Here we go …
Ken Rosenthal reports that Matt Garza will not make his start tonight for the Chicago Cubs as expected. Instead, sources tell him, a deal with the Rangers is “near.” That’s is for details so far, but I expect this to develop in the next few hours.
In case you missed it, the Cubs nearly completed a trade involving Garza on Friday. Although you had to do some dot-connecting to get there, it appeared that the package was Garza and another Cub (possibly James Russell) for third base prospect Mike Olt, infield prospect Luis Sardinas, and pitching prospects C.J. Edwards and Neil Ramirez. A medical issue caught the Cubs’ eye after the exchange of records, and the deal was temporarily held up.
We’ll see if the ultimate package – assuming this deal with the Rangers actually goes down now – is similar.
UPDATE: Jon Heyman also reports that Garza has been scratched for tonight, and a deal with the Rangers is close.
UPDATE 2 (3:59pm CT): Jerry Crasnick isn’t quite hearing the same thing as Heyman and Rosenthal, instead saying only that the talks between the Cubs and Rangers have picked back up. He adds that another involved club tells him that the Rangers are making “another big push” to get a deal done.
UPDATE 3 (4:03pm CT): Oh my – Jeff Passan, who initially reported the “snag” on Friday night, now reports that Garza is going to the Rangers.
UPDATE 4 (4:04pm CT): Buster Olney says a deal with Texas is “close.” They were the “most motivated.”
UPDATE 5 (4:04pm CT): Mike Olt is in the deal, per Jeff Passan.
UPDATE 6 (4:06pm CT): Dave Kaplan says the deal is “being finalized,” but not quite done.
UPDATE 7 (4:07pm CT): Jeff Wilson reports that young Rangers reliever Joe Ortiz could be involved. He’s already having success at the big league level at 22, so it’s fair to wonder if he’s been substituted into the deal, given the Cubs’ concerns about Neil Ramirez (again, per Wilson). Wilson says the Rangers did have health concerns about Garza, for whatever that’s worth.
UPDATE 8 (4:10pm CT): Rosenthal reports that it’s Garza for Olt, C.J. Edwards, and a third player.
UPDATE 9 (4:11pm CT): Passan says it’s actually Olt, Edwards, a third player, AND a player to be named later. Evan Grant reports that he’s heard two versions of the package, with one being Olt/Edwards/Ramirez, and one being Olt/Edwards/Rougned Odor (a very good second base prospects at the lower levels).
UPDATE 10 (4:13pm CT): Kaplan says it’s a done deal, and Garza is a Ranger.
UPDATE 11 (4:16pm CT): Jon Heyman says the deal is done pending medicals, and we know how that can go. Unless the replacement piece has any issues, this is going to happen.
UPDATE 12 (4:23pm CT): Although the Cubs aren’t yet ready to announce the deal, they have identified Chris Rusin as tonight’s starter, according to multiple reports.
UPDATE 13 (4:25pm CT): Jeff Passan reports that the final package includes Major League starter Justin Grimm, making it Garza for Olt/Edwards/Grimm and a PTBNL. If so, that’s a hell of a nice haul (albeit a slightly flawed one) for Garza.
UPDATE 14 (4:27pm CT): Grimm, 24, hasn’t had big league success yet, but he’s the same age as Neil Ramirez and already in the bigs (minor league track record is short and decent for Grimm). That’s a nice substitution right there (I’m assuming that Sardinas was dropped because the “other Cub” was dropped).
UPDATE 15 (4:30pm CT): Passan says it was the A’s involvement that spurred the Rangers to “up the ante,” meaning that those involved believed Grimm is an upgrade from Ramirez. I think I’d agree.
UPDATE 16 (4:34pm CT): Gordon Wittenmyer reports that the PTBNL list *includes* Neil Ramirez. If true, this deal is a huge, huge haul for the Cubs. No one else has said anything about the caliber of players on the PTBNL list, or if it’s contingent on anything (like Justin Grimm’s current forearm soreness becoming something more serious).
UPDATE 17 (4:41pm CT): This might be the last update until this thing goes official. When that happens, and some dust settles, I’ll have more on the prospects involved, and an overall evaluation of the trade. Right now, gut says: very solid return for Garza, and just about what I’d expected all along (top 100ish prospect (Olt), and two organizational top 15s (Grimm and Edwards (yes, I know it’s debatable how high up they are – Edwards is borderline top 100 at this point, and Grimm no longer is technically a prospect)). If that PTBNL ends up being someone like Ramirez, then it goes from solid return to oh-wow-seriously-well-done-borderline-squeal.