matt garza cubsYou 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.

  • someday…2015?

    Now all we need is Kris Bryant to hit 3 HRs tonight.

    • someday…2015?

      …to complete a perfect day.

      • Cubsfan21

        Mike Olt being the centerpiece of this trade is a perfect day? You have low expectations.

        • someday…2015?

          See my post on the bottom of the last Garza post. Garza was supposed to go last year for Olt and Perez. We got Olt + 4 players(one being a top 100 prospect) Theo and Jed got just about everything they could.

          • Eric

            exactly, they got almost as much as last year, and if someone like Edwards or the PTBNL raise their stock the next couple years the trade this year could very well end up with BETTER players a couple years down the road than the trade on the table LAST year. Very well done, IMO.

      • fresno cub fan

        Brett, you did a great job of not only keeping up with the inside information about the trade as it slowly unfolded, but you also did a great job of following up with the roster situation and the final components of the trade. Thank you! I think this probably should count as at least one of the 30+ hours of continuous coverage you owe for the end of the month!

    • Corey

      Where is he playing? AFL?

      Can we watch online?


      • someday…2015?

        AZL. He had a rough debut last night in the field. 3 throwing errors. 0-3 with two pop outs and a K. I’m feeling a bust out game tonight.

        • Corey

          That’s gotta be nerves. He playing 3rd?

          • someday…2015?

            Yes he is.

  • Kevin F.

    Can’t recall a 2 or 3 year period when so many young arms were stockpiled via deals/draft. Not even the Green/Goldsberry drafts of the mid 80s.

  • Justin Koehneke

    I like everything but Olt. He is going to be a bust.

    • Corey

      His OPS alone satisfies me.

  • AndyM

    Brett – Do you think the Cubs got equal talent to what they gave up to get Garza initially?

    • Eric

      I think so, Edwards has very VERY high upside, and is already striking out almost 12 per 9 innings. Archer is just barely starting his MLB career right now. Olt could very well end up an above average 3B for a long time, just those 2 guys alone are about equal to our top 2 guys we gave up. Then you add a 24yo #5 pitcher and another quality PTBNL.

    • 5412


      I want to see Brett’s response to this also. While I cannot comment on what we got, I think we must look at the here and now for Garza.

      He wanted more money than the Cubs were apparently to pay for a contract extension at this time. His real value is to the team that commits to many millions of dollars. Assuming perfect health, how many more starts will he make before year end?

      So, if the Cubs keep him, we get the starts, go nowhere, he becomes a free agent, and we lose him for probably a draft choice….one player.

      Instead we get to pick some decent prospects out of the Rangers farm system that I am sure Brett will further educate us about.

      Even if Garza goes on to the hall of fame, the Cubs were not willing to extend him so if Theo and Company are to be judged it would be for not extending him, not the coulda woulda shoulda got more in a trade. It looks to me like Theo and Company were not ready to commit the big bucks, our team is not ready. Instead we have others like Samardzija who is younger the will likely see some extension money.

      It will be fun a few years from now being buyers, looking for Garza type players to put us over the top and then extending them to keep a team, getting close to their prime, playing at a top level.

      Just my $.02,


    • Brett

      It’s a great question, and there are a lot of ways of looking at it.

      At the highest level, I do suspect that 2.5 years of Garza + Olt + Edwards + Grimm + Ramirez/whoever + Rosscup > Archer + Lee + Guyer + Chirinos + Fuld.

      But at the time of the trades, did the Cubs receive as much as they gave up? I don’t think so, given that Lee and Archer were pretty much consensus top 100s, and no one in this deal for the Cubs is a consensus top 100.

      Since the Cubs were trading a WHOLE lot less than the Rays traded (i.e., much less control and value), though, it’s easy to say the Cubs did a lot better than the Rays did.

      • 5412

        Hi Brett,

        I tried to really outline what I thought the Cubs gave up. They gave up a few more starts by a damn good pitcher and a draft pick next year. They still have the option of signing him at the fair market price in the offseason.

        Now we have some prospects that beef up our organization even further and an opportunity to audition some of our kids and see if they are any good just like we did Vitters and Jackson last year. Does it matter if we might have won 5-6 more games this year by keeping Garza?

        The here and now on Garza is what I am looking at. How cool would it be if we resigned him as a free agent?


        • Brett

          It would be fantastic. But I don’t think it will happen or even will be seriously entertained.

          (Though you can take it to the bank: there will be Cubs/Garza rumors this offseason.)

          • 5412


            I just watched CSN on the internet and they made it clear that Garza wants 5 years $75 million plus (as a starting number) which is why they did not resign him. They also focused on the idea the team is staying true to form, we are building from within and will spend that kind of money for a guy who will get us over the top, not when we are just off the base of the hill with a long way to go..

            They also said that the kid, Edwards who has all the strikeouts is really the centerpiece of the deal. I found that interesting.

            Hell, no one knows who is the centerpiece, we just have a lot more pieces than when we started and hope some work out well.

            Last year at this time we had Vitters backing up Valbuena and Stewart. Today we have Olt and Bryant on and Vitters. Hell that has to be a step forward.

            Thanks Brett,


  • cub4life

    Nice……how do the players that we are getting so far rank on our prospect list in your opinion brett? Luke?

    • cub4life

      O and good luck to you Matt… was fun and hopefully we get the chance agian.

    • Eric

      I’d say C.J. Edwards is probably our 5th or 6th best prospect, ahead of Pierce Johnson. Kid is just filthy. Olt due to his struggles I’d say sits somewhere 8-12, Grimm if he was eligable I would say around 15-20. He’s a #5 pitcher that could go into the rotation immediately. So I’d say real good value there.

      • Patrick G

        Wood was a #4-5 and he’s turned into a pretty good pitcher. Hope the same is said about Grimm soon

  • willis

    Two PTBNL…interesting. Hopefully they are good gets because I don’t think this trade does much to help the cubs as it stands.

    • funkster

      A guy who is a solid mid to back end rotation starter in Grimm (who was their #5 prospect at the start of the season), a nice trade chip/lotto ticket who was untouchable this time last year in Olt, and a nice pitching prospect that has yet to give up a HR in his pro career in Edwards. Oh and a PTBNL from a list that could include Ramirez and or Odor. Yeah…not much help at all.

      • Nate

        As it stands it doesn’t. They won’t be any better tomorrow or next week. In fact they’ll probably be worse but in 2 years this will be good. Great I think

        • funkster

          Of course it doesn’t help them get better tomorrow or next week. Did anyone actually expect that?

          • nkniacc13

            Remember Theo’s comment that winning 77 instead or 72 doesn’t really matter well lets improve our draft postion while we see what we have in some of these players

          • willis

            Do you really think that highly of Grimm? I think that is the kicker here. Taking a run at Olt and acquiring Edwards could be savvy if either work out. I just don’t buy Grimm as a starter at this level. I think those that do really like this, those that don’t are in wait and see mode, hating the fact that Garza is gone and this FO wasn’t willing to extend him.

            I believe Edwards and Vizcaino one day could form a great back end of the bullpen. I don’t know if Olt is going to crawl out of his funk and become much. Whoever the PTBNL is will add to this, and we are hearing it’s an arm so that’s good.

            • Crockett

              My opinion is that right now, he’s not more than a major league #5. His FB is good, but various reports have it as “flat”. His curveball is a plus pitch, but he needs a third. He has a changeup, but it’s considered below average right now. IF he can harness some sort of third pitch, you’re looking at a #3-4 type guy. If he can’t, you have a middle reliever.

              5 years of team control of that? It ain’t bad.

              • fresno cub fan

                And at this point we are (or should be) interested in players potential. You stock enough high upside players and you have the coaching staff to help them approach that level, then you have some stars and some quality depth.

            • funkster

              Calling him a #5 SP is outrageously high expectations? The extension wasn’t going to happen. The FO obviously isn’t all that high on Garza otherwise they would have gotten it done. I’ll take this haul over letting him go to FA and getting a comp pick.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Can any of our prospects we gained add 2 wins over the life of their time here? That is what will determine whether or not it was a good trade. That is what Garza adds over the course of a lost season. Willis, extending him was fine and good, but the other party has to want to be here. At what cost do you extend a player 5 years who has had recent arm injuries? Doesn’t make sense.

              • funkster

                Agreed and I’m not convinced he’d be worth the amount of money he’s going to be asking for. As down as I was going into the last few days on Olt, he is still the number 44 BA prospect. Could end up being a great lottery ticket.

              • willis

                From what we have read and snippets we have heard, he seemed like he wanted to stay in Chicago. I would have rather the FO take the gamble on being able to come to terms and have him be part of the rebuild. That wasn’t what they wanted unless they could do it on the cheap. So they moved him. It’ll play out if what they got helps this team going forward. Too early to tell. I’d rather have a Garza than these four (5) players. That ship has sailed and they are cubs now, so I’ll root like hell for their success because I’m sick of this organization throwing up shit seasons at the major league level.

  • Corey

    After the Braun news, I just made this.

    • themillhah

      that is awesome. can i share this yo?!?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Slightly disturbing guys.
      Take a close look at it.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Not that it doesn’t fit.

    • Headscratchin

      Awesome – better patent that quickly!

  • ETS

    sign all the garzas!!!!!!

  • Kramden

    Sickles projected Grimm as a #3 starter and gave him a solid B rating. Said he throws a 96mph fastball, curve and change-up

  • nkniacc13

    Brett do the cubs have to make a 40 man move now?

    • Corey

      I believe calling up Rusin to take Garza’s place, unless Rusin is on the 40.

      • Corey

        Yeah, he is.

        Wonder who gets the call up.

      • nkniacc13

        Rusin on it but I believe Olt and Grimm have to be added. I think it was at 40 so -1 but +2 if im right means another roster move by tomorrow

        • Corey

          Why would they **have** to be added? Is that a trade rule?

          • nkniacc13

            I think if they are added to a teams 40 man they have to pass thru waivers to be taken off even in trades

  • Bric

    Nice way of putting, Brett- mixed emotions on him but he cared about the team and did his damedest. But he was injury plagued, never lived up to the hype surrounding his previous WS performance, and basically the last great Hendry “We’ll get over the top with this one” move.

    I think Jay Mohr said it best today when his news guy brought up the potential trade. His reaction- “Why the hell are we even talking about Matt Garza? He’s a career .500 pitcher if- if he’s even healthy. This isn’t like the Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks trade. Big deal.” Kinda puts it in perspective when you hear an outsider chime in on how the rest of America views it.

    • Chef Brian

      Jay Mohr’s a moron and Garza has excelled in big games unlike Carmelo Anthony.

      • Kurt

        Ditto on Jay Mohr…though calling him a moron is too kind.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Sox Nation remembers Game 7.

    • Hansman1982

      Everything you needed to know about Jay Mohr’s opinion can be told with the “he’s a .500 pitcher” line.

      • Bric

        Your point would probably hold more weight if you didn’t consider his next sentence was “Meanwhile, the Dodgers are 20 and 5 in their last 25 games.” Again, it helps when you listen to people (whether you agree with them or not) to get a more holistic view of the sport outside of just our own team. Just sayin’.

        • Hansman1982

          Well, if you and jay mohr can’t understand why trading the best pitcher on the trade market is talk worthy, absolutely nothing I can say about it will change your minds.

          I understand listening to other people, just pick someone who looks at more than W-L for a pitcher that has played on losing teams the last 3 years (half his career).

          • Bric

            Agreed. But you have to consider he’s only got a few seconds to talk about each topic and that stat does speak for itself. Along with the question of if we knew then what we know now of the original trade would you go for it? At the end of the day, what did he really give the Cubs? We could have Chris Archer instead, which I would much rather have now (along with the others). I’m just glad the Hendry moves are almost finally gone. If Garza helps them to a pennant I’m wrong. But either way, he didn’t do the job he was supposed to. Way past time to move on.

            • wvcubsfan

              What does that stat say for itself? “I’m worthless”?

              If you still think the Garza trade is a loss, then there’s no point in debating this with you.

            • Cyranojoe

              Seriously, Bric, what does W-L say? Anybody who uses that stat as their primary indicator of pitcher quality… I just… are you serious, man?

            • Drew7

              “I’m just glad the Hendry moves are almost finally gone.”

              No kidding. Imagine if we still had:

              Mark DeRosa
              Bobby Hill
              Hee-Sop Choi
              Matt Bruback
              Jose Hernandez

              Instead of trading for:

              Aramis Ramirez
              Derrick Lee
              Kenny Lofton

  • clark addison

    The Cubs are awash with third base prospects, from Baez and Lake to Bryant and Vitters. Olt is trade bait, if he gets going at Iowa.

    • KidCubbie

      If they both pan out they can move either Olt or Bryant to a corner outfield spot.

    • Rebuilding

      True, except Baez has never played the position, Lake doesn’t play it particularly well and has been moved to the outfield and many think its inevitable that Bryant moves to the outfield. If Olt can hit 25 HRs and play good defense he can swing and miss a lot and still be valuable

    • Bigg J

      Vitters should not even be mentioned

      • BWA

        Vitters still has a TON of potential. Lots of floor too though.

    • Jim

      The nice thing about Olt is that there is no longer a black hole at 3rd base. Even if he fails there is still Baez, Bryant, Villanueva, Vitters, Candelaria, and others that could take the spot. If he succeeds, the Cubs have a nice problem. It also means that they may be able to slide Valbuena over to 2B leaving us with maybe the best utility infielder in baseball with Barney.

    • WNebCub

      Clearly one thing great about Lake being up is if he looks awesome for a couple weeks then can sell high on him if they can find a taker. I like Olt. His defense looks legit…raw power. lots of swing and miss, but still solid obp. Overall in his minor league years. obviously his star has fallen a bit, but still an top 100 prospect at minimum all of baseball.

      Read Grimm as originally drafted by Theo, love that. Fast tracked almost as a known commodity by Rangers. Change of league should be good for him. Feldman was a terrible era guy there basically. I think that Grimm was added this time around shows Rangers had to meet a demand of the Cubs. He loves his own draft picks. love it.

      The other guys i’m gonna read Parks and Co. at BP and read Luke.

      I think this FO has a feel for the pitching side of things. They’ve proved both off seasons so far: Maholm, Feldman, T Wood, Villanueva to some extent, Baker will make it back i’m guessing. Ejax looked good yesterday in person vs tough lineup. I’m sure we’ll see more of the same this off season…acquire under the radar, flat out targeted guys that allow our staff to log innings, quality starts, and give team a chance to win, and basically be good baseball pitchers.

      It’s that lineup. And it’s coming. Bright future. Go Cubs

      • nkniacc13

        Grimm apparently replaced odor after rangers raised issues with Garza elbow.

  • mudge

    If he pans out, Olt is near mlb ready.

  • funkster

    I’m hearing Odor might be on the list as well.

    • Kramden

      Where are you hearing this???

      • funkster

        Poster on PSD who is pretty reliable. Obviously, nothing is certain.

        • nkniacc13

          Maybe Odor, Salias and Rameriz are all on 1 of the lists?

          • funkster

            “OK- so all that confusion on the PTBNL from earlier was due to the inclusion of the second PTBNL- one PTBNL is contingent on nothing- that list included Odor, Ramirez- second PTBNL is cash or another player dependent on Garza… (not Olt as some have reported)”

  • Bigg J

    What is the possibility the Cubs go after him this offseason? Why not have a top end pitcher when you are wanting to compete soon?

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder if the Cubs would have made the Garza trade last year who they draft at 2 this year

  • Kramden

    Reading a lot of initial Cub fan negativity about Grimm, but I remember the same reaction when Marshall was traded for Travis Wood. Gotta trust Theo & Jedd until it becomes obvious they don’t deserve our trust. So far, so good in my book.

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  • Vulcan

    Does anyone know how long until we see Olt playing for us in Chicago?

    • Corey

      Brett says, if he’s not traded, and depending on who is traded. This year closer to the end of the season, or next year.

  • #23

    I think OLT could turn into a much better 3rd baseman than many expect. I am really pulling for Cabrera and Arrieta to be big surprises next year too to strengthen the rotation. I loved the Feldman trade and I am warming up to the Garza trade as well, even though I would have liked to have seen him in a Cubs uniform for the next 5 years. I also think Strop could be our next closer.

  • Rcleven

    Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 25m

    Cubs update: Olt and Grimm to Iowa. Edwards to Daytona. Two PTBNL instead of one.

  • Rebuilding

    Name the prospect:

    1) 23 yo at AA – 9-2 1.72 ERA, 83 IP/70 Hits/14 BBs/73 Ks
    2) 24 yo at AA – 9-3. 3.10 ERA, 112 IP/102 Hits/39 BBs/107 Ks

    A is Grimm and B is Cabrera. And I’m really high on Cabrera

    • #23

      that does give an interesting perspective to Grimm’s potential.

    • Coldneck

      So who’s #1 and #2?

    • bryan

      good point rebuilding. people who say we got fleeced are the people who expected skaggs and Bradley for Garza.

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    Justin Grimm had a great season in the PCL last year, just hasn’t translated it to MLB success yet.

  • #23

    Grimm was highly ranked in their system. There must be something there.

  • nkniacc13

    yeah wasn’t Grimm basically skimming AAA this year because of Texas pitching issues?

  • ssckelley

    Awesome deal, I think the Cubs did better than if they had traded Garza last year and they did not have to throw in a 2nd play.

    The Cubs still have a few more trade chips, it will be fun to see how all this shakes out after the trade deadline. The farm system just took another step forward today.

  • King Jeff

    Daytona is going to have to promote a starting pitcher or two, that rotation is getting pretty crowded.

  • Joey

    Grimm was pitching great in April/May, was like 5-2 with a sub 4 ERA. He’s had a couple stinkers that have raised his ERA but he is definitely serviceable and better then Arrieta IMO

  • SolerPower

    I think this is a damn fine trade for the Cubs. While Im not exactly ecstatic about any the players we got in this deal, they all seem to have some legit potential to be good assets towards the cubs future. Olt looked like the real deal up till this year…hopefully his medical issues are resolved and he can get back to where he was. Edwards has crazy good numbers, but his weight scares me a bit…reminds me of Juan Cruz? Grimm…hopefully will pan out to be a solid 4/5 starter some think he can be. And 1 or 2 PTBNL that might include Ramirez Odor or Sadinas…..well that’s a damn fine ttrade in my book. Bottom line Garza wanted more $$, years or both than the Cubs were willing to give…so all that back for a rental? Mighty fine job Theo & Jed!

  • Magicman

    PTBNL issue. Neil Ramirez OR two other pitching prospects

    • nkniacc13

      depending on who is the list I may take the 2