Matt Garza to Rangers Imminent...Until It Wasn't

So the Twitter-verse exploded Thursday night with numerous reports that the Rangers and Cubs were nearing a deal to send Matt Garza to Texas for up to 3 prospects. Names were even bandied about that included the likes of Luke Jackson, C.J. Edwards and a position player that varied between Mike Olt, Luis Sardinas or Jorge Alfaro. When it came to getting some of the Rangers top 20 talent, the Cubs would be doing well...although since Mike Olt's dropoff this season, none would be real top shelf minor leauge talent (top 30 in baseball). Nonetheless, 2 very promising arms and a potential decent position player would seem like a decent haul for Garza.

(Brake Screech)

Then Patrick Mooney reported late in the evening that the Rangers were moving quickly on a Plan B finding the Cubs asking price too high. Jeff Passan suggests that Plan B is probably Bud Norris of the Astros. It could all be posturing by the Rangers, or maybe it was all controlled leaks by the Cubs to float some names out there in hopes other organizations would pony up.

At the end of it all, Garza is still a Cub and the rumoring will continue at a feverish pace tomorrow. Stay tuned.


I've got Brian Roberts on my rolodex.

Garza for Adam Dunn.

AND Peavy!

here's the classic...

Chone Figgins?

I know Roberts has been injured from 2010-present, but he had great seasons in 2008-2009 (5.2 and 3.7 WAR) and that would have been nice to have those seasons when the Cubs were competitive.

If the Cubs hadn't valued their prospects so high, they could have offered virtually all of the prospects rumored in the deal--Ronny Cedeno, Matt Murton, Donald Veal, Sean Gallagher, Jose Ceda, and Felix Pie--and not lost a damn thing. Sigh.


Remember when Sean Marshall was the least valued of the Hill, Gallagher, Marshall trio of young curveballin' pitchers? Good times.

In NY Hendry still pines for Garrett Anderson.

Jake Peavy too?

I guess Rob doesn't have time to do a wikifield on big trades that never happened. Although MLBTR's latest is that a Cubs/Rangers trade is imminent.

This is gonna be absolutely par for the course for a long time in the age if twitter and "insider" journalists trying to one up each other. A deal isn't a deal until the team announces it these days. I must admit, it's fun as hell tho!

Remember when journalists had to wait for their newspaper to print in the morning before they got a scoop? Now it's a twitter race. Half the time it seems the scoop isn't a scoop at all.

Yes! And exactly right.

Get off my lawn!!!


And get those junk shots off your phone!

at one point on the team pages, I started a rumor thread trying to detail any heavily rumored deals between Cubs and a team, but couldn't keep up with it.

...and Ryan Dempster to the Braves

...and Jim Bowden confirming Dempster traded to the Dodgers, just crossing the t's and dotting the i's.

...and Carlos Marmol says he's signed off on being traded to the Angels.

I'm glad there will be baseball today.

RHP Neil Ramirez has also been discussed, according to Heyman. 24-y-o having an excellent season in his second go at AA, has pitched as high as AAA.

here's a prospect report on Ramirez

Is it possible for the Cubs to bring up any of these guys before they actually trade for them?

Oh yeah. Spit out my coffee #spittake

same article says Luke Jackson appears to be off the table


If Matt Garza is a strong #3 starter, what is Bud Norris? :)

Anyways, leaks or twittergasms, either way I hope the Cubs don't cave on price on Garza.


What does Lake's call up tell us about the Cubs view of him as a prospect?

I am sure AzPhil can clue me in, but burns an option year for what looks like cup of coffee.

"Lake's promotion could be brief. Outfielder David DeJesus (sprained right shoulder) is working out in Mesa, Ariz., and could play in Rookie League games this week. If all goes well, he could be activated from the disabled list next week."

I don't know what the Cubs view him as, but short side platoon is his best option most likely. I don't think many believe he's a full time regular anywhere that you need to worry about such things as options or service time.

Unless someone is stupid enoug..I mean steps up to trade for Soriano.

Injuries certainly played a hand with DeJesus, Sweeney, and Bogusevic depleting CF surplus. It's nice to have another CF option on the roster besides Borbon and Sappelt. I don't think Gillespie can play there (based on compiled career UZR numbers), and I hope the Cubs don't think so either.

Edit: I probably should have said he shouldn't play there, not can't.

Option was already used when the Cubs sent him to Iowa once he was healthy after his spring injury.

BOB R: As soon as Junior Lake spent 20 days on Optional Assignment in 2013, his second minor league option year was used. So he will have one more minor league option next season whether he is recalled from the minors now or spends the whole season in the minors. 

The only impact calling Lake up from AAA at this time has it that he will accrue MLB Service Time while he is on the MLB Active List (25-man roster), but that should not having any impact on when he will be eligible to be an MLB Article XX-B FA and/or when he will become eligible for salary arbitration.  

BTW, players with minor league options remaining who have accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time must give their permission in advance before they can be optioned to the minors, but players who have accrued less than five years of MLB Service Time can be optioned to the minors without having to give their permission.

Here are the players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster who have accrued less than five years of MLB Service Time who are out of minor league options this season, and so Outright Assignment Waivers would have to be secured before the player can be sent to the minors:

Brian Bogusevic (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Julio Borbon
Michael Bowden (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Welington Castillo
Cole Gillespie
Cody Ransom (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Jeff Samardzija (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Nate Schierholtz (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Pedro Strop
Luis Valbuena (can elect free-agency if outrighted)
Travis Wood 

Alberto Cabrera and Rafael Dolis will be out of minor league options next season, so the Cubs will not be able to option either of them to the minors in 2014.   


Having trouble getting 3 prospects for Garza seems ironic to me since that's how the Cubs acquired him. It's like an attempt at undoing the madness that was the Garza trade.

Archer appears to be upping his game too. But honestly this is a little different since he's a rental, and when Cubs got him he had years of club control.

True- it's different. It just struck me as ironic.


garza got $6m for a performance that's 3x that value in 2011...then signed for $10m the following year.

if he was a FA those 2 years would have probably cost $30m+ rather than $16m.

An interesting exchange of comments from a Rangers blog:

I also think it'll be funny when it's announced to be Olt/Edwards/NeRa...
Cubs fans are going to be pissed.

That’s a steal for them for two months of Matt Garza but they’ve gotten it in their heads that they were going to get like Profar/Perez/Alfaro.

by ghostofErikThompson on Jul 19, 2013 | 10:29 AM reply

That's going to be what pisses me off the most
6 months ago I would’ve laughed at an Olt for Garza rental, straight up. Sure, Olt has lost some value, but in no way am I going to feel happy coming out of this.

by Bface on Jul 19, 2013 | 10:31 AM up reply

I'm going to feel happy when Garza is pitching on Saturday instead of Ross Wolf...
by ghostofErikThompson on Jul 19, 2013 | 10:32 AM up reply

Okay, I'll be happy for 10 or so starts
Unless he Dempsters :/

by Bface on Jul 19, 2013 | 10:33 AM up reply


Lol. "Unless he Dempsters"

Who are these Cubs fans who actually think the Cubs would get Profar?

I agree Profar for Garza is ridiculous, though I thought it crazier when I heard Rangers (and a few Cubs) fans say they felt that Profar for Garza and Baez or Castro was fair.

I really don't give a damn who the prospects the Cubs get back are, as long as they bring 'em up.

Submitted by Ryno
on Wed, 07/17/2013 - 10:24am Permalink
I'd do Profar + cash for Garza.

So good! "Dempstering" ... Like Mitch Hedberg on pancaking: "As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have to end the show strong. You can't be like pancakes—all exciting at first, but then by the end you're fuckin' sick of them."

lol... rest in peace, Mitch.

This shirt is dry clean only. Which's dirty.

breaking news

Cubs told Garza's agent that he'll be moved

Garza says they briefly talked extension again last week, but no offer made (read, nowhere close on the numbers).

says Cubs want Chisenhall from Indians, but may need to include a major leaguer to get deal done (don't sign a long term lease Valbuena).

Dodgers offering pitching but not their top 2 prospects (I presume that's Zach Lee & Chris Reed)

Jason [email protected]
Breaking: Your team isn't going to acquire a top-of-the-rotation pitching prospect. Your world is doomed and you will die alone. #Scouting

Might be old news...

Matt Garza (Fresno St) trade from Cubs to Rangers is "99 percent done." Teams going over medical records now. 6 players in the mix
— Joe Davidson (@SacBee_JoeD) July 19, 2013

Not sure why some guy from the Sacramento Bee has the scoop on this (and not sure if this is just another twittergasm), but he's saying Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards are part of the package... Cubs prefer Neil Ramirez to Luke Jackson... still leaves two players in the mix, though.

Out of the two other players, one would have to be a Cub and one would have to be a Ranger, right? Lower end prospect and a Cubs reliever? Do the Rangers need an outfielder? Would they take a long shot on a Cubs castoff prospect like Vitters or Lake?

Garza grew up not too far from Sacramento and probably has friends and family there. Maybe he's getting info through them.

Or he's full of it.

Or he's full of it.

Totally possible.

When Davidson says "six players still in the mix," it might not mean it's a six-player trade, just that the prospects the Cubs would get back will be three from among a list of five. (Like maybe the Cubs want Sardina, Jackson, and Edwards, while the Rangers are offering Olt, Edwards, and Ramirez). 

That makes way too much sense and ruins all my wild speculation.

If Olt is (unfortunately) included in this deal, do the Cubs actually listen to O&B and make him the everyday 3b? He likely isn't ready, but is a good fielder and certainly not a huge downgrade from Villaneuva.

Villanueva hasn't had the range for 3B since he trimmed the mustache.

Frequent reader, seldom poster. Went to Round Rock Express game versus I-Cubs last night. Olt is really struggling and not ready for MLB. Olt was batting 8th in the line up and went 0-3 with 2 throwing errors. I believe with 2 or 3 k's and a walk. Just one game but he looked lost. Rangers fans I spoke with are ready to see him go. Optimism: change of scenery, new opportunity, better to buy low, still struggling from the eye issue. Pessimism: Olt is Vitters 2.0 with more hype.

PS: Manny Ramirez is old.

"PS: Manny Ramirez is old."

Comment of the week.

Bring him up?

I'll take my answer of the air.

Was it ever determined whether this WAS related to him getting beaned last Fall in the DR league?

Doctors believe it was related to that beaning and the resulting concussion.

Here is the best article I could find discussing the vision issue, from early June:

Give him a good pair of glasses, and bring him up.

I won't believe anything until one of these players is spotted in a bar singing "Go Cubs Go" with a bunch of sexy ladies.

...or is seen with his wife looking at houses on the North Shore. "Great Moments in Cubs Trade Rumor Mill History!" (with Jack Brickhouse)

I totally saw Olt in a Chicago Starbucks!!

/not really

Carrie [email protected]
#Cubs lineup Barney, Ransom, Rizzo, Sori, Castro,>> Lake CF <<, Sappelt RF, Castillo, Samardzija

Brought him up, threw him into the fire. I love it!!!!

Gordon [email protected]
Cubs source suggests mystery NL team could intercept Texas efforts and get Garza.

Who doesn't love a good mystery.

Whoever keeps leaking stories out of the Cubs front office needs to get targeted by an Obama drone.

Rangers, Cubs continue work toward Matt Garza deal

Nothing has been finalized yet as the Rangers and Cubs work toward a deal for Matt Garza. Some with the Rangers thought the deal was going to be completed Thursday night.

That would have allowed Garza to pitch for the Rangers on Saturday in place of Ross Wolf, but Garza reportedly threw his scheduled bullpen session Friday at Coors Field. Neil Ramirez, who is said to be part of the package of prospects headed to Chicago, has not been scratched from his start for Double A Frisco.

Read more here:

I'm getting blue balls over here, goddammit.

Ron Washington: ""I'll get excited if what we're talking about comes to fruition. I'll scream and holler and jump over my desk if something happens."

I guess now we know one of the reasons Texas has been all over Garza over the years.

Could be the first time a trade doesn't happen for fear of the manager getting injured.

As soon as Garza is dealt, the Shark becomes the best pitcher available. I'd like to see the same trade banter regarding Shark and Wood.

The problem is buyers, people who are willing to sacrifice a prospect or two for a player to put them over the top are contenders. What contender really wants shark in their rotation?

True, though the fact that he is under club control for a few years may put him at a higher level than his talent/performance would necessarily dictate.

According to Dave Cameron, Shark right now has the 41st highest trade value of any player in any system.

Only 11 SPs ranked higher on the list: Harvey, Strasburg, Kershaw, Sale, Fernandez, Bumgarner, Darvish, Hernandez, Wainwright, Moore, Miller.

Doesn't Shark need to put together about, say, 10 games in a row where he doesn't give up 5,6,7, 8 or 9 runs before he is considered an elite pitcher? Looking at this game logs over the last two years, he hasn't done that yet.

Tim Brown of Yahoo says Cubs and Rangers exchanging medical info

Jeff [email protected]
Sources: Cubs-Rangers deal for Garza hits snag, no longer a certainty. While teams still negotiating, Chicago seeking alternatives to Texas.

Here's a phrase no one should need in their repertoire: "no longer a certainty."

Hahaha! Well said!

Jeff Passan says Garza to Texas deal has hit a snag.

Cubs no longer in line to get Brian Roberts.

...also Washington is the mystery NL team, per Wittenmeyer

Henry Rodriguez clears DFA status and gets assigned to Iowa

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms.

"Four spot Scott"?

Wayne Randazzo, KC Cougars announcer tweets...

Scott Baker throws 34 pitches in the first inning for @KCCougars and allows 4 runs on 4 hits, including 2 2B. FB topped at 85 on stadium gun

add that one to the 3ip 6h 1bb 2k, 4er start last time out.


btw...the KCCougars website has Michael Heesch as the SP. weird.

website fixed their boxscore...

2.2ip 6h 3bb 1k, 6er


I'm not convinced the "stadium gun" was properly calibrated. I was at the game tonight and nobody -- and I mean NOBODY registered as high as 90mph tonight. One pitch (by a Loons pitcher) got as high as 89 mph -- once -- and that was it. I find it hard to believe that not one of the pitchers that both teams trotted out there can reach 90 at least once over the entire evening. They didn't look like soft tossers and I can't see two organizations loading their low-A teams with so many low velocity arms.

Sveum: "I'm gonna play Lake every day until DeJesus gets back."

wonder if n.feliz was involved....

yet another cub trying to take home on an ill-advised go-on-contact play...and the announcers gloss it over by praising him for staying in a run down long enough for sappelt to get to 2nd.

at least lake got a double...and then stole 3rd.

more aggressive baserunning with rizzo trying to stretch a double into a least the run scored and the cubs lead by 1.

things have gone south with the aggressiveness on the basepaths vs the early positive returns in spring training + april.

it wasn't an awful just didn't work out.

Steve lake's kid is pretty good.

it's a bit sad that it's most likely that the most exciting thing that could happen in this game is garza being spotting giving hugs and shaking hands in the dugout before disappearing into the clubhouse.

You like Albert Almora. Should there be any worries about his plate discipline?

Ben Badler: Not too much. The walk rate isn’t elite, but he has good pitch recognition and doesn’t get beaten with much in the strike zone because his feel for the barrel is so good, so he’s getting a good pitch to hit and doing damage with it routinely. It would be nice to see more patience develop over time, but it’s not a big concern right now.

Can Junior Lake be an impact player for the Cubs this season, or in the future?

Ben Badler: Not buying it.

With Odor being mentioned in a possible Garza trade, how does he stack up prospect wise with Arismendy Alcantara?

Ben Badler: Alcantara has better tools, Odor is the better baseball player. If a scout preferred Alcantara to Odor because of the tools, I wouldn’t be surprised—he’s a good prospect—but I have more confidence in Odor’s bat.

I know nobody really thinks Lake will amount to much but all he does is hit whereever he goes, with a decent OBP. I haven't seen him yet - including tonight - but I'm curious why all the Lake hate.

I'm not seeing what you're seeing in his numbers, O&B. I'd say Lake's numbers are so-so, and all the reports are that as an infielder he is a defensive mess. If he didn't have such amazing tools, I doubt he's in the majors at all right now.

Daytona 2011: .315 .336 .498

Got sent up to Tenn where he struggled some, but then in 2012: 279 .341 .432 .773 -- average and OPS are not eye popping, but still pretty good OBP to make up for not being a 300 hitter.

Short stay in Iowa this year: 295 .341 .462 .803

Outstanding? No, but pretty decent, and they say he's toolsy. I'll be curious to watch a bit of him while he enjoys his cup of coffee.

the big "warning" is that his ob% comes from his bat...he's not walking and probably won't walk much in the bigs.

Also, the league average in the Southern League in 2012 was .252/.333/.376

Big trouble with off-speed pitches too.

Him and every rookie not named Mike Trout.

sori homer! 1-0, top 4.

10 HR in the last 17 games...7 in the last 10

White Sox Pirate deal? I was hoping the Cubs could get something done there.

Doug [email protected]
Alen Hanson, Pirates SS prospect, pulled from his game nearly the same time Rios pulled from this one. Coincidence? Stay tuned.

"Initially, speculation ran rampant that Rios' departure from the game meant an impending trade, but White Sox manager Robin Ventura squashed those rumors after the game when he indicated that it was simply punishment for not running out a ground ball."


Did you trade Alex Rios? No, I just yanked him from the game to damage his trade value. Soxery - it's a thing now.

It's OK, I'm sure the Sox have lots of other players that teams want to acquire.

Hugging occuring in the dugout. I haven't heard an explanation on that. I'm not interested enough to look for one either.

It's that time of the year.

Hugging occurring in the dugout...
Is the guy we got for trading Greg Maddux getting traded again?

I could really go for a Chalupa right now...

To the victor go the spoils.

j.lake 3/4 with a sb.

Send him down. That is NOT the Cubs least not this year.

Whoah there. You are not giving him enough credit. He got caught in a run down from third to home on a grounder. It was a very nice bit of Cubbery.

2ip 0h 1bb 2k for rosscup tonight...he picked off the guy he walked.

37.2ip 24h 16bb 57k...1.91 era

he turned 25 last month...just move him up already. 14k/ip...c'mon...challenge him.

Rosscup, I forget. Is this the "throw-in" guy with the Dempster trade? Or Maholm? Regardless, he's had one nice season here, looks like a legit Russell replacement (since he is rumored to be in the Texas deals).

he came over with garza...not a high end prospect...not a future closer, probably not a an ace reliever...but he's got good stuff, can work to righties+lefties, and it'd be nice if they'd challenge him.

if not for injuries he'd probably already be in AAA. this year he's been injury-free, yet still stuck spinning wheels in AA.

Sveum on Junior Lake:

From the tweet box:

“Since I’ve been here, that’s the first kid that’s come up and really looked like a major-leaguer.”

I really have little to base this on, but I just have a weird feeling about this guy, like he's gonna be around awhile.

Anthony Rizzo: "What the fuck?"

That's the first thing that went through my mind. It's a slam on every single player Sveum has seen come up. Might be true, but still...

Sveum occasionally says some dumbass things.

Nothing like the gaffs of Dusty or the shear nonsense of Lou, though.

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract

    jacos 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 6 hours 9 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 56 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 7 hours 57 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 8 hours 40 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.


    Tito 8 hours 41 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.


    Tito 8 hours 43 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.








    Tito 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 8 hours 51 min ago view