chris rusin cubsWhen a major trade is made, there are generally three elements of the process for us: (1) reporting/dissecting of the deal (we’ve been doing that dance for days now, until Garza to the Rangers was reported this afternoon); (2) analysis of the deal and the pieces in the deal (that’ll come later); and (3), the unsexist part: the roster stuff.

This is that unsexy part.

With Garza on his way to Texas, the most obvious and immediate roster-related implication is the hole in the rotation. Unlike when Scott Feldman was traded to Baltimore, the Cubs don’t have a replacement in the bullpen waiting to take over (Carlos Villanueva). For tonight, Garza’s replacement is Chris Rusin, who is having himself another nice season down at AAA Iowa, but who does not project as a long-term piece of the rotation. It’s possible that Rusin will grab the job, and carry it forward from here on out.

It seems at least as likely that Justin Grimm, the 24-year-old righty whom the Cubs will receive in the Garza deal, will slot into the rotation eventually. He was recently bumped out of Texas’ rotation (although they really needed Garza, they were actually deep in guys like Grimm), partly due to some forearm concerns. He’s heading to AAA Iowa for now, and he could stay there for most of the year, could eventually be put in the big league pen, or could join the Cubs’ rotation later this year.

The other possibility is that Jake Arrieta, who has been starting at AAA after coming over in the aforementioned Feldman deal, will be called up. He’s going to join the rotation at some point this year, I’d expect, and it could come sooner rather than later. Brooks Raley is another possibility, as is Alberto Cabrera, mostly because they are starting pitchers on the 40-man roster.

Pending the team’s evaluation of what’s best for Grimm, I’d tentatively expect Rusin to get the job in the short-term, with Arrieta or Grimm possibly taking it as we get into August. They might not get the gig, though, if Scott Baker – remember him? – is ready to make his debut with the Cubs after a long Tommy John rehab. He’s currently making rehab starts with Kane County, and they’ve not gone well so far.

As for Garza’s spot on the 25-man roster, again, for today, it’s Rusin. Ultimately, it’ll be whichever pitcher replaces him full-time in the rotation (though with so many options on the 40-man roster, the Cubs could mix and match for a while).

Speaking of the 40-man roster, there actually aren’t any implications in this trade by my count. The 40-man stood at 39 before this trade, and with Mike Olt and Justin Grimm added (the third player in the deal, C.J. Edwards, will not need to be added), it’ll soon stand at an even 40.

And speaking of Olt, I do expect that he’ll initially head to AAA to keep starting at third base there (yup). Depending on how the Trade Deadline shakes out for the Cubs (Luis Valbuena could conceivably be dealt, as well as Darwin Barney (with Valbuena sliding over to second); or Cody Ransom could be dealt, opening up the right-handed side of the third base platoon), Olt could be up with the Cubs in the second half. If he stays at Iowa – and stays in the Cubs’ organization – he’ll be the primary third baseman there, which raises the Josh Vitters question. Vitters is finally healthy, it seems, but there have always been questions about his ability to stick at third base long-term. If Olt stays and is not promoted soon, Vitters could be rotated among first base and left field, or he could be sent out of the organization (perhaps for international pool money or a second round compensatory draft pick? I’m just spitballin’).

Because this is trade season, so much of what happens on the roster is contingent on the next ten days’ worth of moves.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    In the wake of the Braun suspension, a Garza trade, Colon next? A’s motivated buyers?
    What a difference a suspension has.

    • cub2014

      If a-rod is suspended send ransom to the yanks for a prospect
      Ransom upgrade over current yankees. Then you bring up olt
      And stick him at 3rd let see what he can do for the rest of the year

    • Alex

      Colon was already suspended though. If this bio-genesis stuff is what got him to fail the test in the first, he couldn’t be suspended again, which many think he will not, even if he officially emerges on the list.

  • nkniacc13

    So do we go to the Russell Watch or the Gregg watch or someone else?

    • Kramden

      Obsessive Alfonso watch

    • cub2014

      Next trades should be schierholtz,
      Gregg, villanueva and barney or ransom
      Or valbuena

      • nkniacc13

        be very interesting to see what they get back in any deal as only Navarro and Gregg will be free agents after the year

  • Headscratchin

    Looks like Lake is leading off tonight! They’re going to give him a look everywhere it seems. Should give them a good idea of what they have for the future.

  • Rynomite

    This may have been mentioned before, but if Ramirez is the #4 man in the deal, Cubs got 4 of Rangers’ top 18 prospects from Sickels’ preseason list. The star has fallen for two of the guys in the deal, but Edwards is the centerpiece, to me anyway. He is instantly the #1 pitching prospect in the Cubs’ system, and, if Vizcaino returns to pre-TJS form, the future is looking exceedingly bright.

    • 5412


      CSN sportscaster agrees with you on Edwards.


      • 5412


        While I HOPE Garza comes back, I seriously doubt it. CSN said that he wants 5 years $75million as a start. Who knows where it will go from there.

        It looked like it never would happen and there was no real point where they could even get together.

        You spend that kind of money for a CC Sabathia when you are fighting for the pennant with a 1/2 game lead, not when you are on the outside looking in.


        • willis

          Yeah, he ain’t coming back to the cubs. He said he wanted to extend and wanted to stay. They wouldn’t come close to what he wanted.

          Doesn’t make sense. You spend 12ish a year on Edwin Jackson, but not 15ish on Garza? Garza could help now and later. It’ll never make sense why they were so insistent on getting rid of him. Quite the statement of the plan and what to expect in the near future (next few years). We better all be real patient.

          • wvcubsfan

            I’m not sure he ever said he wanted to sign an extension. I did hear him say all the “correct” things though.

            • Earl Cunningham

              I see him getting a deal in the 5yr 90 mill range.

            • frank

              I don’t recall him ever saying that either. I think he suggested he would be open to it, but he never said he wanted to do it. He’s also said to have wanted a full no trade clause, and that’s not likely with this FO.

  • http://bleachernation Ferris

    Hope garza gets a ring then resigns w us, but either way i wish him well.

    • willis

      I hope he gets a ring, multiple and dominates the next few years.

  • Reality Check

    great trade?

    olt is hitting .218 at AAA. is he better than Bryant? will he be around in 2016? I say no and has no trade value like vitters. he is vitters 2.0
    grimm has an ERA over 6 and at 10 his last 6 starts. long reliever at this point>
    Edwards is too young to know at this point. high A stats look good.
    player to be named=no idea; not gonna assume Ramirez; most PTBNL are useless.

    would the haul been better in 2011? yep. did the cubs need Garza last 2 years while tanking seasons? nope

    if JH was allowed to tank seasons; archer never gets moved. he’s the best player in this tampa-cubs-texas round about trade.

    big questions; who of this bunch helps in 2016 when this team is supposed to be at least 85 game winner??…….it looks like it all rests on Edwards as olt won’t be better than Bryant and grimm looks like a long reliever who arrieta or Vizcaino could be better.

    • Crockett


    • nkniacc13

      2016 is a ways away. A lot could happen with the entire minor league system so what this deal was good/great for cubs as they are bringing players that may help short term/ long term and are thought high on by teams so they could be traded for more players/prospects

    • Hawkeye

      Serious question where does this 2016 competitive date come from. I have read that date on this board more than once and to my knowledge no one in the Cubs have ever said this. I would hope to be around 85 wins before that.

      • Brett

        It comes from silly people being silly about silliness.

      • nkniacc13

        I agree I thought next year we would be close to .500 and then hopefully by 15′ we would be in the running for the divison

      • Rebuilding

        I guess I’m one of those silly people. It just seems logical considering most of our Top prospects (Bryant, Baez, Almora, Soler and Johnson) probably won’t start arriving until after the Super 2 deadline in 2015. Is it possible we field a team of Castro, Rizzo and 4-5 rookies and make a miracle run? Anything is possible. But I think 2016 is more realistic since that will be the majority of those guys first full seasons. And given the last few years I don’t imagine we’ll be adding any significant FAs on long term deals, unless its a glue guy like Jackson, until we know what we’ve got (Kershaw might be an exception if he makes it to FA in 2015). And I’m not being negative – I hope that’s how we do it

        • willis

          Negative or positive, depending on how one wants this thing to be built, you’re right, 2016 or 2017 is probably the earliest we can realistically start thinking playoffs for this team. And that is just as much about the Pirates, Cardinals and to some point the Reds as it is the “plan”. Trading away proven pieces for non proven talents doesn’t help gain ground on them, and they aren’t going anywhere. The Cubs can keep getting better but hopping those teams is going to be a very difficult task no matter the talent. And that’s if the talent actually develops in to upper tier major league talent. Long way to go.

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            The cubs cannot wait to win in 2016. They will have to sign free agents by 2015 or risk losing the fan base. Look at how much attendance has dropped over the past couple of years.

            There is a plan in place to build the minor league system to win a world series, but there is no way in hell they can afford toroll the dice on a total rebuild that would last until 2016.

            • Rebuilding

              Have you seem the list of FAs next offseason? It’s a lot of guys that look at best like flippable assets. 2015 is better if Kershaw and Price make it to FA, but I can’t imagine us signing many positional FAs (there arent many) to block whatever positional prospects that will be ready that year. I think you’ll see band-aids that can be flipped next year and then get ready for the kids in 2015. In some ways they have no choice

          • 5412


            Don’t be so sure about those dates. I had the good fortune to spend an hour with Dallas Green this spring. He said in 1984 the team won too quickly and it was a surprise. On the 1989 team I think a dozen guys came through the farm system they set up….after he and Goldsberry left and the Tribune started destroying it.

            Bryant could be here next year. We could gat another Castro surprise, we just don’t know. You fill the farm system full of talent and buy some guys like Jackson and DeJesus and all of a sudden they jell.

            Put a closer and good 8th inning pitcher on this team and we are at .500.

            Not too long ago we thought we got screwed when we dumped Marshall and one of the guys is now an all star. Think Visciano or Baker coming back will help? How about all the international signings? Just takes one or two pleasant surprises.

            Point being, I love the trend and expect excitement before 2015. By then I expect we will be buyers filling in the last few holes.


            • Rebuilding

              Yeah, that’s the great thing about baseball – anyone including the Astros can dream about the World Series next spring. So of course we would all love to see a miracle run next year or all of the kids come up and shock the world in 2015. But the main core won’t be full season players until 2016 and at the point I expect us to be right in the playoff hunt every year. If it happens sooner then great

    • MoneyBoy

      There’s an old saying … Any idiot can give you TEN reasons why something was wrong, when everyone knows any one of the ten would work !!!

    • frank

      Injury and vision issues for Olt, both of which are supposedly taken care of. In fact over the last 12 games he’s been considerably better–others have cited the stats. Olt probably projects to be better defensively than Bryant, and if he stays in the organization, they may move Bryant to the outfield–but 2 guys with that power would be a pretty good problem to have. Grimm was rushed to the majors too early and is pitching like it. He could be a good mid-to-back of the rotation guy, but probably needs to develop a 3rd pitch. Agree as to Edwards and the ptbnls, although,as you said, Edwards looks really good–right now.

    • Johnny

      I think we will be competing by 2015 and be a legit contender by 2016. We are a big market team. We cant just sit around for 6 years waiting for prospects to develop. We have a fan base to take care of. Something big will happen I think. We will hopefully trade for Price or Stanton. (Or both?) Or just sign 1 or the other after 2015. Money talks.

  • Blank

    Whatever happened to Marcelo Carreno, the pitcher we got for Jeff Baker? I remember Brett and Luke were high on him, thought he could be a back/mid rotation piece. I haven’t heard anything about him since last year.

    • Brett

      No idea. Has to be a health issue.

    • JUICED1

      good question

    • jeff1969

      Carreno was on those limited activity lists they have in spring training with some sort of injury and I don’t think he has thrown one inning this year. I think it was a shoulder issue, but he, like Loux and that guy we just got from Washington all seem like decent stockpile pitchers if they can pitch. What ever happened to that OF Evan Crawford that Cubs got from the Giants? He hasn’t played in over a year and he seemed to have started hitting like a lead off man for a minute there.

      • jeff1969

        Just found Evan Crawford. In the Frontier League, hitting .300. Weird.

  • Arrieta’sUncle

    Love the return. Hope Jake debuts Tuesday at Wrigley!

  • Deacon

    Injured. Hasn’t pitched yet this year. Guess that’s how we got Carreno – Vizcaino 2.0.


    The real comparison is this trade to the trade we made to snag him from the rays

    • Bijan Rademacher

      We turned Mark DeRosa into Mike Olt…transitive property at work there.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Alright Does that give us the left-handed bat that we need to beat the Dodgers in the 2009 playoffs?

        • MichiganGoat

          Damn it robot it too early to pour salt on that wound.

    • frank

      Hard to do because of the team control issue–Garza had 2 years of team control when the Cubs got him, compared to 2 months now.

      • Scotti

        Three years of team control.

  • Abe Froman

    What a huge day, so much speculation over and over going back to last year with a nice return.

  • LWeb23

    Well Jason Grilli has been pulled and he looked to be in quite a bit of pain. Let the Gregg/Soriano talks begin.

  • Tennessee Cub

    If we are not competitive next year (really close) and competing for the division in 2015, then Samardzija will leave. He is a winner and will want to be part of one. He has always won. The players will get sick of knowing they are playing to be traded and the ones who are staying will get sick of being the butt of the league. Thanks goodness for Miami and Brewers so far this year.

    • Tennessee Cub

      That is why he will not sign an extension, trust me I know.

      • willis

        Yeah I can see him not wanting to extend due to not being down with where the organization is heading short term. He works his ass off to be better and has for years. I think he’ll expect the same from the big league team and if he doesn’t see it happening in a decent time period, he’ll test out the market and probably go elsewhere. Next year is a huge year for this relationship and if Shark will be a cub going forward.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    The Toronto Blue Jays are 45-53, the Cubs are 43-53, this is for the people bashing the Cubs for not “trying to compete”.

    • 70’scub

      2016 Cubs have solid young options at all positions with organizational deep pitching.