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.

  • Rcleven

    @Evan_P_Grant Cubs can choose Player A or Players B&C. There is no pool, does not hinge on performance. Simply Cubs choice.

  • specialk5595

    i love the deal…all that for someone who maybe helps us win a few meaningless games this year. id love to see someone with knowledge of cubs farm system come up wih a 25 man roster of just minor league players…whose your 8 position players. volgabach, alcantra, baez, bryant, soler, almora…missing one OF and catcher.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Starting Line-up:
      Almora CF, Alcantara 2b, Bryant RF, Vogelbach 1b, Soler RF, Baez SS, Olt 3b, Contreras C.

      Szczur, Vitters OF, Watkins, Candelario, Amaya IF, Lopez C

      Johnson, Arrietta, Cabrera, Hendricks, Grimm

      Cervenka, Rosscup, Zych, Batista, McNutt, Raley.

      • Falselife

        RF looks crowded.

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Dale LOVES the shift.

          Or Bryant goes to left. It’s all fantasy anyway.

      • Corey

        LOL, Volgelbach starting over Rizzo?

        I don’t care if he’s hitting .700

        • Jackson Scofield

          “Just minor league players”. Edwards should be in that pitching staff, Sickels ranked him a Top 100 prospect (#73) midseason.

  • Jp3

    Does our new Iowa 3rd baseman have 72 hours to report like our old one did?***ducks***

  • figgelbert

    Hoyer says Vitters will play outfield for iowa

    • Luke

      Good move. I think that might be were his best future with the Cubs is.

  • Joey

    @Evan_P_Grant #Cubs had to accept Grimm instead of Odor after Rangers raised issues about Garza’s elbow.

    • Jp3

      Stinks we didn’t get Odor

      • waittilthisyear


  • Crockett

    So, I am ecstatic. The Cubs somehow managed to pull this thing back together and score a package equal-to-or-better than the one that blew up that also included Russell.

    Cubs get a lottery ticket 3B who, at the very worst, is a RH power bench bat who plays plus defense at a corner position.

    Cubs get a young SP who is destroying professional baseball so far.

    Cubs get a 24 year SP who has struggled mightily in the majors but who had a pretty fantastic minor league career. He has two good pitches and if he can get his changeup to improve, he could REALLY be something.

    Cubs get a young, live arm (or two young, live arms) depending on what they want.

    I cannot express how much more I like this deal than the one that included Russell from the Cubs and Sardinas from the Rangers. I am not a big Sardinas fan…he isn’t going to be an elite defender, and therefore, his bat looks even worse.

    Now Cubs have Russell, Barney, Schierholz, Olt, Soriano, Valbuena, DeJesus, and Gregg who may all be shopped in the coming 9 days (or into August for Soriano). Crazy.

    PS – Text from Minnesota friend “I am so totally impressed by the Cubs haul. Everyone should be. Really well done.”

    • Cyranojoe

      Great summary, Crockett. I’m feeling similarly pleased. Tough to imagine a better (realistic) trade!

      • Jason Powers

        See how much BP arms will net us.

        I too was impressed with your writeup and the haul.

        I dont like Olt at present, but maybe he grows on me. I hope he’s like Mark Reynolds w/ a glove but no speed. That works good enough.

    • ssckelley

      I agree on everything and I like your comments on Olt. The Cubs are getting a power hitter with a good glove at 3rd base. Yes he needs to get his strikeout rate down.

  • Good Captain

    I suspect the trade at least one 25 man roster OF and one 25 man roster RP. In addition, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade of 1 or more minor league members off the 40 man roster (likely Jackson and/or Vitters) to get something for potentially nothing heading into the off season and Rule 5 Draft.

  • Tommy

    Reading the comments on some Rangers message boards, and they don’t seem to be too happy with this trade. That makes me happy.

    • Crockett

      Yeah, I can’t imagine they would/should be. This seems pretty lopsided.

    • frank

      That’s a good sign.

  • Tommy
  • LEO L

    Cant believe it is over. I was expecting another few days of updates. How am I going to fill in the day now? Great job Brett. I first discovered BN when the cubs were trying to get Garza. I Don’t post often but I do occasionally. I learned quite a bit on this site and it has made being a cub fan more enjoyable. Thanks for the entertainment. Kudos for the make a wish foundation effort. However I do miss the she view battle. not the same with the random posting. I need to have someone officially representing the teams so I can be happy or disappointed about the choices. maybe you can get someone to take over like you did by adding Luke. By the way, he has made going to minor leagues more fun. (Still going to go to Peoria but when the Cougars are visiting) . So thanks for that addition. Hopefully one of these prospects help us get to the world series. When they retire (or get traded) Ill post that I remember when we traded for Garza then traded him for so and so. If the she view continues I hope you atleast pick the representative for the world series. Even if its Rosie O Donnell, if the cubs win you would have convinced me that she is the sexiest woman alive.

    • Falselife

      It’s very evident how awesome Brett and this community are when you start looking at other team’s fan sites. We may not have the best product on the field, yet, but Bleacher Nation is the best baseball site and it’s not even close.

      • Arrieta’sUncle

        After looking at an unnamed site i used to peruse for info and seeing the last update being July 5th i feel fortunate to have found this site. It continues to get better and moe addictive.

    • Brett

      Thanks for that, guys.

      • Corey

        Speaking of Bleacher nation. Do you monitor how well it grows? like, for instance traffic, etc?

        I can’t imagine that it’s not steadily getting more popular.

  • Blublud

    For all the Justin Grimm haters, look at Matt Garza’s first season and then look at Grimms. Minor league story, with exception tells a similar story. Grimm is a good pitcher. His ceiling would be close to a Matt Garza.

    • Jed Jam Band

      I don’t think he has the same velocity and/or movement that Garza has on his fastball, which makes his road more difficult since he has yet to develop a true third pitch. I would say that he’s more like Samardzija in that he can be a really solid starter if he can figure out a more effective mix. Obviously, he’ll never have Shark’s velocity, but he could be a pitcher who combines the location and mixing abilities of Wood with the development of a third pitch along the lines of what Shark has done. I think he’s a nice pickup who will contribute to this team the next few years in a positive way, but just how good he will become remains to be seen.

      • frank

        I don’t know much about Grimm, but just looking at his minor league stats and the circumstances under which he was brought up, it seems pretty clear that he was rushed to the majors before he was truly ready. A little catch-up work and he might be really pretty good.

  • Tommy

    Olt has batted .290 with an OPS of 1.120 in his last 10 games. Not sure when they discovered his vision problem, but if that corrects whatever issues he was having at the plate, watch out! This guy put up serious power numbers in the past!

    3 HR’s in the last 10 days, 2 against our very own Iowa Cubs.

  • JoyceDaddy

    Not sure how I feel about the trade as a whole. Lots of Rangers prospects, but none that excite me all that much. We’ll see what happens. BUT, when you look at who we got from the Rangers last year in return for Dempster (Villanueva and Hendricks) both have excelled this year in the Cubs minor league system. So I’m essentially hoping that of the 5 total prospects we got in this trade that at least 2 of them excel as well. I do credit Theo for attacking the Rangers farm system, they’re pretty darn good at what they do and after taking so many prospects away from them I hope that we get some good long-term players eventually out of it.

    • Crockett

      Trust Jedstein…that’s all I can say.

      • Jed Jam Band

        Jedstein? I am personally partial to Thoyer as a nickname. But, I guess that’s because I am an Obstructed View transplant.

        • Deacon

          How about Thed?

          • frank

            Thed Jedstein?

  • TXCB32

    What happens to Vitters now that Olt is at AAA?

    • Corey

      I think Hoyer said he goes to the outfield.

  • Diamond Don

    Awesome trade Theo and Jed! Next trade Soriano and L. Valbuena (sp) to Detroit for Porcello.

    • Crockett

      Will never happen…but fun to think about!

  • Dustin S

    Both Grimm and Olt have ugly stats this season, but don’t let that get you down too much. It’s buying low which they needed to do. When they need multiple pieces they have to gamble. It worked out with Travis Wood, he had an ERA of almost 5 and a WHIP of almost 1.5 when they got him. Doesn’t mean they’ll pan out the same, but all the Cubs can do is take a shot and spin the wheel giving themselves the best chance they can. Honestly if even just 1 of the 4 (or maybe 5) pan out for 2 months of Garza in a lost season, it’s a win. And Edwards is the big prize in it all, he’s looked really good in the video I watched.

    • Mak

      I was making a t wood comp for Grimm earlier today with a friend

  • Cheryl

    IMO the FO did better than we could have imagined with this trade. When I look back on what our farm system was like three years ago and today there’s no comparison. I’ve been critical of them in the past but I think its time to give them credit for what they’ve done. I would hope this would translate into success on the major league level soon and we won’t always have to say “wait until next year.” The Ricketts also deserve credit for actually investing in the future of the cubs.

  • Crockett

    Another thing to remember, guys: Derek Johnson.

    I think it could be stated that he is the best minor league pitching coordinator in the game.

    Give him 3 weeks to work with Grimm and then an offseason as well. It worked with Travis Wood.

    • Luke

      I am a big believer in the strategy of acquiring struggling but talented minor league pitchers and seeing what Johnson can do. If he has half the magical success rate Dave Duncan did with the Cardinals I’ll be ecstatic. And the Cubs will have an very nice rotation.

  • Spencer

    Does anyone know if the PTBNL list is subject to change at all (read: is it dependent on the health/performance of the existing players in the deal)? Or is it simply three players, and the Cubs can just take A, or they can take B and C no matter what?

    • Crockett

      It appears that it’s all about player A’s health…assuming it’s Ramirez. If they feel like he’s healthy, they take him. If they don’t, they take B and C.

      • Assman22

        This is correct…Cubs like Ramirez but want to take their time…Theo loves his PTBNL’s…

  • Jason Powers

    I’d take B & C assuming they are even remotely workable. Ramirez has always had control issues (around 4BB/9, sometimes better, initially over 5) and he gives up the gopher ball.
    Pass. And he’s repeated grades more than once – health or otherwise, that is a track I’d rather avoid.

    But GOOD deal otherwise. Flip Russell, Gregg, Valbuena, Barney, if that lands us a bunch or one premier prospect, then July has been GOOOD!!!!!

  • mudge

    25 year old 3B, good glove, 25-30 hr power. Ian Stewart!

    • Njriv

      Except he’s not a douche.

  • Drew

    For everybody hating on Grimm, look at Greg Maddux’s first couple of years with Cubs. I am not saying Grimm is going to be Maddux, he isn’t. Maddux in my opinion was the best pitcher since 1980 that wasn’t juicing, Sorry Clemens fans. Give the guy a chance to be a rotational guy. If the FO can get some solid starters it gives them the opportunity to trade or get a stud #1 when the team is better.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    These guys are brilliant. The make this trade relatively early. Garza struggles in his first two starts. Texas asks him what’s wrong. He says “I need Dionar” it’s now the trade deadline. What does Texas do? They offer Profar and Perez for Navarro.


  • daveyrosello

    Cubs were forced to take Grimm instead of Odor because Texas raised a concern about Garza’s elbow. That really sucks, because Odor looks like one helluva prospect. An 850 OPS and 26 SBs for a 19 yo 2B in AA, that’s pretty damn impressive.

  • Tommy

    Mayo didn’t waste any time updating his team prospect rankings. Olt is now listed as the Cub’s no. 2 prospect on his list and Edwards comes in at 10. We’re going to be packing prospects on top 100 lists!

    • hookersocake

      Yeah I don’t think Olt is above our top 4 (Bryant isn’t the list yet) Is the PTBNL #13 Ramirez? Ad him to the deal along with Grim and WOW!
      Also anyone think Alcantrara (mayo has him at #20 for the Cubs) might be better than the Rangers #1 Sardinas? You could make that argument right?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      We ARE going to have a bunch of prospect goodness. This is true. But Mayo just slotted those guys in. He has not done his reranking of the system yet. otherwise Jackson would not be 5 and Alcantara would not be 20. Maybe reversed.

    • Kyle

      Mayo is terrible, lists are terrible, everybody stop paying attention to them.

      You could make an argument for Olt from anywhere from 5th to out of the top 10 (I’d go with the latter, personally).

      • Cedlandrum

        He has Olt ranked 2nd because of where he is in the top 100 at beginning of year. In the top 100 Baez was 13, Olt 18, Almora 34. So I wouldn’t get too worked up about it. I’m sure when the season ends he will correct their order.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        I don’t know if Mayo is any better or worse than all the other pundits that do rankings. I will say, though, that MLB’s top prospect database is by far the easiest to navigate. You can search by position, by team or overall top 100, plus all the stats are updated.

        Now if they would stop using so many scouting cliches in their prospect capsules, and if they would match up their narrative with the scouting grades, it would at least seem better.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Think we might have as many as 9 with the big 5 (Soler, Almora, Baez, Bryant and Alcantra), Pierce Johnson, Daniel Vogelbach, Olt and C.J. Edwards. Also if the ptbnl turned out to be Odor he might also make some lists. And as im typing this I cant help but think our system has to be at-least top 3 in baseball.

  • The ambiguously Gay duo Theo&Jed

    Worst trade ever!!!!…we traded for a guy who cant see brillant!!

    • Abe Froman

      Thoughtful analysis. Sike (it isn’t).

    • Mr. B. Patient

      yep, just ahead of Broglio for Brock.

  • Assman22

    Just landed after an international travel hell due to LaGuardia…oddly enough the Cubs/Rangers package is nearly identical to the package they halted on Friday…great job by the FO…what a coup for 2+ months of Garza alone…

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Agreed what’s the word on Grimm and Olts bad starts to the season? Do the Cubs see something they can fix?

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    They have 6 months to choose the PTBNL. Garza’s health will determine whether they get 1 player from A List or 2 players from B list

    • hookersocake

      Anyone know the lists? Assman?

    • Blublud

      Garza’s health has nothing to do with it. The Rangers wanted him, they got him. The PTBNL will be determined by the Cubs. Either they choose Player A or Players B & C. It all based off of Ramirez’s health.

  • Tommy K

    Looking through my old baseball cards. So far I’ve seen Ty Griffin and Gary Scott. Hopefully the current crop of prospects turns out better.

    • Tommy K

      Hey, here’s Earl Cunningham. Apparently he was a Cubs number 1 pick in 1989. I’ve got several of them, and I bet they’re worth a ton.

    • Abe Froman

      That’s why you need to get a bunch of cards, so some of them end up worth a damn.

    • Tommy K

      Got a bunch of Jerome Walton’s and Dwight Smith’s too.

      • Abe Froman

        You don’t have enough cards it sounds like, the FO is trying to avoid the same mistake.

      • WNebCub

        i stocked up on a bunch of Lance Dickson rookies back in the day and that didn’t work out.

  • cubsnivy56

    As a Ranger fan, how do you feel about trading Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, C.J. Edwards, and a PTBNL for Matt Garza?

    8% Love it — this is a great pickup for the Rangers (97 votes)

    34% Like it — this is a good pickup for the Rangers (400 votes)

    14% Meh — I’m ambivalent about it (170 votes)

    34% Don’t like it — Garza’s not that good/package given up for him was too much (396 votes)

    9% Hate it — this is an awful deal (111 votes)

    • Coop

      Hey! That’s my avatar. Get off me and pick your own!