As the trade deadline approaches the Cubs are getting closer to the next phase in the rebuild.
This phase could be the most important that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have faced thus far. The additions of Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood by trade, Jorge Soler by free agency and what appears to be a very solid draft (pending the signing of Albert Almora) have bolstered the talent base already by leaps and bounds.
What I’ve heard is what John laid out for us yesterday; Matt Garza is a hot commodity. It surprises me some after he has had some rough outings. However, Garza is attractive because of that player control and comp picks you won’t get with Zach Greinke or Cole Hammels.
There are some out there who believe that Garza is distracted quite a bit by his name being on the block again and not getting a deal done in Chicago. I was told Garza had hoped to reach a deal to stay put and he's made it clear he likes Chicago. Everyone knows he has a volatile personality to begin with and now he is disappointed that he may get moved once again. Perhaps it has affected his focus of late.
You wonder if they Cubs were ever really considering retaining him or if they planned on dealing him all along? Most of the talk about re-upping him very likely was posturing by the Cubs front office.
The rumors of Darwin Barney being moved are also very real. Teams like him and if he is included as a sweetener in a potential Garza or Ryan Dempster deal, it could be the chip that seals the package the Cubs are looking for. Apparently Barney is another Cub that is very bothered by a potential deal.
It’s no secret the Cubs are looking for young, major league ready starting pitching. However, look for the Cubs to also try and land a young third basemen. This could indicate how they really feel about Josh Vitters.
It’s possible they either don’t see Vitters as along term answer or just maybe not at third base.
Lastly, the Cubs will also be pushing to move Geovany Soto this month if not after the deadline. Bruce Levine reported today that then fired GM Jim Hendry turned down a deal with Pittsburgh last summer. Hendry apparently didn’t think it was kosher to deal the team’s starting catcher for the incoming new GM.
Though it could have been a good move nonetheless, Hendry sure didn’t get much back for guys like Ted Lilly when he did sell.