The recent chatter on the blogosphere and twitter-verse is that Matt Garza will get traded soon. There's lots of information and it can get dizzying at times. Opinions run rampant, speculation abounds, and the line between rumor-mongering and reporting gets blurred. Tom at Cubs Insider and Brett at Bleacher Nation, both of whom (among others) are bloggers I trust, and both have sources that indicate that talks are indeed going on. Dave Kaplan of CSN chimes in with,
"Hearing that talks on Matt Garza are heating up. Lots of interest because he is under control contractually for two more seasons. Price though is incredibly high so not sure if a deal gets done. Toronto, Yankees, Boston are all involved."
There is also talk from national sources such as Jon Heyman and Jim Bowden. So maybe this thing really has legs.
Among the topics being discussed and debated...
- The teams that are involved. Generally there are 4 teams that are rumored to be in the mix: Blue Jays, Red Sox, Tigers, and Yankees. Of these teams the Yankees may have the best high end pitching prospects while the Blue Jays have the most depth. The Red Sox look to have neither the top pitching prospects nor the depth to compete if the offers get too big. In fact, I wonder if Boston GM Ben Cherington may have been hinting at the Garza talks when he said, "We’re actively considering and looking at starting pitching options also, but we haven’t found one yet where we feel like the acquisition cost is the right one. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come. It just hasn’t come yet."
- The prospects involved. Bruce Levine floated the names Kyle Drabek, Deck McGuire, Anthony Gose, and Jake Marsinick from the Blue Jays which some took to mean all of them in one package. That's unlikely but it's possible that those are some of the names that are being discussed. They all fit the profile of what the Cubs are looking for -- and the Cubs are said to be asking for a lot. But whether the Jays are willing to part with one or more of these prospects remains to be seen. The rumor from the Tigers side, meanwhile, involves top pitching prospects like Jacob Turner and hard throwing LHP Andy Oliver along with a couple of position prospects.
- Garza's worth. There are some that put a lot of stock in the fact that Garza has 2 years of cost control rather than the 4 years that other recently traded pitchers have. My opinion is that it should certainly be taken into account, but I also think there are also other factors to consider. In the end, what matters is who your scouting and evaluation people think will give you the best chance to win, and there are many reasons to think Garza can be that pitcher. Stats like FIP and WAR indicate that Garza was simply the best pitcher of the group that's been on the trading block this year, and that he should be able to maintain that kind of success over the next year or so. There's also the fact that Garza has experience both pitching in the AL East as well as in a pennant race and playoff atmosphere. Teams may value Garza as simply the better fit and the better pitcher if the plan is to try and make a run in the next two years. An extra two years of cost control doesn't do you much good if you don't think that pitcher is good enough to take you over the top. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I believe cost control does matter-- a lot. But I also think there are times when it should be balanced with other factors. And those factors vary from team to team and situation to situation. Less years of control make for some risk and a shorter window, but it may be one worth taking for a team that feels the time to strike is now.
As for me, I wish I knew what the right answers were right now. The feeling is that a Garza trade is a very real possibility, but to what team and for which players are the questions everyone is asking right now.
Filed under: Cubs Rumors