You can read more about the deal in the frantic updating space in which it developed, but it is now officially official, with the Cubs making the announcement.
Today the Chicago Cubs traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for pitcher Justin Grimm, third base prospect Mike Olt, pitching prospect C.J. Edwards, and two players to be named later.
You’ll see that the official announcement comes with two PTBNLs, not just one. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are lesser players than we’d heard before. Instead, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one of the PTBNLs comes from a nice list of potential players (Neil Ramirez has been reported as on that list), and the other PTBNL is contingent on something like Garza’s health or another player’s health. In other words, this could end up being a mere one PTBNL deal, depending on how things play out.
It’s hard to fully evaluate the deal without knowing the PTBNL identities/circumstances, but, for now, it looks like a great deal for the Cubs. Garza, a free agent after the year, was going to give the Cubs two months of service in a lost season. In exchange for that service, the Cubs get a prospect who was among the top 25 in all of baseball last year before some injury/eye issues this year brought him into the acquirable range (Olt), a 24-year-old pitcher who looks like a solid future 4/5 for cheap (Grimm), a fast-rising pitching prospect with insane numbers at A-ball (Edwards), and a couple PTBNLs. That’s just a good deal, folks. I’ll have much more on the deal soon.
On Garza, I’ve got a little sadness. He was fun to watch – mostly because he so visibly cared about the game, his teammates, winning, and having fun. That’s the kind of presence that makes it a lot easier to swallow a few years of losing.
Best of luck to Garza with the Rangers. I hope he pitches well, makes the playoffs, and sets himself up for a nice payday this offseason.
UPDATE: The PTBNL thing has been clarified by the parties. Essentially, the Cubs have the choice of either taking Player A, or taking both of Players B and C. Given what we know about how this trade played out, it’s a fair bet that Player A is Neil Ramirez, and Players B and C are the replacement players if the Cubs don’t like how Ramirez looks over the next however long. Presumably, their collective value is equal to that of Ramirez (again, assuming he’s Player A). This is just a fantastic deal for the Cubs.