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.

  • waffle

    Theo would take Hendy’s money and car keys in a poker game.

  • Afinch

    I mentioned this earlier but it’s worth noting again:

    Olt’s numbers last 12 games:

    .324 avg
    .422 obp
    .703 slg
    1.125 ops (!!!!!)
    5 doubles, 3 homers, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 16K.

    He seems to be slowly getting it together after a rough patch hopefully associated only to the eye issue or whatever the issue was.

    This, combined with some impressive 2012 AA numbers, tells me that the talk of flipping him away sounds crazy to me. Give him time and I think we’ve got a .260-.270 hitter with a .350 OBP who’ll hit 25 homers and drive in 80-90 every year. And field above average at third. That is not bad at all.

    I commented earlier about not loving the trade. After looking at the stats closer, realizing the PTBNL situation and just thinking that all this was for simply 10-12 Garza starts, I think the FO did a great job over the last week getting this haul in return.

    • Crockett

      There we go. Good man.

    • Assman22

      Another point worth noting and pending on which prospect guru you prefer to follow…Angels gave up their #1, #7, and #14 prospects last year for Greinke…Rangers gave up their #2, #5, #17, and likely #18 prospects for Garza and Rangers have the better farm…

      • AD

        Hearing any current buzz about players such as Barney and Russell?

        • billy

          Calm your tits we just got finished with this marathon, and u want to start another? You crassy mahn

    • frank

      If that’s what we get from Olt, I’d take that all day.

      • Cyranojoe

        LOL, yeah, and so would the Hall of Fame, man.

    • another JP

      I love what Luis Valbuena has done for the Cubs, but Olt was acquired to be the 3B for the Cubs next season. He’s the only one with the package of power numbers, OBP, and defensive ability in the organization that profiles for the position. If he maintains the AAA #s he’s put up over the past month he’ll have the job next year. My guess LV stays on as a back-up plan at 3rd again or a potential replacement for Barney in event of trade, etc.

    • jt

      Olt’s June OPS was 0.883
      Olt’s July OPS is 0.815
      He didn’t play in May.
      It has been the last 1.5 months, not just the past 12 games.
      Having said that, his K rate, that which raises the red flag to Luke and others is still way up there.
      But yeah, there could be something there.

      • Corey

        With someone that hits that well, isn’t a high k rate kind of allowed? Or is it just ridiculously high?

        • Mr. B. Patient

          That’s kinda of like REAL bad. Think 200 k’s in a full season.

          • Corey

            OH jesus. I didn’t think it was that high, haha.

        • another JP

          If Olt hits 25 bombs/yr., maintains the BB rate of 12-14% and plays good defense the Ks won’t matter. An .850 OPS would work just fine.

  • Chris

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say getting Olt was a great pick up. Yes, he’s had a terrible, awful, miserable year this year. However, he’s had some difficult injuries to deal with too. There’s a reason he was ranked on the top 100 list last year and going into this year. If his injuries are past him, he has tremendous upside. It just shows how people turn on players after a few months of playing in a slump…… ALA Castro. Stop hating everyone and look at the positives.

  • AD

    Junior Lake!!!!!!

    • Mr. B. Patient

      That’s Mr. Lake. Sir.

      • cub2014

        Doesnt lake remind you of Soriano when sori was

        • Rebuilding


        • Mr. B. Patient

          Very much…if only….

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Rusin has been pretty good today.

    • Rebuilding

      Rusin is a decent pitcher. You can’t put up the stats he did in the PCL and be bad. Hopefully he has long talks with Travis Wood

      • wvcubsfan

        He looks the part of the “crafty lefty”, but he’s going to have to live on the edges I’m afraid. It looks like he gets hit pretty hard when the pitches are in the fat part of the zone. If he can refine his control he could stick around for a long time.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Castro 6 hits in two games so far.

  • wvcubsfan

    Wow what a catch, that kids got belly fire

  • bryan

    Where will Lake stick? I mean if not 3b I would love to see him stay in right. cubs sure have a lot of promise coming. if 2 of the big 5 (olt baez Bryant almora soler) can stick and Junior makes the adjustments necessary… the cubs are a sleeping giant. Now hopefully 2 of Hendricks Cabrera rusin Edwards arrieta or grimm can also stick.

    • wvcubsfan

      Don’t think it’s going to be center

    • brunsmk

      Probably a corner outfield spot. What is crazy is they are putting him in center with no experience, hence what just happened on that play. It’s like what they did with Soriano initially trying him in center with minimal outfield experience.

    • BWA

      Lake has at least a year and a half before Almora, Soler, and Bryant even think about pushing him out of the outfield. By then we will know what we have in him.

    • ssckelley

      If Lake keeps hitting like this I say just put him anywhere.

  • Kramden

    Good day to be a Cub fan…. Great trade, Cubs winning, Junior Lake has a couple more hits including a HR and Rusin pitching every bit as good as we could have hoped Garza would have.

  • Brent

    My new top 10 Prospects in the Cubs’ system:

    1. Javier Baez 2. Kris Bryant 3. Albert Almora 4. Jorge Soler 5. Arismendy Alcantara 6. Mike Olt 7. C.J. Edwards 8. Arodys Vizcaino 9. Pierce Johnson 10. Dan Vogelbach

    What are your thoughts? I don’t think it is out of the question that 7 of those guys could crack some Top 100 lists. I think the first 5 are a lock for just about every Top 100 list, but if Olt can return to form/stay healthy, I think he and Edwards could find themselves on the back end of a Top 100 list.

    • Corey

      Not to mention the slue of internationial prospects the Cubs signed.

    • another JP

      C.J. Edwards might end up on plenty of top 50 lists by year end. And I don’t think Alcantara can be put ahead of Olt based on one break-out year by Arismendy @ AA and an injury induced slump to begin the year @ RR for Olt @ AAA. Alcantara is also a defensive liability at SS so far while Olt is a plus defender at 3B. What might help Alcantara is he’s younger than Olt. Even with the injury issues BA had Olt ranked #44 at midseason, so Alcantara has a ways to go to catch him with all the scouts/ranking services… I’d put Olt 5th on the Cubs and AA 10th.

      • Mak

        Age is a big factor as to why you might see Alcantara over Olt.

        Best thing about this: guys like Vitters, Villanueva, Amaya, Candelerio, Jackson, Hendricks, Paniagua are all guys who could be considered top 10 in a lot of systems.

    • CubsFaninMS

      My rankings are pretty much identical to yours. I get more excited about Alcantara’s potential than Olt as I believe Olt, even with corrected vision issues, is a good defending Mark Reynolds with a hair less power. That being said, I don’t believe any of the major prospect lists will have Alcantara higher than Olt… just yet.

  • wvcubsfan

    Not sure there’s a much better option right now. All in all he’s not doing to terrible.

  • brunsmk

    Wow these Boise pitchers just want to copy each other. Each pitching 2 innings of basically nothing allowed. Clearly a little below their level.

    • Ballrock20

      I was thinking the same thing. Any chance that they pitch in Kane County this year?

      • Mak

        Prob want to keep most of these guys innings down after a full he/college season, but I’d expect somoften the guys to get a few innings at Kane county

    • another JP

      All the college pitchers are a year or two old for Boise and should be in KC or Daytona, but they’ve already thrown enough at school this year. Let’s see if they can match what Pierce Johnson has done next season- I think 3 or 4 of them can.

      • Ballrock20

        Yes, Pierce Johnson is a good example.


  • Cubfan Budman

    Where in the farm system rankings does this put the Cubs now?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      In the Top 3? I see Houston, Minnesota and the Cubs about equal. St. louis is there, too, if they don’t graduate anymore guys.

    • BWA

      The only team with a chance to be better than us is minnesota. They are more top heavy and we have more depth.

  • Josh t

    Wasn’t the original trade better then this bc that deal included Sardinas? I get Russell’s not in the deal but throw in Russell and I’d take deal any day of the week over this one.

    • brunsmk

      Russell might get you better then Sardinas just on his own. Plus the Cubs are getting four guys back, three that were in the original deal plus Grimm (if they take Ramirez as the PTBNL).

    • Hawkeye

      Does everyone notice how Russell pitches a lot. That’s because he’s one of our better relievers and he’s left handed. We need him more than another prospect.

      • wvcubsfan

        That’s why he needs to be traded now (sell high) chances are he’s going to regress next year, if not in the second half.

        • Hawkeye

          Why is he going to regress?

          • Cubman23

            Because they’re the Cubs and that’s what happens to them, unfortunately for us.

            What does it feel like to be lucky? For some perspective, there’s the lucky as hell, *#&^ out bricks of gold Cardinals – Allen Craig’s .378 BABIP ties the 1957 season when Mantle won the triple crown. I’m sure they’ll be nearly equally regarded when their careers are over though…

    • praying the cubs get ready to win

      If we gave them Russell for Sardinas, then we still got an extra player Grimm. I think the Cubs could get more for Russell than Sardinas and we also got Grimm. Cubs FO did well.

  • Boomtown

    Ryan Braun is a turd, he sincerely owes an apology to the drug tester that he threw under the bus. A nice quote from Braun “I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point”

    • another JP

      “Ryan Braun is a turd”– turds everywhere have been insulted.

      • mudge

        It takes a special guy to defame a dude who collects samples for a living.

        • taits06

          I don’t know how legal system works, but if there was any way to sue braun for the loss of his job and defamation of character etc., he should. I would hope he’d be doing everything in his power to collect what he should from this Loser and Liar….

  • Josh t

    Garza/Russell for Olt/Edwards/Sardinas/Ramirez > Garza for Olt/Edwards/Grimm/PTBNL (PTBNL A: Ramirez). Seriously don’t know why we didn’t take the original deal?!? I get the medical thing but Sardinas is a great prospect top 100 guy. And he plays a premium day position at SS

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersocake

      Do we know for sure that was the deal? Whats the source?

      • brunsmk

        Almost 100% positive that was the deal.

        • BT

          How? We didn’t even know Grimm was in THIS deal until 20 minutes AFTER it happened. His name never came up once as far as I know while this thing was being negotiated. People getting mad over turned down deals that only happened on twitter (did you know the white sox traded Rios for Alan Hanson? I read it right here the other night!) and internet chat rooms drives me nuts.

          • brunsmk

            Reported by a number of websites including some from the Rangers. The question of the medicals was on a pitcher so either Edwards or Ramirez and since Ramirez was not in this deal that is kind of an easy line of reasoning. Oh I know your twitter Rios pulled for not running out at same time as Hansen piece. This isn’t from the comment section but from actual writers.

            • BT

              But go back through the four million comments from the last few days. The writers were getting just as much wrong as the readers. I read that Sardinas was pulled because the Rangers were worried about Garza’s health, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.

    • Cub Fan in Hickory(Mike S)

      Im thinking, er hoping that the PTBNL ends up being Rougned Odor. Apparently he was in the deal and the Cubs ended up taking Grimm instead when the Rangers questioned Garzas elbow. I think the Ramirez rumors may be to hide the guy the Cubs really want in this deal. Should Garza hold up and pitch well and injury free I wouldnt be surprised if we get Odor. And if thats the case this is an absolute windfall for the Cubs. BTW the news about Odor came from a tweet from some guy from the Dallas Morning News.

  • Boomtown

    This was an awesome trade. Period!!! 4 or 5 to one. We got 3 of top 15 prospects from the rangers. The lowest rated prospect has the highest ceiling. Last yr we were gonna get Olt and Perez. Just a few days ago we were gonna get the same package with Sardinas and adding Russel. I think we got more here, great job, I’m excited about the future of this team…Now sign Gonzalez

    • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersocake

      yeah we may have done a tad better than the Marlins got for Vostad…

  • Larry19

    Anyone read the book outliers? Any chance this season is an outlier for Olt? If so, this is a STEAL for the Cubs.

  • http://Yes Dude

    Starting to like watching Junior Lake play CF.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Me too. Just like I liked to watch The Excorcist. Really scary..really good.

  • Njriv

    Just heard Callis’ take on the Garza trade on Sports Talk Live. He seemed really high on Olt still. I knew about his vision issues, but I didn’t know he missed a whole month. I believe Callis mentioned he missed most of May? Hopefully his numbers in his last 10 games is an indication that he’s turning things around.

  • mudge

    Rizzo sure runs into a lot of outs.

    • BT

      that’s 100 percent on Navarro for swinging at ball 4.

      • mudge

        Still, maybe he’s slower than he looks. Lotsa outs.

        • Scotti

          Rizzo is very, very slow.

  • True blue

    This is a great trade for the Cubs. I would also like to see this be a great trade for the Rangers. The best to Garza and the Rangers. I’ll be pulling for them. I hope Garza ends up back in Chicago in the off season. A couple more great trades and things become interesting over the next two years. A young core next year of Castro, Rizzo, Olt, and dare I say Lake is pretty exciting. It may justify me keeping my season tickets.

  • Crockett

    So looking into it more, Ramirez is an odd case. Called up to AAA in 2011 last age 22 and got 18 starts (3/4 of his season) and did pretty damn well. Started 2012 back in AA and did well. Struggled in AAA in 2012 and then started 2013 back in AA. Good peripherals for the most part though. Just…weird.

    • The Show

      I think the Cubs pretty much know they are going to take him when it’s all said and done, nothing wrong with waiting though. What I don’t get is that if what people are saying is true, that if the Cubs threw in Russel they would have gotten what they received for Garza plus Sardinas why wouldn’t the Cubs pull the trigger if it made the return that much better? Or do you think they thought they should receive more if they did in fact added Russell?

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Maybe the FO felt Russell + Grimm > Sardinas. At this moment in time, a major league ready pitcher has more value than a 20 year old SS. We’ll never know.

  • Njriv

    Has anyone checked Hendricks’ stats? The dude needs a promotion stat, at least give him a challenge haha.

    • Jed Jam Band

      They already have SP glut in Iowa and the FO wants to see him continue to pitch this way against the top talent in the minors. Also, the Smokies have a playoff push coming up and it is likely the FO wants to see him get that experience, even if it’s only at the AA level. He’ll no doubt start next year in AAA, or actually, he might be in the major league rotation. For now though, he’ll continue to mow down AA hitting. Gotta love the return in the Dempster deal. Looks better and better every day.


    Jason Grilli hurt his elbow in tonights game. They now need a very good bullpen arm. Russell and Nate the great will head to the pirates for those nice pitching prospects they have. Calling Mr Tallion Calling Mr Tallion.

    • Jed Jam Band

      If they wouldn’t give him up for Garza, I would have to doubt this trade would sway them.

  • Eric

    There is talk over on the PSD board that Yankee’s are close to trading for Soriano.

  • Jed Jam Band

    Jason Parks ‏@ProfessorParks 1h
    As it stands now, the #Cubs could have as many as eight prospects in the Top 101. That’s #rig.

    Just….wow. Also, when I asked him if he preferred Edwards or Johnson, he told me Johnson. I’m guessing that has to do with level of play and amount of development to this point, but they’ll both be pitching at Daytona, so….I guess that could change.

  • Brent

    Is there any truth to the Soriano to the Yankees deal being “close”? My gut tells me it is just rumors…does anyone know how reliable the source is. Nobody that I trust has confirmed the original report.

    • Austin5596

      David Schuster of 670 The Score was just talking about it. He said a “mid-level” prospect could be coming back, but has no clue as far as names are concerned.

      As for my personal opinion (no sources behind it at all, just crapshooting here), I think the Cubs could end up pitching in a 3B, most likely Ransom, due to A. A possible A-Rod suspension, B. Poor 3B depth for the Yanks, & C. To sweeten the deal and get a better package in return.

  • stevie

    We got a good deal, and added to the young talent in the system. In the past few weeks we moved Garza, Feldman, Marmol, and Hairston for about 8 promising kids, and a vet reliever. In guys like Grimm, Olt, Strop, Arrieta, we’ve added guys that should be on the major league team before the year is out and playing important roles. Edwards, and possibly the kid we got for hairston, forget his name, we added two more promising arms to go along with the ones we have now. If we get Ramirez, theres another kid that should have a spot on next years team somewhere. Rizzo, Castro, Olt, Castillo, and Lake all could be important pieces of next years offense. then we add in all the talent through the system coming and we look to be a very dangerous team in the coming years.

    Now trade Soriano to the yankees, Nate and Gregg to pittsburgh, Russell somewhere, Barney as well, might as well see if we can get anything of worth for Villanueva, if not keep him. Dejesus, I’d keep for leadership, unless we can get a decent player for him as well. So of the guys we have left to move, what predictions do people have on any returns we can grab back?

  • Joepoe321

    John@ cubs den seems to think so.. He put up an article abt it..

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