Matt Garza

The Cubs look to be comfortably back to being terrible...so terrible that Sunday's lineup is: DeJesus, Lake, Rizzo, Navarro, Schierholtz, Ransom, Watkins, Murphy, Villanueva.  Oof. And yes, that's Logan Watkins that has been promoted to take Luis Valbuena's spot, who went on the disabled list with an oblique injury. Watkins had a slash line of 243/333/379 over 412 AB's with 10 SB against 9 CS...hardly inspiring, but he seems to at least work the count. If there's much good news to be had, Yasiel Puig will sit out today after jamming his thumb against the brick wall.

But back on topic, Matt Garza said a lot of stupid things yesterday on twitter. To briefly summarize, he got beat by the A's and part of that beating included four bunts by the A's because, well Matt Garza and throwing to first base don't go together too well. The last of those bunts was by Eric Sogard and was a safety squeeze that gave the A's an insurance run, bumping the lead to 4-2. Garza, who I remind you has played major league baseball since 2006 and probably has seen a 1-run comeback or two in his day, didn't take kindly to this play for reasons unbeknownst to anyone but Matt Garza.  So he immediately jawed at Eric Sogard during the game and then took it to twitter and went full Archie Bunker.

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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.

2013 Chicago Cubs Minor League Camp drew to a close this morning, as the Iowa Cubs completed their final Spring Training work-out before flying to Albuquerque this afternnon. They willl open their PCL season versus the Isotopes Thursday night.


Matt Garza threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and no walks with six strikeouts, Adrian Cardenas slugged a 420+ foot three-run HR over the CF fence, Welington Castillo drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly, and Blake Lalli had four hits, leading the Iowa Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels AAA affiliate) on Field #3, and Casey Coleman threw four innings of one-run ball, but knuckleballer Joe Zeller was tagged for four runs, as the Arkansas Travelers (Angels AA affiliate) defeated the Tennessee Smokies 5-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League minor league game action this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ  


Anthony Rizzo and Blake Lalli hammered solo home runs, and Matt Garza threw four innings and allowed two runs, but the Giants took advantage of two costly Cub fielding errors and a 9th inning base-running gaffe to edge the Cubs 3-2 in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm & sunny Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

NOTE: Scroll down for the updated CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS (effective 3/16)

Alfonso Soriano homered twice and Brett Jackson whacked a three-run home run, leading the Cubs to an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Cactus League action at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in warm, sunny, and windy (sometimes VERY windy) Mesa, AZ, this afternoon.

I can't find the original "reports" this tweet is referencing, but some trade talks involving Matt Garza and Marlon Byrd with Jacoby Ellsbury coming over to the Cubs (and I presume other pieces would be involved). The other teams mentioned involved with Garza include the Blue Jays with names like Deck McGuire, Kyle Drabek, Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick being thrown out there and the Tigers with names like Jacob Turner and Andy Oliver mentioned. The Yankees as well, although no names have been mentioned although you'd presume Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances would be at the forefront of those discussions.

In his chat the other day, Bruce Levine seemed to indicate Marlon Byrd is as good as gone suggesting it's just a matter of time before the Cubs sign Coco Crisp or trade for a center fielder from the Blue Jays. The Nationals presumambly have some interest. I'd say upgrading from Byrd to Crisp would be a goofball move, but let's see if it actually happens.

Matt Garza heads to the DL for a "bone contusion" just above the elbow and his 25 man roster replacement, Lou Montanez finally winds up in the Cub starting lineup with a memorable night. As you recall, Montanez was the Cubs 2000 first round amateur draft pick  (3rd pick overall) as a high school SS and after a stay in Cubville East (the Orioles System), he now resurfaces with the Cubs in RF. Getting back to Garza, let me think out loud with you readers about what seems to be the problem.

From TCR's last thread:

Let me stipulate that I AM NOT A DOCTOR (but I play one on tv)...so my opinions are just based on long miserable experience with the Cubs.

Garza's injury is being reported as a "bone contusion." Correct me if wrong but in my experience that's the same as saying he has a bone fracture except the fracture has no deliniation. Also, it's in his elbow so that implies that it involves cartilage as well as bone. This doesn't sound like something that heals in a week. Contusions often take longer than outright fractures to get better.
If the Cubs bring him back after missing one more start...look out.

In Garza's situation, using the term "bone contusion" is clearly an MRI diagnosis. I do have some issues with using this term here and (hopefully) I can provide some clarifications of muddy concepts being bandied about.

 I love my headline (nope, I'm not going there, so shame on you) but you need to read on for some Serious Splainin' Lucy.


Some my own, some inspired by others...something to distract from the Jay Cutler bashing.

UPDATE #2: Make it Archer, Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Sam Fuld for Garza, Fernando Perez and and a minor league pitcher. Nothing is official yet according to Morosi.

 

UPDATE: Levine says it's Archer, Guyer, Lee, Chirinos, Sam Fuld for Garza, and a minor league outfielder and pitcher. I can't really evaluate the trade till we know the names the Cubs are getting.


Bruce Miles is reporting that the Cubs will send Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer, Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos for Matt Garza, with possible other pieces still being involved. I realize as a fan of the Cubs I'm probably a little bias towards their own prospects, but that sounds like as good or better package than what the Royals just got for Zack Greinke.

Now I realize Greinke costs more than Garza at the moment, but in terms of talents, it's not even close. I suppose there's the worries over Greinke's social anxiety issues and whether he would approve a trade to the Cubs, but he seemed to just be interested in trying to win.

On the other hand, they're just prospects and only Archer and maybe Lee have much of a chance of being better than league average players. Folks and myself have freaked out before on trade packages including prospects to eventually discover those prospects end doing nothing. But man, it's quite the stomach punch if they do end up being good.

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