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.

 

Not yet...

Although I suppose they were as close as they could be yesterday, exchanging medical information on players and something turned up on one of the Rangers pitchers that caused the Cubs to squeeze the brakes. Names have been flying around, but Neil Ramirez, C.J. Edwards and Mike Olt seem to be the hottest names of late. Jeff Passan says the Rangers also showed interest in James Russell, although no one knows if he was part of what sounded like a 6-player deal...although once again, no one knows for sure.

Rumors be the teams will continue today to try and find a fit and that nothing in Garza's medical dossier caused a panic for the Rangers.

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.

Not that there will be too many over the break, most of the league takes a vacation along with the players, but Kaplan is spinning his wheels on a Matt Garza one.

I'm hearing Garza will be traded by Sat. Cubs won't move him though until they get what they want. They won't panic out of fear of injury.

An AL scout just told me that he thinks Garza is throwing so well that the Cubs are in a phenomenal spot to land a tremendous deal.

The first tweet seems particularly contradictory, "he'll be moved...but only if they get what they want...but that's totally gonna happen by Saturday." Kaplan's got an article up as well that name drops Texas, Cleveland, Toronto and St. Louis.

- There was a rumor out yesterday about the Pirates looking at either Alex Rios or Nate Schierholtz in search of an outfielder they could control past this year. It originated from Wrongway Rogers, so you know what to do with that.

- And that's about it for now on the rumors, I'm sure a few more will be made up over the next few days. If you're going to watch the All-Star game, Travis Wood will be there and allowed to pitch, although I imagine the Cubs politely asked Bochy that he finds a way to not get him in. Max Scherzer and Matt Harvery will start the game.

UPDATE: Bryant has indeed signed at slot value of $6,708,400, according to Sullivan. That would put the Cubs at $10,743,400 and $186,900 over and would still have $340,925 to play with before having to worry about losing a draft pick.


So a few weeks back, Jon Heyman must have been starved for a story or gets paid by the headline and decided to freak everyone out with some alarming piece about the Cubs and Bryant seemingly miles apart in negotiations. The rest of the sane world realized that this is Scott Boras and he'll wait until the last possible minute and get the most money he can out of the Cubs, but the odds were quite low that it wouldn't get done.

Lo and behold, Heyman is back today saying that the Cubs and Bryant are nearing a "record" deal. The deal isn't done yet and the details are scarce, but earlier reports were Bryant wanting over $6.7M which was the slot value, while the Cubs wanted to pay more in the $6M range. Now the Cubs can go as high as $7,049,325 by my calculations and still stay withing the 5% penalty that would cost them just a tax. Any higher and they start losing draft picks. BUT...they allegedly already signed 24th round pick Tyler Alamo and 12th round Trevor Clifton and both were expected to land deals over $100K which will go against the bonuss cap. An earlier story on Clifton's signing said he wanted 3rd round money and got it (anywhere between $490K to $747K). So it remains to be seen what Bryant will get, but I'm putting the over/under at $6.5M.

As for the "record' portion of the report, I'm not sure what that is in reference to. I believe Stephen Strasburg currently owns the bonus record at $7.5M and it's highly unlikely that the Cubs will top that because that would end up costing them a draft pick next year. Maybe it's a Cubs record that Mark Prior currently holds at $4M (although Soler received a $6M bonus, but he wasn't drafted). Or it's a record for baseball since they installed the cap, which Mark Appel currently owns at $6.35M. Why would the Cubs pay more for Bryant? Well leverage is the key, Appel had less as a college senior unless he wanted to try independent ball route that Luke Hochevar manuevered a few years back into a higher deal. Bryant though, as a college junior, could head back to San Diego and hope he gets picked #1 next year and get whatever #1 slot money is in 2014, which does adjust for inflation.

Lets see what a post on my iPhone looks like...apologies in advance.

So the Cubs have moved Scott Hairston and his 2-year deal and a player to be named later for RHP Ivan Pineyero and a player to be named later. Pineyero was good enough to be named to the South Atlantic All-Star team this year. Beyond that check out the comments in the earlier post or the wonderful powers of Google if you care to learn more. Suffice to say that since this involves Hairston, the players involved aren't going to be huge difference makers. The Cubs will pay some of Hairston's 2013 deal, but Nationals will take on his 2014 commitment.

After a nice little run where the Cubs took 6 of 9 versus the baseball bottom-feeders (Astros, Brewers & Mariners), the Cubs are back to playing the major league teams and have promptly dropped 3 of 4 including yet another loss to Fransisco Liriano this afternoon. 3 More months of this fun...

Busy morning in Cubville...to the news ticker!

The Cubs have dealt RHP Scott Feldman and C/INF Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for Brian Roberts.

I keed!!

It's for RHP Jake Arrieta and RHP Pedro Strop and some international pool money (more on that in a bit).

Here's the pertinent details...

For the first time this season the best farm system in organized baseball comes to town as the suddenly first place Iowa Cubs scoot home from Omaha for a three-game set with the Memphis Redbirds that culminates with a pyrotechnic exclamation of patriotism on Independence Day Eve.

- Ricky Nolasco got shelled versus the Padres last night, one of the teams rumored to be in on him in trade talks...whether that will stunt his value or not remains to be seen, but it certainly didn't help it in any way.  After Garza got himself injured before the Cubs could deal him last season, you kind of hope a deal could be had before Garza's next start on Wednesday versus the A's.

- Buster says the Dbacks and Cubs did talk Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs asked for Archie Bradley and/or Tyler Skaggs and then the talking was done. I presume it must have been both, as he then tweets that the "perception" is that the DBacks would move Tyler Skaggs in the right deal.

- The Cubs were among many teams scouting Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez...rumors be it'll cost upwards of 4/40M (or more) to sign the 26-year old Cuban lefty. The Red Sox and Dodgers seem to be the main competition.

- Speaking of international signings, Baseball America has been big on suggesting the Cubs will look to add some international pool money in some of these trades. Theo said it's something that could happen, but the Cubs' international signing "plan" doesn't require it.

- Nick Cafardo says 3 teams are showing interest in Carlos Marmol. There's always the possibility the Cubs may get someone else's cast off while still paying Marmol the rest of his salary minus the pro-rated version of the minimum.

- Last and certainly least, the Giants are looking for a RH outfield bat...someone like Alfonso Soriano circa 2012.

 

A few weeks back, Jorge Soler fouled a ball of his shin...a seemingly common occurrence in baseball that carries little consequence past the few moments of stinging pain for the offending party. This being the Cubs and all, the foul ball sent Soler to the 7-day disabled list of which he returned off of this week. The leg still hurt though and now it's being reported that he has a stress fracture and will be out 4-6 walks and possibly the rest of the season. Oh Cubbery...you strike in mysterious ways! Soler will of course miss the Futures Game as well over the All-Star Break, which him and Arismendy Alcantara were named to the World rosters.

TheJedi took away some of the Blackhawks thunder this morning by finally ridding the Cubs of long-time heart attack-in-waiting, Carlos Marmol. The Cubs will have 10 days to trade him or he'll be released, either way the Cubs are going to be on the hook for the bulk of the rest of what he's owed (around $5M). They also announced that the suspension of Ian Stewart was upheld and he's been released as well. There were earlier rumors that the two sides were discussing a settlement, so I'm unsure if he'll get all of the money still owed to him or just a portion. Brian Bogusevic is the next up on the Price is Right and will take Marmol's spot on the 40-man.

Undoubtedbly the Cubs wil be selling as the July trade deadline approaches with Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, Kevin Gregg & Nate Schierholtz being the most likely chips on the table. There certainly may be others, but those players make the most sense. Let's take a look at some potential trade partners:

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