Matt Garza is everything the Yankees want. He has #2 starter stuff. He has experience in the AL East. He knows how to handle big city media. He has an extra year of control, which gives the Yankees the option of recouping lost talent with a draft pick, yet he's not so long term that he hinders their long term plan to balance their budget.
In fact, sources have said that Garza is #1 on the Yankees list.
So what's the problem?
The problem is the Yankees farm system doesn't match up with what the Cubs need. They are strong in position players with C Gary Sanchez and OFs Mason Williams and Tyler Austin. If and when Albert Almora signs the Cubs will have as many as 4 top 50 position player prospects in Almora, Jorge Soler, Brett Jackson, and Javier Baez. They have two players at 22 years old who bat in the 2nd and 3rd spots in their lineup in Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. Then there's Josh Vitters, Junior Lake, Welington Castillo, and Matt Szczur who all have the potential to be starting MLB players.
That's not to say the Cubs would turn down the opportunity to get impact players like Sanchez, Austin or Williams, but after seeing the Cubs scratch for starters beyond Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood, Jeff Samardzija and (occasionally) Paul Maholm, it's obvious their need is young impact starters. They will trade Dempster, who is 36 and isn't part of the team's long term plans anyway. Maholm also isn't likely part of their long term plans. So if they trade Garza, they need to get young pitching back. And not just young pitching, but guys with impact potential.
A couple of years ago, LHP Manny Banuelos and RHP Delin Betances seemed untouchable. Now Banuelos has been hurt and nobody wants to trade top talent for Betances, who is averaging about a walk per inning. Banuelos is still the better prospect if healthy and it helps that he's lefty, but do the Cubs really want to trade a top starter with an extra year of control for a question mark?
The Yankees most intriguing pitching prospect of all may be Jorge Campos, who like Sanchez, Austin and Williams, is at low Class A Charleston this season. Campos sits at 92-95 mph with his fastball and can reach 98. He has that intangible feel for pitching that Tim Wilken prefers and he has two other potential plus pitches in his curve and change. He also has good control considering he doesn't turn 20 for 3 more weeks. He's far away, but he's a legit frontline prospect.
The bad news is Campos has been out since May with elbow inflammation. Campos and Banuelos, the only real impact starting prospects in the Yankees system, have combined for less than 50 innings this year.
The only other alternative the Yankees would have to offer in terms of pitching are young MLB'ers like Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and David Phelps, but Hughes and Nova are part of the Yankees rotation and Hughes is the only one with mid-rotation stuff or better. At any rate, it's doubtful the Yankees want to part with any healthy starting pitchers from their MLB rotation.
Both teams have the desire, and probably the need, to make a deal here, but there may not be a great fit in terms of the Cubs acquiring the kind of potential impact pitchers they so desperately need to get in return for Garza.