- 6:43 PM: Jeff Passan of Yahoo is now reporting that Garza trade negotiations have hit a snag and that the Cubs are looking at alternatives. If you check the note below, we recently heard there are more teams involved in this than have been reported, so it would appear the Cubs have options. Whether they can get a better deal is another story, but by approaching other teams, the Cubs must believe they can.
- 4:42 PM: Now hearing that there have been more teams involved in process than have previously been reported, which jives with the "mystery team" tweet. It could be one we haven't heard of. At any rate, Texas still the favorites.
- 4:08 PM: Gordon Wittenmeyer tweeted that a Cubs source said that an NL "mystery team" could intercept the Texas Rangers efforts to land Garza. Certainly the Diamondbacks and Dodgers have the ability to swoop in and make a good offer. Any other ideas?
A couple of non-Garza Updates: Kris Bryant has won the Golden Spikes Award as college baseball's best player and Junior Lake is in the starting lineup tonight playing CF.
- 1:13 PM: Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee tweets, "Matt Garza (Fresno St) trade from Cubs to Rangers is "99 percent done." Teams going over medical records now. 6 players in the mix."
- 1:00 PM: Some names to speculate on here from Gerry Fraley of Sports Day DFW (h/t Mike Moody). The usual suspects: Olt, Ramirez, Edwards, Sardinas, etc. Interestingly Fraley reminds that Ramirez has one option year left, which would be a motivator for them to trade him.
- 12:27 PM: More thoughts on that last tweet. You also wonder if a deal is nearing completion if the Cubs are already clarifying their preferences in a trade package. And is it it they didn't prefer Jackson or is it that they took Jackson off the table to try and get a better player -- one they really wanted -- in a separate package?
- 12:04 PM: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets that it was the Cubs, not the Rangers, who took Luke Jackson off the table. They had other players they liked better. That's very different than what TR Sullivan said earlier and you wonder now if some of this is that the teams are spinning a little bit. It is quite possible that the Cubs didn't like Jackson as much as some said -- and given his present lack of command and low level, that would not be surprising. It's also possible they're preparing to accept a deal and want to make sure that the media understands that they did not cave. Either way, the plot thickens.
- 10:41 AM: According to several sources, Matt Garza's agent has been told that he will be traded. "They told my agent [earlier in the week] that they were going to move me," Garza said. "They said as much as they like me they need to add inventory for the future. I want to stay but that doesn't seem possible now."
- 9:54 AM: (John and Tom): The Cubs are holding steadfast on getting Luke Jackson and are saying that they'll look elsewhere if he's not included.
- 9:36 AM: (John) MLB.com's TR Sullivan writes that the Rangers are not willing to give up RHP Luke Jackson, which may be why Neil Ramirez's name cropped up today. I asked Professor Parks' about Ramirez and he thinks that his inconsistent delivery and lack of command will relegate him to the pen, though his stuff is good enough to make him an impact late innings guy. Parks also called CJ Edwards a back of the rotation or bullpen guy. Makes me think the Cubs need to get a high ceiling guy like Luis Sardinas out of this deal if they're not going to get Jackson -- though I think the Cubs should insist on Jackson if they, like Parks, feel that Ramirez can't be a starter.
Sat night I was told the Rangers were the team that had the inside track to obtain Matt Garza.
Ever since Monday when I posted that info, we had heard other teams trying to get into the mix. However, Boston never seemed to want to meet the Cubs steep asking price. Texas has the motivation. Their pitching has been decimated by injuries and they have been trying to acquire Garza since 2011 according to Ken Rosenthal.
Texas also seems to be interested in locking up Garza after this deal. That would explain why they might be willing to pay the price. Last night John and I tried to keep you updated with the names we were getting that may be involved.
It got to the point where even highly touted prospect Jorge Alfaro got mentioned. It goes to show you just how much the Cubs think they are holding the cards. You are seeing a deal being brokered by two of the shrewdest front offices. It’s not going to go down without some dancing.
That is what apparently happened last night. CSN’s Patrick Mooney reported late that Texas could be moving on to plan B. You all know we trust Pat's stuff. Our immediate reaction was the Rangers were just posturing. I was told it was possible a deal could be slipping away at the time (due to the Cubs high demands), but in the end it appears it was, according to a source, “Just part of the dance.”
We just heard another name the Cubs are seeking in this deal, Neil Ramirez RHP from AA.
John’s quick report on Ramirez: Was top prospect in 2012. Struggled, having comeback year, may have been rushed. 92-94, plus curve, needs to refine command.
So stay tuned, it’s fluid.
Garza was on a plane to Colorado this morning but we don’t think that will be his last stop. It’s been a bumpy, fun ride but still expect to see Garza in a ten-gallon hat at the end of the day.
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