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.

  • In Theo We Trust

    Best day ever! This + Braun finally brought to justice!!!!!!!!

  • cubchymyst

    With all of these reports, it will be interesting how the Cubs look in 10 days.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I think the original deal was actually better then this deal. This deal doesn’t include Sardinas. Grimm is an upgrade over Ramirez but Grimm is nothing get to excited about. He’s a solid young cost controlled arm.

    I’d take the original deal any day because it included a huge piece in Sardinas. I get the original deal probably included Russell but still a better deal and return then this deal. IMO

    • Wick

      Would you agree that Russell NOT being included means that its feasible he is traded somewhere else for someone with even more talent/upside than Sardinas?

      Thats the way I’m viewing it… I think Theo and Jed did amazing here. To get all they got for a less-than-half season (that doesn’t mean anything because we weren’t going to be in the playoffs) of Garza… true negotiating and brilliant on their part.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Russell alone can NOT net a prospect of Sardinas’s caliber. Sardinas is a Top 100 prospect

        • Wick

          I agree.. but him packaged say with a Soriano or Schierholtz? Easily plausible that fetch’s an organizations top 10 caliber player which would not have been done. Plus we already have a glut of middle infielders.. hopefully they can package Russell with someone for more young promising pitching…

        • Joe

          Sardinas is not a top 100 prospect.

        • Wick

          AND, according to sources, its still very much possible we DO get Sardinas as the PTBNL.. again.. we seriously raked in this deal.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I wish we would have thrown in Russell to get Sardinas

    • nkniacc13

      why he maybe on the list for PTBN

      • TonyP

        Not likely

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        nkniacc13: Usually PTBNL are priemer guys type prospects like Sardinas. I read some where that the PTBNL is contingent on the Rangers winning the WS. I’m not getting my hopes up

        • nkniacc13

          im just going off of other comments based on that. I also wonder what the stipulation is for which player. Win WS, sign Garza to extentsion?

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            If the PTBNL is Luke jackson, sardinas, or odor then its a great deal IMO. I don’t think we got a great, but i think we got a fair deal.

        • Rebuilding

          I would assume there are several lists based on different contingencies. Injury, extension, etc…the quality coming back will depend on those things. We should all be rooting for a Texas World Series and a massive extension for Garza. These lists are probably what took so long to figure out

  • jpeck

    Luke, I know you arent a big Olt fan, does it help that since his diagnosis, he is hitting .290? ( small sample size )

    • Pat

      If you’re referring to what was mentioned on the Score, I believe that was just referring to his last ten games.


    Braun suspended 65 games!!!!!!!!!

    • billy

      DAMN IT! i guess im one of the few who want the cubs to finish below the Brewers in rankings. without Braun they will play even worse and possibly steal a great pitching prospect from the cubs. i just think the organization needs one more (very) low draft pick to ensure a great future

  • Eric

    My initial thoughts are still forming but here’s my take:

    Olt has upside. Fans shouldn’t expect to see him in Chicago this year though unless several trades are made. I wouldn’t rule out seeing him flipped for more pitching either.

    That PTBNL list probably has some contingencies built in like if Garza stays healthy or if the Rangers are able to resign him.

    The sleeper in all of this to me is Grimm. He’s got good stuff and I’m pretty sure he was rushed through AAA. Good trade. We get more arms and Garza gets a chance to win it all. Matt, if you’re reading this, thanks for everything and good luck in Texas!

  • Cubsfan21

    Eh, I feel blah about this trade. Olt is a bust. He is Brett Jackson 2.0. Grimm is nothing more than a 5 in any kind of rotation. Edwards is the only decent piece we got…and he’s far off from the major league club. Oh well.

    • tim

      Olt has had ONE bad year so far due to vision issues which he has since fixed.. batting .290 with a .416 OBP and 1.120 OPS in his last ten games. Olt isn’t even the centerpiece… CJ Edwards is.

  • ssckelley

    I cannot believe people are complaining about this deal, this is a great haul for a player that might make 12 starts (excluding playoffs) for the Rangers the rest of the season.

  • Frank F.

    My hunch is that Neil Ramirez is and always was the final player; however, with his medical clearance still in question, they wanted to get the deal done before Garza’s next start, but also wanted to avoid another Jake Brigham situation.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Do PTBNL lists typically get reported with any level of certainty or are we left to wait to see who the Cubs actually receive back?

    • Kyle

      We’re starting to get rumors with a medium degree of certainty. Nothing super official is likely or anything.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Great trade…..

  • Chris

    Some of you are saying the first deal was better with sardinas. However we would have thrown in Russell for that to happen. In my opinion, theo and company believe that probably can get better from a different team giving up Russell. Look what they did last year giving up Marshall, they got Travis wood who, arguably can be our best pitcher. So don’t criticize to much. I do believe Russell will get a better return then just sardinas.

  • RD

    Quite the surplus AA and up with possible but not likely “third basemen of the future” for the Cubs… Valbuena, Lake, Vitters, Villinueva, and now Olt. None of which are future all-stars IMO but depth is always a good thing espcially to hold down the position until Baez/Bryant come along to become those all-stars hopefully!

  • Bilbo161

    I wonder if another trade for the second piece the Rangers supposedly wanted is still to come? I still would like to get Alfaro or Odor out of the Rangers. Not likely they would be on the PTBNL list is it?

  • Chad

    I like what the Cubs got for Garza a lot! Pre-season Rangers prospects #2 Olt (3b), #5 Grimm (sp) and #17 Edwards (sp). Edwards is pitching like an elite prospect: 117 KO’s and only 61 hits allowed in 93 innings pitched. If they got a 4th player of substance then this is the best trade I could imagine. It’s all down hill from here Cubs Fans!

  • Jason Powers

    For Garza, we got 2 potential MLB players – Olt and Grimm – that have hickies. Olt – I don’t like – but he could be Mark Reynolds w/ a better glove. At least, he can play a position or backup Rizzo, who does look a bit overmatched against the good lefties. (Wait until C. Kershaw comes to town.)

    So, I’ll give Olt a chance to prove it – or they move him.
    Grimm – 24/25 – he needs a good 3rd pitch, or he’s a bullpen guy. But a cheap one at that.

    Edwards – is the centerpiece really – a good performing prospect that we can’t bitch about yet.

    Garza, rental, better than what Nolasco brought back to Miami. Older, flawed prospects across the board there.

  • todd mccombs

    Going to see the I-Cubs tom night – hope Olt is in the line up

  • Bearswind

    Love this get. We weren’t ever getting a Skaggs or Bauer for half a year of Garza, so this is a phenomenal deal. For anyone unaware of Grimm is a prospect:

  • North Side Irish

    KLaw on Waddle & Silvy right now…

    • North Side Irish

      KLaw says Cubs did well…got fair market value for a rental player. What they got is “reasonable”…could be a home run if Edwards hits ceiling. Edwards has highest ceiling on players Cubs acquired.

      • North Side Irish

        Edwards not built to be a SP, but could be a #2 or 3.

        Olt is every day player, not a star. 25-30 HR power, but not going to make contact. Very very good defensive 3B. Could play 3B in majors right now.

        • North Side Irish

          Olt will be a really good player if he can maintain a .350 OBP and play good D at 3B.

          Grimm is a “throw in”…bullpen guy, maybe end of rotation guy. Lacks life on FB and has no 3rd pitcher. Likely swing man or setup guy.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          So we give the guy a couple of sandwiches and have him finish the year in Daytona.

          • Jason Powers

            Nice. Pedro Martinez was 160 soaking wet. He turned out well.

  • Chad

    Grimm was dealing for a five-start stretch in the early part of the year. Don’t count him out as a top starting pitcher just yet. I was excited to hear he was part of the deal!

    • Wick


      Seems people have forgotten about a similar pitcher we took a flier on.. Travis Wood!

      • Kyle

        Not remotely similar. Wood had a ton of actual MLB peripheral success.

  • Wick

    I’m thinking Soriano, Olt, and Russell to the Yankees for…… ?

    Thoughts? Is this even possible?

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  • Dale’s Ear

    PED suspensions should come with automatic contract deductions. Brauns gonna collect $117 million over the next six seasons because he cheated, does anyone really think there is any form of justice being served here?

  • Brent

    Happy with the deal overall, and if Odor, Sardinas or Ramirez is the PTBNL, I’m pretty stoked. Hate to see Garza go, though. I really liked his attitude. Wish him nothing but luck in TEX!

  • Stogie

    I think the time has come to trade guys like Vitters and Jackson for some pitching.

    • mudge

      You won’t get much for those guys at this point.

    • Noah

      The Cubs wouldn’t get anything meaningful. They’d get a similarly flawed, the other team about to give up on pitching prospect.

  • Kevin

    I would think the Brewers will do everything possible to nullify the contract.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Texas is now the team I would most like to see win the WS this year. That will change to whatever team Sori goes to, if that happens.

  • Kyle

    You know you all want to. Lists!

    1. Bryant
    2. Baez
    3. Almora
    4. Soler
    5. Alcantara
    6. Edwards
    7. Paniagua
    8. Johnson
    9. Vogelbach
    10. Zastryzny

    • Jed Jam Band

      Um, what was the point of this exercise? Wouldn’t this be better done on the message board? (Hell, we have a topic already for this.)

      • Kyle

        Is it taking up valuable resources here that should be used elsewhere or something?

        • Dale’s Ear

          lol everyone’s goin after you today man

    • Rebuilding

      I agree with all except I would put Cabrera at 10

    • jpeck

      paniagua starting for KANE County today

    • Boogens

      Hey Kyle, where would you rank Amaya? I saw him yesterday and he was very impressive. Both at the plate and in the field.

      FWIW… Rock Shoulders seemed pretty immobile at 1B yesterday. Amaya had to cover a lot of ground.

  • nkniacc13

    Gotta think that if not by the deadline then by the start of Spring training that the Cubs will move a 3rd baseman in a deal