Recent deals could impact the Cubs

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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    John, how many starts would Garza have to make this Spring to be considered healthy enough to deal?? Is it possible that some desperate team pays full or close to full price now being desperate??

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I think it'd have to be late in the spring when teams see he can go 5 innings on back to back outings. Velo has to be there too.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It's worth noting that with the new draft pick compensation rules, you can't get the pick unless that player is on your roster the entire season. This means that the value of a healthy Garza drops on opening day, all things being equal.

    This would also indicate a late-spring deal, where his value would be maxed-out

  • Should look at any angle to try to find any deal, no matter how small,
    that can help the team in any way

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'm sure they're thinking the same way. Just need to find a match on a deal that gives them better long term value.

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    If Dayton Moore is determined to clean out his minor league system to win this year, they're gonna need another outfielder and a second baseman now. Give us Bubba Starling and we'll call it a deal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Moore trying to save his job. Royals fans are tired of rebuilding. Could see more deals.

    I think Starling needs work on his swing. Upper body only and the swing is long. If he doesn't fix it, I'm not sure he gets to the big leagues. Of course, if he does tweak it, could be a superstar.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    sounds good to me Mike....I still got a feeling that Barney won't be a Cub by Opening Day

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    BTW, missed you today, John. Hope you had a good day off-ish.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks Mike. Had some company for the Bears game and then had dinner and a movie with the wife later.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How dare you take a day off!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Haha! I'll get back to work :)

  • Is there anything that could interest the Cubs from the Phillies? I took a quick look at their farm and their MLB roster and they don't have much to be excited about that they can part with... Maybe Dominic Brown and Jesse Biddle.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Meant to say DomOnic Brown.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I think they'd like to get an OF'er back. Phils have neglected their farm a bit. Brown, Ruf both could be available. I like Brown too, more upside but also some risk

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, Brown would be a good addition, although a risky one... That said, the Phillies shouldn't be the only ones bidding on Soriano and if that's the case, I doubt he gets traded... The Cubs needs several teams interested to create a market for him and increase his value as much as possible, if that doesn't happen, then they won't be getting anything real valuable for the future.

    We'll see what happens, still a long way to go... It's going to get interesting in the next 4-6 weeks... The Cubs are said to be looking for SP depth, a pen arm, another OF and a utility man that hits right and can play 3B... And the 40 man Roster is full, combine that with Marmol and Soriano being used as trade bait... There could be many more moves ahead.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Agreed. I think it's going to be hard for the Cubs to fill out their needs without making some trades.

    The Cubs could always stick with the OF and pen arm they have, I suppose. The thing is I'd like to see some real talent come back because trading Soriano is going to mean the Cubs will be even more awful on offense. Both guys have value to this team and I get the feeling teams still think the Cubs should be giving them away.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They really do have value, Marmol proved in the 2nd half he's as good as any closer in the MLB and Soriano is our main power threat and he represents more than numbers for the youngsters and provides protection for Rizzo, without Soriano, I doubt Rizzo sees anything good to hit.

    One thing I like about this FO is that they don't make trades just to get rid of players, they always go for guys with legitimate chances of being major leaguers... Even when they traded Marlon Byrd (who would've been dumped by any other team or the previous FO, for basically nothing)... They got Michael Bowden, who had a good season from the pen.

    Thanks for your input!

  • The Astros GM or manager, I couldn't hear which, was interviewed on MLB radio on Friday and he said the team was looking for a veteran who can play the outfield and DH and provide right-handed power to the middle of their line-up.

    Sound like anyone we know...

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    In reply to Quedub:

    I'm still trying to process the part where you say the Astros are trying to acquire a major league caliber player.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I know, huh? I was shocked when he said it. I nearly did a spit take when he uttered the word "veteran".

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    In reply to Quedub:

    A veteran who is willing to take the ML minimum. :)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:


  • In reply to Quedub:

    Seems like a fit but I never hear them connected with Soriano. Not sure why he's not getting more attention on the trade market.

  • I'd be okay with the Cubs trading away 2/3 of their starting OF before spring training starts.

    As you might remember, I'm a dynasty guy and would gladly trade wins in 2013 for quality talent down the road.

    Send DeJesus to Seattle. They've got a lot of good but not great pitching prospects that they would likely part with for him.

    Ship out Soriano and cash to Philadelphia, Houston, the Yankees, whoever will take him, so long as you can get something decent in return.

    Sign Reed Johnson and let Sappelt and Jackson learn at the big league level.

    Trade Garza at the end of spring training and get what you can...or, given how the Myers deal went down, would it be better to sign him to an extension first and then trade him?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Johnson signed with Atlanta unfortunately. He would have been a little redundant with Sappelt but I'd've still loved to have him back.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:


  • Hopefully interested teams will send scouts out in spring training to look at Garza's stuff because it's tough to prove much by spring training numbers. James Rusin and Randy Wells looked like world beaters out of spring training last year.

    Even if we have to wait till the trade deadline, the haul the Brewers got back for half a year of Greinke last year gives me hope. If Garza isn't dealt in the spring I'll be rooting for him to have a scorcher first half for that exact reason, despite the fact it could elevate his price if we're looking to extend him.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I think the Cubs will see quite a few scouts this spring. Mostly for Garza but a few others too

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I hope we see an army of them.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I doubt a team would trade for someone that they hadn't seen with their own eyes in the days leading up to the deal. That's not a concern.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Yeah, I'm sure they wouldn't. My thinking there is that if I don't see them in the spring, I'm gonna worry because they know not to pay attention to the numbers. Sounds like we should see a bunch though.

  • a few thoughts on this article:
    clearly this a big win for rays, but i agree this also helps the market for garza, so for that i am happy.

    a lot of people were puzzled with the royals tendering hochevar and now it looks even worse considering they have 5 other pitchers who they consider to be starters and they'll be paying him around 5 mil to be a bullpen arm with an era in the 4.5-6 range. i think the cubs should offer to absorb hochevar and his salary along with a mid level prospect in A ball. In return we will trade them a ptbnl. the royals get salary relief and the cubs get another prospect and a guy who we can plug in our bullpen and be a long man/spot starter. there might have to be a little roster shuffling with the 40 man, but i can see t/j working that out.

    i, and others, have been hoping for a little while that the cubs will trade soriano to the phillies for domonic brown, this is still true and i hope that t/j are trying to force phillys hand.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    Here's the thing I still don't get: if they Royals can take on this kind of salary, why not make a for-reals run at Anibal Sanchez (and keep Myers) before making this trade?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    i agree that the trade doesnt make too much sense, especially long term, but sanchez wants 6/90 which is more AAV and years than whats left on shields deal and shields is definitely the better pitcher. plus they do plan on converting davis to a starter and if that works out then the deal wont look as bad.

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    In reply to jshmoran:

    I'd rather have Sanchez and Myers for 6 years than Sheilds for 2 and Wade for 5. The numbers, per year, are fairly close in that case.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    i agree, im just saying that was probably kc's gm's thoughts. i also dont think that kc thinks that sanchez would sign with them and considering the money thats being thrown around this offseason i could see him getting a ridiculous deal.

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    The Rays really made out like bandits here. This is an even better haul than the package we sent for Garza. Amazing.

    This makes the AL East even more interesting.

    We need to be calling the Blue Jays up and ask if they still think they can take that division after this.

    If we can convince them that they need Garza, we could position ourselves to get Sanchez, Syndergaard, and Norris. We may have to throw in Barney but that's a small price to pay.

    And for a fantasyland-level bonus, if Soriano would agree to it, send him an Castillo for D'arnaud.

    As long as they're in "win now" mode, we need to take advantage of the prospects that aren't ready for "now." Especially with that division heating up.

    It seems like 80% of the signings going on are in that one division.

  • What's happening on the Jason Grilli front? We know Dale really likes him for the BP depth----maybe the Cubs have upped their offer, throwing a wrench in the Pitts. works?

  • In reply to TobaccopouchinIvy:

    Could welll be. I think the longer it goes on, the bigger the chance he doesn't sign with the Pirates as reported.

  • Like you said John, Garza should bring in a pretty good haul. Everything depends on spring training, if he looks like he's back, the Cubs will do anything they can to trade him. As for Soriano , who knows? I get the feeling a lot of teams won't even talk to the Cubs about him, the buzz must have gone around baseball that Soriano will veto any trade unless it's to a east coast team( e.g New York) and that he has no real desire to be a DH. That might not be all true , but I get the feeling that's now the perception in baseball now.

  • John, yesterday on the previous thread, The Sinister Urge and myself made what I'd consider to be well-thought out arguments for targeting EJax. In summary, the deal would probably be of a length that might both allow him to be part of the next contender and a flippable asset, if progress is slower. He's also a good hedge against injury to and/or underperformance by Garza. Take a look and let us know what you think.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I'd like to see it. I'll have to check out yesterday's thread. Had plans all day and was unable to check in.

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    According to MLBNR's Jim Memolo, the Cubs are still trying to work out an extension with Garza.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    That is always an option too. The Cubs have always said they'd like to have pitchers like Garza. Well, Garza is like Garza. And he's largely untradeable at this point because of the unknowns and he'll only begin to lose value once the season starts, even if he proves himself healthy.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    An extension also reestablishes his trade value as long as he's performing.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Depends on the deal, but i can't imagine the Cubs sign him for anything less than a team friendly contract at this point. Even at a friendly deal, he has to outperform it to have much value.

    Will also ultimately depend on where the Cubs are at.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    An extension now move on Garza makes sense in many respects, particularly if your confidence level in a Garza comeback is also high. Uncertainty weighs on all parties to some degree or another and a reasonable raise in '14 w/ an option and buyout could serve everyone's interest here. Garza gains $10M+ in more security and the Cubs gain a more tradeable asset and / or tie up a key player on the team.

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Agreed. At this point I'm really leaning extension.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    There seems to be one and only one viable trade left before the trade deadline -- a Garza package to the Rangers for an Olt pakage. I'd say its an outside possibility just because (a) the Rangers really, really need another top-30 starter and (b) the two teams seem to have an excellent working relationship with one another.

    Given that, I'm all in favor of a Garza extension, especially in the likely case the Rangers are skittish about the above deal. I wonder if Garza would be, though. He's already made $20 million in his career and his probably going to make another $10 million or so this year. So while the contract above would be nice, if I'm Matt Garza and I've seen the deals being handed out this winter, I don't want yet more "security," I want "payday." Which means the Cubs will be forced to dump him at the trade deadline to get anything. As the Brewers showed last year, though, that isn't necessarily the worst case scenario.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Heck, they could give Garza $20 million a year and still trade him to the Dodgers. They just gave $25 million to a mentally unstable pitcher!

    He'd be a cheap arm to them.

  • It almost seems like besides money and talent, you need a healthy past and a DESPERATE ball team.

    I hope the Cubs move Garza for a great package like the Rays got, but moving Soriano is going to be tough, because the team is so pigeon holed by the 10-5 rights....

    In Theo we Trust

  • In reply to waitingOn2015:

    That is the second part of the equation. Rays always seem to find that team first -- but it also helps that they always have surplus young pitching to deal.

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    Memolo also went onto say that the market for Garza is limited because the number of teams that want to acquire Garza and can afford the Cubs asking price is limited, and I would have to say I agree.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd agree with that as well.

  • Wow, that Phillies team is positively geriatric. I can hear those bones groaning from all the way in Central America! Soriano would be a perfect fit.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    They're built to win in 2013, maybe 2014. They need guys that can help them to do that. I think Soriano fits in well with what they need. Can only hope they do too.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, I agree. If I were a Phillies fan, I'd be terrified about keeping that team healthy all season AND about their ability/energy level at the end of the year during the final push (and in the playoffs if they make it). Utley, Howard, Rollins, Young, Ruiz, plus their pitching staff are all well on the wrong side of 30 with some of them having substantial histories with injuries. I guess their outfield is young though.

    I'm not familiar with their minor league system either, but I'd also be terrified about what happens after this year... in many ways, that team seems like a (better) version of what the Cubs had a couple of years ago... declining vets hoping to make hay.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Soriano could hit a lot of HR's in Philly. Would be fun to see him play there.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    That's exactly what I was just thinking. If he can hit 30 at Wrigley with the wind blowing in half the games I think he would be able to hit 40 there.

  • Phillies really did not give up much for Young, basically a middle of the road relief pitcher. More of a salary dump for the Rangers. Soriano should have much more value, Young had a negative WAR last season, he was brutal.

  • It really was essentially a salary dump. They did get an average bullpen arm-- which may not be much, but probably more useful to them than Young right now, especially at 16M.

  • No need for Theo to run around offering our players....let these other teams come to us.......we should never show we are desperate to trading Soriano, Marmol and this point, I do not mind if they are on the roster on Opening Day......none of these guys are a "problem child", ......Theo need to pick up another re-hab pitcher or two .....our pitching staff will grow throughout the year......I just don't want to see Coleman, Dolis or Castillo this year.......our chances would be better if Dale tossed the ball to some guy in the stands to throw an inning rather than those three enter a game.

    Who are the contenders for Garza at this point......

    Angels, Rangers, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, Braves.........I included the Braves because they might to give up some of their good young pitching prospects by July.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    I think the idea here is you don't try to get teams to take these guys off your hands They have value to the team. They have to approach it that they'll deal them only if they get value in return.

  • I was watching the Rams game at a local sports restaurant yesterday with former Cub, Randy Wells, who is from Belleville. Randy is just a class young man, I hope he doesn't mind me posting this, but I thought some passionate Cubs fans like me on this site would enjoy what he said about the Cubs.
    First, he just loved the Cub fans, they always treated him great, and he enjoyed his time with the team and the city immensely. He understood why the team was moving on without him, and was excited about a new chance with the Rangers. His arm is feeling great after surgery, and he joked that he would be able to get up over 90mph again.
    Randy said the Cubs players have a lot of respect for Dale Sveum and all the coaching staff, they really know what they are doing.
    And it was very interesting when I asked him if he enjoyed playing with Starlin Castro. He raved about Castro, said he had a chance to be a superstar player. And he said Castro gets a really bad rap from the press. He was amazed how mature he was for a 21 year old. Said he is a great kid. Often on flights or in hotel lobbies, when most of the team was joking or playing cards, Castro will be on his laptop studying how pitchers worked him, etc. Very dedicated to being a great ballplayer.
    I joked with him that he won't get to hit anymore if he makes the Rangers. He said that while he liked to hit, and thought he got better at it over the years, he will not miss facing guys like Clayton Kershaw, who throw 95 mph. Quite nerve racking.
    Good luck to Randy!

  • Great post, Cubbie Ron. We too often forget that these guys are actual people, normal people with uncanny gifts; not numbers, pieces, and "arms".

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    " Castro will be on his laptop studying how pitchers worked him, etc."

    This made me smile so wide.

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    Hi John,

    I have a trade idea I would like to run past you. The Tigers would certainly like another arm in their rotation (assuming they lose out on Sanchez and others). Their window to win is NOW. They are one of the few teams I see being concerned with whether or not Garza is a long term fit, I would imagine they (if he can display he is healthy) would love to have him on a one year rental with a compensation pick coming back. The Tigers have a bit of a log jam in the outfield now that they have acquired T. Hunter, and have blocked Castellanos and possibly Garcia now for at least two years. My question is would the Cubs consider Garza for Porcello and Castellanos? This gives us a young arm for the present and future as well as an impact bat in the lineup as early as summer 2013. The other option I would love to see would be Porcello and Avasial Garcia for Garza. In either case the tigers need to win now and a healthy Garza improves their chances of that.


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    In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    Sorry it is supposed to read that the tigers would not be concerned with the long term fit or signability of Garza.

  • In reply to Jordan Dutcher:

    If the Cubs could get that sort of deal than they should absolutely take it. That said, it's a longshot. Even a win-now team like the Tigers would have to be convinced that Garza is healthy and ready to pitch a full, productive season. I'm not sure any team is confident enough to take that kind of risk.

  • Having followed the Royals on and off for decades, I differ with those who think that the Rays made out like bandits on this trade. First, the Royals got what everyone said they needed: a top starter and another good pitcher. Second, they didn't touch their core of regulars. They still have Gordon, Moustakas, Hosmer, Perez, Escobar, Cain, Butler...guys who would start/star on other teams. Third, Myers is a top prospect indeed, but still a prospect. As one scout said, "He's not a slam-dunk". Reportedly, Myers will also sit in AAA for a while so the Rays don't give him a whole ML year on his contract. So there goes any offensive improvement for them, which was their most pressing need.
    Odorizzi has shown promise. He could be very good down the line. Monty has struggled in AAA and AA; his WHIP and K/BB ratio aren't stellar. Jury is out on him. Don't know the 3B guy, but the Rays are set there with Longoria.
    The lesson for the Cubs is that the Royals were ready to make the jump for the "big improvement pieces" while their core of young starters is maturing together. If the Cubs Plan goes as it has been going, the Cubs will probably be facing this situation in the near future, so it will be instructive to watch how this deal really pans out.

  • I always thought Myers was hyped. He has a long loopy swing, and is pretty average in the field. He hit .254 in AA ball two years ago.
    Odorozzi does not have dominating stuff, best case is he is a middle of the rotation starter, and that is far from a given. Montgomery has been a disaster.
    In the day of instant info. these prospects are getting overrated, I think we are guilty of it as Cub fans. I mean Almora looks the part, but really he is just a kid. Talent is just a part of the formula. They have to want to get better and learn to adjust.
    The only absolute is I know Shields is a good major league pitcher.

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