So in this trade, we get an AAA third basemen, a MLB pitcher who should go back down to AAA for seasoning, and an upside 21-year-old in A plus a PTBNL.

    I love this return.

    • willis

      Yeah but with Grimm, the concern I have is his forearm tightness from the other night. That never ends well for pitchers.

      You hope it’s not serious, but we’ve seen this play out plenty of times the other way.

    • Jason Powers

      Yep, we got quite a bit for quote, “a two month rental.”

    • Benjamin

      My only issue with Grimm is that he is having arm issues after just half a season at SP. I’ve definitely been on the “trade Garza” train, but a return of two prospects with lurking injuries (Olt’s vision issues and Grimm’s arm durability) doesn’t make me very happy.

      Though, I suppose it’s possible that the Cubs have no confidence in the longevity of Garza’s arm.

      • Jason P

        I’m sure the Cubs have those concerns too because if he ends up being healthy, this return is arguably better than the one a couple days ago would have been — the one that included another Cub, possibly a very valuable Cub in James Russell.

  • DReese


  • North Side Irish

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 27s
    #Brewers’ Braun suspended for rest of season, according to MLB. Effective immediately.

    WOO HOO!

    • someday…2015?


    • DReese


  • Luke

    I like Edwards quite a bit.

    I need to study up Grimm some more before I give a verdict.

    And my opinions on Olt have not changed in the past 12 hours.

    • DReese

      Can you refresh me on your Olt opinions?

      • ssckelley

        He likes Ian Stewart better.


        • DReese

          Well that’s not good

      • chirogerg

        strikes out more than Brett Jackson hitting right-handed with a sledge hammer

    • bryan

      Where would you rank olt and Edwards luke? id say olt 6 and Edwards between 8-12

      • Kyle

        Not Luke, but off the top of my head, I’d be inclined to flip those. I like Edwards a lot and could easily see him at No. 6.

        • Rebuilding

          I think Edwards is now our top pitching prospect just a bit above Johnson

    • Jason Powers

      Grimm is a two pitch pitcher usually it seems:

      Just as likely to throw a hook on two strikes as a 4-seamer. Velocity has been down since 2012. But he’s young, and not without potential.

  • mudge

    So… does Grimm step in to the rotation?

  • nkniacc13

    Grimm could have been rushed to majors because of injuries

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I don’t get why people like a Grimm so much? Not that good IMO. Please someone explain to me why you think he’s good. He’s a solid arm but he definitely nothin special

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I believe Grimm is an upgrade over Ramirez but nothing to get excited about. No Sardinas or Odor in the deal

    • Noah

      Cheap controlled pitcher with stuff to be a solid, cheap, 4/5 type of pitcher at least with mid-rotation upside. Do I think he’s a stud? No. But as Travis Wood has shown us, these types can have a lot of value, and especially surplus value over cost.

      • Jason Powers

        Will wave our magic pitching dust over Grimm…

        • Jason Powers

          Not a GRimm fairy tale…

          “Not so Grimm for Garza, More than a bargain”

  • zack

    Ryan Braun suspended rest of season

  • Afinch

    Ryan Braun suspended rest of season.

  • Mr. Cubster

    What was your opinion again on Olt, Luke? Thanks!

  • Oswego Chris

    In my opinion…a very good return..

    I wouldn’t scoff at Grimm…

    • Jason Powers

      We got 1 guy that is maybe a Samardjiza like project – not stuff wise, but he’s got issues to work out. And he’s not ARB eligible until 2016.

      Olt – 3rd baseman for 2014. Might as well be. Sink or swim.
      CJ Edwards – 2 years more in the minors, could be a #2-3 SP in 2017. That works.

      PTBNL – a bonus.

      Good enough for Garza.

  • Afinch

    Now I have to root for the Rangers. Best of luck to Garza.

    • JOE

      ^ Agreed. I think this is a win-win deal for both sides, at least on the surface. I’ll be rooting for Garza and the Rangers, as well until he and Edwards square off in the World Series in a couple years (one can dream)

    • mudge

      Indeed. Thanks & godspeed, Garza.