We interrupt the Starlin Castro bashing for a bit to look at the Matt Garza trade market. In a very timely matter, Garza has gotten as hot as a firecracker (See what I did there).
Things are lining up quite nicely for the Cubs, as they have the biggest and best trade chip on the market. Many outlets are painting a beautiful picture for GM Jed Hoyer regarding his top chip's rising value.
A dream scenario has developed for the Cubs: Matt Garza is now far and away the best starter available, and he's throwing great: 30 IP, 3 ER
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 4, 2013
I had some tempered expectations on what the Cubs could get in return just a few weeks ago. I had heard some teams weren't convinced of Garza's health and teams are just being stingier with their top prospects. I have some higher hopes myself of late (regarding return) and even a selfish motive for a big return we can get to later.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen him in two years,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He had command of his fastball down and away. He didn’t use a whole lot of breaking balls, but he had the extra velocity when he needed it.
“That’s as impressive as you’re gonna get with seven left-handers in the [opposing] lineup.”
It is almost as if Garza was pitching for his trade value itself. Texas and Toronto have headlined the rumored teams thus far in connection to Garza. However, one team in particular I would keep my eye on is Boston. They were mentioned specifically in the afforementioned ESPN Chicago.com report. I’ve been told not to understate the familiarity that Epstein and Hoyer have with both of their former team's systems including Sand Diego.
I’m certain the Cubs will deal with whatever team gives them the premium package, but there is something to be said about re-aquiring guys you have scouted heavily and drafted.
We are nowhere near the July 31st deadline you say? Well let’s take into effect the Cubs arguably (not much of one) waited too long to deal their best chip last year, bad luck or not. This is a gift of a second chance. They aren’t going to look this gift horse in the mouth too long. Sveum also pointed out the value in acquiring an impact pitcher early and getting more of a return for the prospects you give up.
CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Rich Harden were all dealt in early July.
“When you’re dealing with starting pitchers, [early deals] are going to happen a little more than other pieces,” Sveum said. “When you’re giving up prospects and things like that, you want those starting pitchers to pitch for you for more than the two months if you wait till the deadline. If you think you have a chance at the playoffs, you want them for more than eight starts or nine starts or whatever it might be.”
I usually laugh off heavy criticism of this front office’s plan and their trade returns thus far. However, I’m thinking a big win here on this Garza trade can do a lot to quiet that movement. I fully grasp it doesn’t matter at all, but let me just have that anyway, Jed. Just yesterday a Tribune poll had a majority of Cubs fans lamenting the Cubs didn't get enough for Scott Feldman, Oy.
The Cubs could really help out the organization with a good deal here, but maybe they can make our jobs easier too?