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.

  • Kyle

    It’s interesting that, in the end, we actually went with quantity over quality. That’s three and possibly four nice pieces, but none of them are elite prospects unless you buy into Olt’s Top 50 status (which you shouldn’t).

    • cubsfanforever

      Come on Kyle. Seriously.

    • Corey

      Even with Ramirez being in the PTBNL list, possibly?

      • Kyle

        Yes. He’d be a fourth piece in that same tier.

        I don’t have a problem with taking quantity, necessarily, but that’s what happened.

        • Ben

          I just don’t think the Cubs had much choice. If Profar/Perez/Jackson/Martin weren’t options, then I don’t think the Cubs had much of an option.

          I think quality is always ideal, but in this case, I like the return.

          • YourResidentJag

            Yeah, I’d agree with this.

    • cerambam

      How many times do you plan on saying almost the exact same thing? We understand how you feel about Olt and it is definitely not a dumb position to take, but geeze just give it a break. Why do you care about how other people feel about a prospect, especially when you apparently know they’re wrong.

      • Kyle

        As many times as it feels relevant to the conversation.

        • davidalanu

          But repeating it over and over again makes you the die hard of logic.

    • caryatid62

      I’m fairly certain the Cubs were never going to get an elite prospect from any team for 10 starts of Matt Garza. Furthermore, I don’t think the Rangers even have an elite prospect (outside of Profar).

    • Mvandy524

      Olt could be A very similar story to Chris Davis. Just needs the right place and right people to put it together

      • Kyle

        Chris Davis didn’t have Olt-level K problems at AAA.

      • Whiteflag

        I agree.

    • Ben

      And how do we know who the Rangers were offering at the top end? Olt may have been the best guy they were willing to part with.

      • Kyle

        Olt’s the third-best guy in the deal, so that doesn’t seem likely.

    • twigman08

      In my mind Edwards may be something in the future. He may only be in Low-A but I’ve watched the kid pitch many times. His delivery is very smooth, hides the ball well, his offspeed pitches are coming along great, hasn’t given up a HR in 160 Innings. Kid needs to be challenged actually it seems like. I think a promotion is needed for him. He might only be in Low-A but there is just something about that kid that I LOVE what I see. I honestly believe Cubs have someone there. I hardly ever say that about anyone in Low-A but something about the kid just screams at me.
      Sure he’s not what you need right now, or next year, but in the years to come he could very well be somewhere.

      • Kyle

        Agree. *Love* Edwards. 160 IP in the pros with 200 Ks and *zero* home runs? That’s insane. Easily the best piece in this deal, and probably better than any piece we got in last year’s deadline deals.

        • Luke

          Definitely the best piece in the deal, and it isn’t really close.

          And I have to think that Texas is breathing a sigh of relief that managed to unload Olt while he still had some value. Really wish the Cubs could have swapped him out for someone else.

          • Brett

            Best piece? Probably. *Easily* the best piece? Come on now. I’m not even sure it isn’t Grimm. You could make an argument for any of the three named players.

            (That said, I like Edwards best, but only slightly over Olt and Grimm.)

            • Kyle

              IMO: Edwards >> Grimm >> Olt

              PTBNL is impossible to evaluate fully, right now/\.

              • Rebuilding

                I would argue that Edwards is severely underrated simply because of his weight. The durability concerns have many hedging their bets in case he becomes a reliever. But it’s not like he is short and weight can be added

            • Whiteflag

              I love Olt. Despite everyone’s hate. I think this is an awesome deal for 2.5 months of Garza.

            • Luke

              Olt isn’t in the conversation until he proves he can make consistent contact in Triple A. Players with a 30% K-rate at that level have a very, very bad major league history. I can’t just assume Olt is the exception.

              Edwards looks to have the most upside of the deal. Grimm is a good pickup, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t have the ceiling of Edwards. Grimm is much lower risk, though, no doubt about that.

    • BleedCubbieBlue

      I agree with Kyle except I’d include that the quantity actually has a little quality.

      • Kyle

        I didn’t mean to imply that there was no quality at all in the deal. Simply that quantity is more dominant. We didn’t get one great piece, we got four good ones.

  • Corey

    We have to remember that an injury doesn’t mean anything besides being injured.

    It’s questionable, but an injury isn’t a MAJOR concern.

  • Smackafilieyo


    • themillhah

      I don’t even care about the trade now!!

  • Mick

    Holy crap, we get Neil Ramirez too! We hit the motherload on this deal and we didn’t have to include Russell!!!

    • mudge

      motherlode, not load.

  • YourResidentJag

    I wonder how many more twitters Mike Olt has now?

    • YourResidentJag

      And twitter fans.

      • cerambam

        Or twitter followers…. :)

        • YourResidentJag

          Yeah, that’s what I mean. I thought it–you said it and it took you to get it out.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            I’m all a twitter…

            • YourResidentJag


  • Joey

    An insider on PSD says the PTBNL list includes: Sardines, Odor, Ramirez and a few others

    • Trey

      That is almost unbelievable

      • cerambam

        Ya, is anyone else saying that.. cause like, sweet

    • cubchymyst

      I thought some said that was only if the resign Garza, if not the list is different.

  • Andrew

    On a side note…ryan Braun suspended rest of year. Finally got the bastard

    • Spriggs

      Really? That’s beautiful!

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I like this trade a lot. Edwards may be the best piece of the deal, but I won’t be surprised if Olt’s “new eyes” helps him pull it all together.

  • ssckelley

    I have to say I like Iowa’s chances of making the playoffs now. 😀

  • fresno cub fan

    What a great day! Braun gets suspended and he admits wrong!
    We get a good set of prospects!
    Garza gets to pitch for a contender!

  • Sandberg

    This Braun thing doesn’t make me happy. Now it’ll be that much more difficult to catch the Brewers in the race for a high draft pick.

    • ssckelley

      Me neither, suspend him when it really matters….like the start of next season!

  • Cub Style

    Ehrm, Edwards is a top 75 guy with Sickels. I think it’s safe to say that “top 15” is a very conservative monicker on him.

  • Stogie

    I like this deal much more. I’ve been wondering this whole time why the Cubs aren’t insisting on Grimm. He can join the rotation, and Bolt should be the starting 3rd baseman in ’14.

    • Stogie

      Damn you, autocorrect! Olt!

    • Benjamin

      If the FO wants to do this right, then Olt should not be the starting 3B in 2014.

  • rbreeze

    I don’t think the FO would have made the deal if there wasn’t some quality coming back. Scouting reports are varied most times. Lets hope Theo and Jed and Jason picked a couple of good ones either for the major league roster or for more trades.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    I don’t know if this makes you guys feel better, but Grimm was originally drafted by the Red Sox, in 2007. So he’s been on Theo’s radar for a while.

  • Dirtybird

    Braun suspended rest of year

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Hey Brett, any chance you would be putting together a tutorial on the Rule 5 draft? As Kyle mentioned (I don’t entirely agree) the cubs went for quantity. If we have a very deep list of prospects how due we protect them? Would we be better off bundling a bunch of mid-quality prospects for a few higher tier prospects so we can protect them from the Rule 5 losses?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Eternal, I’ll try. Basically, a player can be in your farm system for 5 years before they are eligible for the Rule 5 draft. If you want to keep those players, they need to be added to the 40 man roster. There is a short explanation on Wikipedia that gives more details.

      For this trade:
      Olt was on the 40 man roster, not eligible for Rule 5.
      Grimm was on the 40 man roster, not eliginle for Rule 5.
      Edwards has two years, after this one, until he’s eligible. from this trade.
      PTBNL. ?????

      So no Rule 5 impact

    • Kyle

      Just to be clear, I didn’t mean that they weren’t getting any quality back. We got back a quantity of decent quality pieces, instead of one great-quality piece.

  • todd mccombs

    Ryan Braun suspended for rest of the year – admits to wrong doing – no blaiming the guy who did the testing this time

  • Wick

    I personally love this package…

    Didn’t give up Russell which means he is going somewhere else for even more value..

    Edwards is a stud and is only going to get better with age and experience (and big mac’s)

    Olt will more than likely benefit from a change of scenery and the chance to start in the Big’s

    Grimm is still young and the last time we gambled on a younger not-so-effective pitcher in the bigs it turned out to be Travis Wood..

    If we can also bring in Ramirez and Odor as the PTBNL… I am absolutely ecstatic. All of this coupled with Braun being suspended WITHOUT pay for the rest of the year… All smiles here on Fort Bragg for sure!

    • Wick

      ** OR Odor.. not and. haha.

    • kmr1453

      Love this deal!!

  • Joey

    Lonestar Baseball (a Rangers SBNation site) had Olt as the #1 prospect (Profar has played 40+ games this year) and C.J. Edwards as the #10 prospect in their system

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Watch for Olt to get flipped with someone like Russell to Atlanta for more pitching.

  • jj

    Brett, I’d argue Edwards is the big return, with a flawed Olt and Grimm the reclamation hopes. Using mid-seasons evaluations, 1 top 100 (Edwards), 1 outside top 100 (Olt) and Grimm — who may be a 5th starter.

  • todd mccombs

    Braun cheats us out of the Garza story being the top story

  • Dustin S

    Either way for 12 starts of Garza this is really a huge take. There were plenty of fans on the Texas side saying Olt alone was enough. If Ramirez-level player is the PTBNL, it’s pretty amazing 4 for 1. That’s the kind of return you’d expect if Garza was already signed for 2 more years.

    Plus, since the Cubs didn’t have to throw anyone else in the deal you can be sure more trades are incoming. Garza was the big one barring a Shark trade, but the FO still has plenty of other chips now to try to get something done with over the next week+. And if Olt can be flipped for better value…

    Best of luck to you Mr. Garza. You’ll be missed.

  • frank hutch

    Getting 4 players for 2 more months of Garza. Everyone on this site was blowing olt last year and he has a couple bad months because of health and now people saying its a bad deal. The ptbnl isn’t gonna be anyone significant and its still a good deal.

  • figgelbert

    Cliff Lippert just reported
    Remember that there was a report that the Cubs might flip Mike Olt to a third team for pitching. Keep an eye on that possibility.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Cubs OK with Lake/Valbuena platoon at third for next year.

    • cerambam

      Is that a source or just your opinion? (not being rude, actually wondering)

  • http://RyanBraun=TOOL!!! Mr. Cubster

    Don’t you just love this load of CRAP from this guy!

    “As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,”said Braun in a statement. “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”


  • Drew

    With the acquisition of Olt, do the Cubs bring him up right away to play 3B or keep him in the minors? I could see a scenario of either Valbuena or Barney being traded so Olt could play third allowing the Cubs to net some return in prospects for one of them for a team that is in need of a player like Barney or Valbuena to push for the playoffs.

    • Luke

      Olt has struggled badly in Triple A. I can’t see any upside to bringing him to Chicago already. September would make sense, but I don’t see any sense in rushing him any earlier than that.

  • Afinch

    Olt’s numbers last 12 games:

    .324 avg
    .422 obp
    .703 slg
    1.125 ops
    5 doubles, 3 homers, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 16 k

    K’s are high but not bad!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe this eye issue was the problem after all????

    • Rebuilding

      No fair…the last 3 were against Iowa 😉