Matt Garza, Texas Ranger

Rumors be the Cubs were just waiting to see if the news on Clay Bucholz turned for the worst in a hope to get the Red Sox heavily involved. That didn't happen and now Garza is headed to Texas, a team he had nearly joined two other times (before being initially traded to Cubs and last trade deadline).

This is what we know..the Cubs are getting 3b Mike Olt and SP C.J. Edwards. They are also getting a third player that will be a pitcher and if you believe Jeff Passan's tweet, a fourth "player-to-be named later" is also part of the deal. Jeff Wilson of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram name dropped reliever Joe Ortiz at one point, but that yet to be confirmed. As we've learned many times over the last few seasons, nothing is for certain until there's hugging in the dugout.

Olt was the #22 prospect in all of baseball heading into the season according to Baseball America (Sickels gave him an A- grade, the same as Baez), but had a rough go of it in 2013. Many of his troubles were said to be rooted in a vision problem and he has hit a little better since returning from a lengthy disabled list visit, but still not quite as well as expected or hoped. Obviously the Cubs are banking on him hitting again, but he's also a skilled defender at the hot corner. In a bit of serendipity, Olt was selected by the Rangers with the compensation pick they received when Jim Hendry signed Marlon Byrd.

Edwards was a 48th round pick of the Rangers in 2011 out of high school in South Carolina. He's struck out over 11 per 9 with a walk rate around 3 over the course of 3 shortened minor league seasons. He's now with their A affiliate in the South Atlantic League (Kane County equivalent) and is playing his age 21 season. He's starting right now and features a mid 90's fastball with a "plus curve".

UPDATE #1: Passan says the third player is Justin Grimm and a 4th player will be added later. Grimm's no world beater, but he's 24 and with major league experience. A strikeout pitcher he is not, but Sickels had him at #5 on his top 20 preseason Rangers list.

Stuff has never been the issue: Grimm's fastball can hit 96 MPH and averages 92. Scouts also like his curveball, rating it a plus pitch, and his changeup, while still inconsistent, is much better than it used to be. He is very athletic, an attribute which should help him stay healthy, especially with his improved mechanics.

Grimm's three-pitch mix and ability to throw strikes could make him a nice number three starter. He could also thrive in a relief role if the Rangers choose to go that route. I had him as a Grade B- pre-season and that still seems reasonable, with some chance for a straight B.

UPDATE #2: Olt, Edwards, Grimm and a PTBNL for 2 months of Garza whom the Cubs could resign if they really wanted to next offseason. Hard not to like the deal. If you wish to extrapolate it even further, Cubs moved Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos for just over 2 years worth of Garza starts, Fernando Perez, Zach Rosscup, Olt, Edwards, Grimm and a PTBNL. Hard to say if the Cubs are losing on the deal, they'd certainly like a pitcher with Archer's capabilities and service time around right now and Lee still could be a decent regular, but it does appear that it's close to a zero-sum movement at this point...other than the last 3 seasons, but they were lost anyway.

UPDATE #3: Wittenmyer tweeted that RHP Neil Ramirez is among the pool of players that the Cubs could choose as the player to be named later. The deal gets even better. I suppose Joe Ortiz may be one of those players as well, along with others.

UPDATE #4: it's actually 2 players to be named later coming the Cubs way.

Fantastic!

UPDATE #5: According to the Rangers GM, the numbers of PTBNL's headed to the Cubs depends on whom the Cubs choose...could be one, could be two.

UPDATE #6: Slight modification to the PTBNL deal according to Wittenmyer, Cubs either choose Neil Ramirez or they choose 2 pitchers from an agreed upon pool of players.

 

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Comments

Ryan Braun admits to drug use, immediate 65 game suspension (until end of season, obviously a negotiated settlement).

Pours one out for Dino

This would have been more satisfying if the
brewers were good this year. Oh well, this is like motherfucking Christmas in July.

roids don't pay in the long run.

oh wait, he's owned $100m dollars. nevermind.

I have always believed that if you are caught using performance enhancing drugs all of your official MLB stats should be erased up to the point you were suspended. This damages Hall of Fame induction. I would like to add to that that your contract is now null and void, your service time is reset to 0, and your salary is reset to as if you were a rookie first being called up. To further add to that you will be fined 35% of your total contract that you were under which in Braun's case would be 52 million dollars.

And personally I would love to see A-rod trying to pay back 96 million dollars for the rest of his life and having no stats for consideration for hall of fame. He can really fuck off and die into obscurity and the poor house.

Wow, your head must have exploded watching Lance Armstrong through the years.

Justin Grimm last 10 games for TEX: 48.2 IP, 72 H, 48 R (45 ER), 17 BB, 32 K, 10 HR, 1.83 WHIP - 8.72 ERA - left his last start versus DET with right forearm soreness.

Gregg and Soriano, you're up next. Maybe Schierholtz...

Soriano can probably wait to happen in August as well.

James Russell says hey.

according to fangraphs, in 2007 the Boston Red Sox made a strong push to sign Grimm out of high school — he slid to the 13th round due to signability concerns — but he turned down Boston for the opportunity to pitch at the University of Georgia.

Theo, Jed, & Jason connection.

awesome trade.

given that this is a 2.5 month + possible playoff rental...awesome return. i really like "buying low" on olt given his turn around since coming back from his "eye thing." the Ks are still high, but his power and contact seem to be returning.

hopefully cj edwards can develop a 3rd pitch rather than turning into a possible closer/high-end-reliever type.

should we play squares on Josh Vitters release date?

Olt, Bryant, Villanueva, Valbuena, Baez...even Lake all about to push him aside...Candelario down the road.

btw Rusin is the unlucky bastard called up to take a beating tonight to fill-in for Garza.

the cubs fans are the unlucky bastards here...

...also, can we ban vanillawafers from every pitching in COL ever again? his stuff does not break in COL, he doesn't have a fireball fastball, and he gets destroyed there. it's not even a fair fight. wow, just checked his career there and he's only had a single positive outing at Coors (out of 5)...in 2008 as a reliever for 2.2ip. 3 out of 5 appearances he's gotten absolutely destroyed.

Sveum says there is still 100% Garza will start in Arizona tonight, but that there is 110% chance that Rusin will start.

or he'll throw a shutout against a division leader #youcantpredictbaseball

J. Lake goes yard...3-0 Cubs in the 5th.

i'm looking forward to the TOR vs LAD world series this year.

on the other side of the coin, Braun news means Cubs won't be catching them for a draft pick spot.

Hou, Mia, Mil seem a lock for top 3 spots...WSox and Twins look dismal and good bets for #4 and #5. #6 - #10 seems to be the Cubs range at the moment....

What the hell is this, NBA basketball?

if you can't win 90, might as well lose 90...there's no prize for 75 wins.

Pedroia-quote of the day in response to Buster: "Schilling wants to know why you're not hitting more HRs?" DP: "Because I'm not facing him."

bwahahahahaahahahah!!!!

John Arguello reported that the PTBNL player pool includes Neil Ramirez. Others say it's going to be Joe Ortiz. I'll take the former.

you talking about this from Wittenmyer?

1h

Confirmed deal done for Garza in 4 for 1 with Texas. Cubs get Olt, Edwards, Grimm and ptbnl from pool that includes Ramirez (Cubs choice)

Yeah, my bad. Wittenmyer. Arguello must have RT'd it.

Wittenmyer now says TWO PTBNL. Fuckin' A!

surprised navarro is still with the cubs...sure, he won't fetch a premium, but you'd think someone (like TEX, who is struggling with Soto) would want him.

it's not been a 1-month feast at the plate...he's been consistent for months.

edit - math error

oh where to begin...

Vitters, McNutt, Gillespie, Sappelt, Ransom would be where i start. Rusin, Raley, Guerrier, B. Jackson wouldn't surprise me either.

I'm sure there are others.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/rangers-complete-long-rumored-trad...

BA's take

Olt

Don’t read too much into Olt’s overall batting line at Triple-A. He entered the season ranked as the No. 22 prospect in the game, but after struggling out of the gate with vision problems, he redeemed himself by batting .247/.353/.506 with 10 homers in 158 at-bats since returning to Round Rock on June 3. Strikeouts will be a permanent fixture of Olt’s game, but that will be an acceptable tradeoff for his plus power production. He led the Texas League in home runs (28) and slugging (.579) in 2012, but he’s more than just a one-trick pony. Scouts rave about his agility, sure-handedness and arm strength at third base, and he forces pitchers to throw him strikes with a disciplined hitting approach—his strikeout-to-walk ratio was about 2-to-1 since June

Grimm

One of three rookies in the Rangers rotation at the time of the trade, along with Nick Tepesch and Martin Perez, Grimm had fallen on hard times of late, running up an 11.91 ERA over his past three starts while allowing 23 hits in 11 1/3 innings. Grimm’s fastball sits at 91-92 mph and must be located down because he doesn’t have much life on the pitch or deception in his delivery. He throws a sharp, high-70s curveball as his primary out-pitch, though his changeup and slider have made strides and project as average. Grimm competes and throws strikes, with many scouts seeing him as a mid-rotation arm. The Cubs can afford to throttle back the pressure and, if they so choose, allow their new acquisition to sort out his repertoire in Triple-A for a few weeks.

Edwards

A 48th-round pick in 2011, Edwards may be the best scouting and player-development story in the minors. Little-scouted in high school, he thrived under professional tutelage, rapidly streamlining his delivery and adding velocity during his 2012 debut in short-season ball, where he ranked among the top 10 prospects in both the Arizona and Northwest leagues. Edwards sits in the low- to mid-90s and imparts a natural cutting action on the ball due to the unique nature of his finger position and arm slot. At the time of the trade, he led the South Atlantic League in ERA (1.83) and strikeouts (122) while not allowing a home run in 18 starts, which is more impressive than it sounds give Hickory’s home park. Edwards must continue to stay on top of a solid breaking ball and fringy changeup, but his athleticism and aptitude argue well for continued refinement.

the olt situation couldn't be summed up better. while some have been flipping out about his numbers, what he's done since returning from his "eye thing" has been promising.

it'd be nice to see a better average...and there's nothing much to do about the Ks...but he's having a noticeable turn around back to form.

I was one of those that was pretty meh on Olt. Would have preferred Sardinas or Alfaro. Any word on what exactly Olt's eye issue was? Is Olt's ceiling is a Mark Reynolds type of guy?

better D at 3rd than reynolds most likely...not like that would be hard.

high K, high power, able to take a walk...

no idea what his eye issue was.

Olt can play defense unlike Reynolds...doubt he has that much power though.

Re: Olt's vision problem

"It started in Spring Training," Olt said. "It slowly got worse and worse during the season. It got really blurry when I blinked in my right eye. For a month, we couldn't figure out what was going on."

Olt went to a doctor, who discovered that the tear duct in his right eye was not producing any tears. He was given lubricating eye drops, which he now uses once a day. Olt started at third base and batted cleanup for Frisco on Friday night, going 1-for-4 with a two-run home run lined over the left-field wall in his final at-bat.

~snip~

While playing in the Dominican Republic last November, Olt sustained a concussion after being hit in the head with a pitch. He hadn't experienced vision problems before the concussion and believes that it led to the eye issues he's battled this season.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130531&content_id=49208732&vke...

there's no crying in baseball...that's no excuse.

Potential rotation pieces for next year

Tier 1: Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Grimm, Arrieta, Hendricks, Cabrera, Vizcaino, C. Villanueva

Tier 2: Rusin, Raley, Jokisch, Morris, Loux, Rhee

Talk about bringing Scott Baker back as well and the Cubs will certainly sign another Feldman type I'm guessing.

"@CarrieMuskat
Olt, Grimm to Iowa, Edwards to Daytona."

Rangers GM says the number of PTBNL's is dependent on whom the Cubs choose.....could be one or two.

nick martinez, neil ramirez, l.bonilla, o.herrera...i imagine they're in the mix as "top" guys on the list.

if you want to know what the average delusional Cubs fan thinks of the trade, go here

https://twitter.com/FacebookCubs

retweets of actual comments off the Cubs facebook page

"DISLIKE!!!! Another stupid move by the Cubs. Can anyone say another Greg Maddux moment?"

lulz...while it would be awesome to keep garza...it's going to cost mad loot and given the type of guy he is (this is not a negative) he's most likely looking to get paid and have his future secured.

nice player...but it's not the time to hand a guy like this 4/80-5/100...which is probably what he'll get (or close to it). i can't imagine him going for less than $18m a year or wanting less than 4-5 years.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me. If for no other reason than I get to say "bring him up" like, 50 times a day now, since they're getting about 30 players for Garza.

Giving 4/80 or whatever to Garza would have been too much. Pitchers are too fragile.

They still get to be the highest bidder if they really want to.

The complainers on facebook/Twitter are way out of touch with reality.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/9500209/texas-rangers-trade-ma...

claims Cubs were trying to get L. Jackson and/or M. Perez in a deal but Rangers unwillingly to move either

also says Garza signed with Cubs as a free agent, so not too sure of its accuracy.

more fun from Evan P. Grant...

https://twitter.com/Evan_P_Grant

PTBNL works this way: Cubs can choose Player A or Players B&C. There is no pool, does not hinge on performance. Simply Cubs choice.


Cubs had to accept Grimm instead of Odor after Rangers raised issues about Garza's elbow.

word over the weekend was that Cubs put the brakes on after seeing something in a medical report on one of the Rangers players...

If they'd have gotten Odor I'd have raised a big stink.

Hoyer says Vitters will play a lot of outfield...

It definitely rubs me the wrong way that Braun's suspension is coming to finish off a non-competitive year for the Brewers. In a sense it helps the team as they will be even worse perhaps and get a better draft slot.

I half wonder if the Brewers said: "If you are guilty do it now..."

baseball is better if Ryan Braun is playing...

Brewers were done this year and I'm sure the front office and Braun realized it would be best not to fight it much longer if they could get it out of the way this season. He loses over $3M because of the suspension which are intended to hurt the players, not the organizations so much...although they certainly do.

Yeah I basically agree. What prompted me to mention organizational consequences is all the chatter about how Braun dominated the Diamondbacks playoffs series (and NL MVP voting) while supposedly juicing. So in a sense it's opportune that the Brewers got the best of his juiced games and now don't really lose much (attendance and gate receipts? Perhaps.) if at all as they are out of contention and they'll probably get a better draft slot.

Gordon Wittenmyer‏@GDubCub
Cubs' PTNBL deal with Tex works like this: If they choose Ramirez, deal's done. If they don't take him, they get to select 2 from a pool.

this is a very rich return for the cubs...wonder what garza's market was.

I think we see what it was, in that the A's kicked up the offer to some degree. The Dodgers will spend anything they want. For anyone. I would have to think the REd Sox would have been sniffing around, as well.

But in all reality, the other teams "said" to be involved were just tire-kickers and would have never come up with the prospects, or the cash for a rental player.

Think of the other teams mentioned: Cleveland. Really? D-Backs? Rockies - who are under .500 and still in it? Nah.

That, and the Rangers really, really wanted Garza. If he has a smokin' year, he'll probably re-sign with them. Everybody likes to be loved.

Cubs not including any cash to the Rangers. Kind of nice for a change.

Castro seems to be Castro again at the plate.

Dinner is served

https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/359424457057648640

Sources: A's late involvement in Garza sweepstakes pushed Rangers to up ante. General sense is Cubs got great return for 2 months of Garza.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/scott-miller/22850058/hes-not-cliff-le...

bunch of generic quotes from Daniels on trading for Garza

Me thinks the A's about to lose about 300 lbs of pitching, unbelievably,due to a PED pinch.

rumor be that A's and Colon pushing that Colon already served suspension last year for his involvement and shouldn't be penalized twice...that being said, who knows if Brett Anderson will be back and you can't have enough pitching.

down goes Jason Grilli....

Gregg for Gerritt Cole sounds legit.

Gregg & Schierholtz

Cole is too much. Just Taillon will do.

supposedly just an arm cramp...sure as hell didn't look like "just a cramp" though.

c.rusin and his 88-89mph cheese looking good through 4ip

only given up an infield single, no walks, 4Ks.

Why did the umps warn the benches after Boz Skaggs hit fatty in the feet with a 70mph curve?

Edit. Lake just POUNDED his first bomb.

because navarro hit a HR in his previous AB.

navarro wasn't mad, the cubs bench wasn't mad...the ump overreacted.

Wrong way puts the curse on Edwards:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Again as O&B says its behind pay wall but you can turn off JavaScript if you are past your quota.

Ha, I must always be over quota - didn't know there was one. You can probably delete cookies, too, in that case, if you are into such things.

Tribune supposedly lets you read 5 stories a month behind pay wall. Then hits you with the stick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA_fxvbUzB0

allegedly Bryant's first hit as a Cub tonight in Arizona

j.lake...castro's range is anything with 150ft of SS.

welcome to the cubs.

rusin out after 78 pitches in the 6th...men on 1st/2nd, 0 out.

...and blake parker throws a wild pitch...for a 3rd strike.

runners advance.

...sac fly, single, popout, 3-2 chc/arz

5ip 2h 2bb 4k, 2er for rusin

fwiw...ARZ feed just showed a section of scouts at the game and one of the shots showed a semi-closeup of their paperwork.

there's more than a few scouts at the game tracking j.russell on the mound tonight.

Kaplan with quotes from "anonymous" sources

http://www.csnchicago.com/kapman/cubs-swing-fences-garza-deal

"The Cubs landed three nice pieces in the trade but all of those pieces have question marks. Olt has a great package of skills but is he healthy and will he get back to the level he was at a year ago when the Rangers wouldn't put him in a deal for Zack Greinke, that's the big question that cannot be answered for a while. Edwards has an electric arm, but if he was 6'4, 215 lbs. instead of 6'1, 165 then there is no way Texas trades him. His durability has to be a question and that is why he slipped so far in the draft. Only time will tell if he can hold up to be a legitimate candidate for a rotation spot. As for Grimm, he has good stuff but he doesn't have a deep mix of pitches and that will keep him from becoming a solid starter. If he can add an off-speed pitch to his repertoire then he has a chance, but that is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of time. Pitching coach Chris Bosio has a lot of work ahead of him," an AL scout who was involved in the Garza talks told me.

Christian Villaneuva gets DeJa Vu all over again

2 innings in a row with runners going for some f'n reason ending in a throw out to end the inning.

dale...this isn't a running team...just deal with it...accept it...live with it.

No shit. Talk about turning that inning on a dime . . . I don't think Navarro swings at that crap if the runners aren't going. The ump kinda choked on pitch 4 too. But they just looked ridiculous on that strike out throw out. Dayamn.

btw...for those without MLB EI...it's mid-season free preview time.

p.strop change of scenery win...so far...

7.2ip 3h 2bb 10k, 0r

What does it take to get an ump to make a correct call at second bass on a steal these days?

Kudos to Strop/Navarro for staying focused.

That was good stuff from Strop, who seemed to lose it just a little bit just after the bad call with those two wild pitches (well, one just couldn't get past the whale-like body of Navarro, but it tried). I liked his body english on the mound, too, when he missed the plate on one of his pitches. He has had some control issues, and it's clear he wants to fix that. That dude has some nasty stuff. Could be a really good pick up if he keeps his control under control.

good stuff from BP

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21288

While Olt has played better at Triple-A since returning, he hasn’t matched last season's form, when he crushed his way to the major leagues. He's hit for power, taken walks (14 percent), and whiffed plenty (30 percent), resulting in a .247/.353/.506 line in 187 plate appearances since his eye issue subsided. Even with those troubles behind him, scouts are down a tick on Olt this season, placing more role 5 grades than 6s. He still projects as an everyday player who will stick at third base and may benefit from a clean slate this trade provides. The former supplemental first-round pick could turn int an impact bat, hitting in the .240-.250 range with 20-25 home runs, a solid walk rate, a healthy amount of strikeouts, and solid-average defense at the hot corner.

~snip~

Grimm will be a better pitcher than his current numbers suggest, though the Cubs would be well-served to develop him in Triple-A for the time being. A fifth-round pick who signed for a well above-slot $825,000 bonus in 2010, Grimm has always flashed good stuff. His fastball sits low-90s and can reach 93-95 mph. His upper-70s curveball is a 60-grade (plus) pitch, and his low-80s changeup should be average with a bit more seasoning.

Even with his strong arsenal, Grimm's presently below-average fastball command and lfeless four-seamer will likely leave him hittable to some extent. The University of Georgia product has toyed with a promising two-seam fastball and short mid-80s slider––both of which have flashed in bursts and should help him miss barrels. He's been unable to nurture those two offerings in the results-driven major-league environment, but they will be key in how he develops. Grimm is a very strong bet to reach his no. 4 profile; he just isn’t there quite yet.

~snip~

Despite making every effort to add weight, Edwards remains quite slim, but he has shown an ability to hold velocity with workload, and has seen the fastball tick up to the 92-95 range, showing the ability to touch even higher. The secondary stuff continues to flash above-average potential, with the curve showing a tight rotation and good depth, and the overall command of the offering is very mature. It’s not a monster pitch, and as with most curveballs, the success of the pitch is predicated on the fastball being located early and often—the curveball is a swing pitch and, if hitters stay back on the ball, they can track it because of the exaggerated break. The changeup is another future 55 pitch, with good arm-speed deception from the long, loose action, and some arm-side fade. Like with the curveball, the changeup will play up when the fastball is sharp and finding its spots, and could eventually give Edwards three average or better pitches in the arsenal. Edwards could end up a solid no. 4 starter type, although the body and lack of a true plus secondary offering has some suggesting he would be a better long-term fit out of the bullpen, where the fastball could work in the plus-plus range and the lack of physicality could be marginalized over the course of a season. Regardless of the ceiling, Edwards has a very good chance to reach the major leagues some day, which is quite the accomplishment for a 48th-round pitcher from a small town in South Carolina, where he pitched in a bush league surrounded by grown men.

looking into next season...

ninja/t.wood/ejax/vanillawafers - j.arrieta - j.grimm

m.olt (righty) added to the middle-lineup mix with valbuena as the "business as usual" fallback or platoon depending on the split success/fail...

p.strop or b.parker as the most likely to close...

j.lake is making things interesting for CF (or even RF, because he has the arm for it). dejesus has a $6.5m contract with a $1.5m buyout on the line so that could make things interesting depending on what he does when he finishes rehab and what he shows finishing up the season.

@ProfessorParksAs it stands now, the could have as many as eight prospects in the Top 101. That's

Baez, Soler, Bryant, Almora, Olt, Alcantara, ???, ???

They still going to put Vizcaino up there maybe, P. Johnson I guess, maybe Edwards is that good...who am I missing?

Jameson Taillon. Or has that not happened yet.

vogelbomb or p.johnson i imagine.

Maybe one of the recent international signees?

maybe, but seems like they're too young and too far away to get rated that high...it would have to be Eloy Jimenez if it was one of them.

No idea how reliable this is (NY Post)

In dire need of a bat with thump and an indication the Yankees may believe that Alex Rodriguez isn’t going to play this season, the toothless Bombers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, The Post has learned.

According to a person familiar with the talks, the Cubs will pay the bulk of what is left on Soriano’s contract. He makes $18 million this year and the same for next season.

In return the Cubs will get a mid-level prospect.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/soriano_des...

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/12/21/3790880/new-york-yankees-top-2...
top 20 prospect list, take a flyer on Banuelos for the upside...
...maybe Austin Romine still has something. Betances was thought of highly awhile back I believe.

this is one case where i hope they're looking for a bat rather than a pitcher...their healthy pitching prospects are total ass...the injured ones aren't much better.

So they want to pick up Soriano to replace ARod? That's ironic.

Yeah, as I recall, the Yankees traded Soriano to the Rangers to acquire ARod in the first place.

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