Everyone was waiting for the big shoe to drop. That shoe was Zach Greinke and it dropped in Los Angeles.
Greinke got a huge deal, $147M over 6 years, as the Dodgers made a late charge and overtook the Rangers, who appeared to have had the inside track just a couple of days ago. Greinke raved about the Rangers organization and their chances of winning, but appears that in the end, money talked.
The deal itself has little to do with the Cubs as they weren't expected to pursue Greinke.
It did spur a flurry of activity, however...
- The Dodgers followed up the Greinke signing by inking Hyun-Jin Ryu to a 6 year, $36M contract.
- The Indians signed Mark Reynolds to play 1B.
- The Phillies acquired Michael Young for RP Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer.
And then there was this...Tampa and Kansas City pulled off a huge trade with Kansas City sending mega prospect Wil Meyers and two top pitching prospects, RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery, plus 3B prospect Patrick Leonard for RHPs James Shields and Wade Davis.
Shields and Davis are good pitchers with some cost control. Shields was signed through 2013 with a $12M team option for 2014 while Davis had a team friendly contract and is under control until 2017.
But it was Tampa who cleaned up here and the Cubs front office has to be smiling.
Shields and Garza are similar in terms of talent, but Garza's value isn't as high as Shields because he is coming off the injury and has one less year of cost control, but if he proves healthy this spring the Cubs should be able to get pretty good value, especially if they expand the deal.
Shield production gave him roughly a value of $40M over the past two years. If he repeats that over his next two, that represents a surplus of $19M in value over the $21M he stands to make. Davis, meanwhile is owed $7.6M over the next two years and based on past performance, that only represents a small surplus over the next two years. He also has team options over the next 3 years.
Even if teams project Garza to be fully healthy and perform as well as he did in 2011, he'll be worth about half that package. Realistically we can expect something a little less than that.
Of course, the Cubs could always add to the package, but for someone like Marmol to add value to the deal, the Cubs will have to pick up a majority of his salary. A cost controlled player such as Darwin Barney or RP James Russell could add significant value as well. The centerpiece would have to be Garza, however, and that won't happen until teams feel comfortable that he's healthy.
The other deal that had some relevance to the Cubs is the Phillies trade for Michael Young, who was absolutely awful last year. Based on production, you have to think Alfonso Soriano has much higher value on both offense and defense if the Cubs pay a big chunk of his salary.
The Phillies are still looking to make deals and are specifically searching for an OF'er and a set-up man. Perhaps there is a match to be made there.
Up until now, teams have been cautious with their offseason approach. Perhaps this weekend flurry will get teams willing and dealing -- and hopefully the Cubs find a deal that makes sense.
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