The latest on Matt Garza and other news and notes

The latest on Matt Garza and other news and notes

How about some news and notes for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  It's been awhile since we've updated you on what's going around the web.

The Futures Game

The Futures game starts at 1 pm and can be seen either on ESPN2 or  Cubs rising star prospect Arismendy Alcantara is in the starting lineup and will bat 2nd and play 2B for the World Team.  Jorge Soler is also on the team but he will be unable to play because of a stress fracture he suffered at the all-star break.

The Futures Game is one part of the prospect/minor leagues that MLB markets well and it's a chance for many to see some names they've only heard and read about so far.  It's too bad Soler can't play and that Javier Baez just missed being added to the roster.  This would have been a great showcase for Cubs prospect fans.

Matt Garza Rumor Mill

After another strong performance, the buzz on a Matt Garza trade continues to intensify.  Several insiders are chiming in on what teams are the most in on the Cubs talented RHP.

  • Bruce Levine reports that it's the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays who were in heaviest on Garza last season and both teams are still watching him closely.  It's hard to imagine Toronto being all that interested unless they get a window to negotiate a long term deal with Garza.  Garza would likely want a place to settle down and raise his family, so I think he'd be amenable to something like that.  As for Texas, Levine speculates that Mike Olt would likely be a part of any deal.
  • Buster Olney tweets that the Orioles are out on Garza, but that's no surprise.  They never had an inclination to give up top prospects, in part because of their thin system.  They thought it would be too costly in terms of prospects. We know that they didn't want to discuss IF Jonathan Schoop or LHP Eduardo Rodriguez -- and it's likely the Cubs will surpass that offer anyway.  Olney also tweeted that last night's start would likely be Garza's last as a Cub.
  • Ken Rosenthal states that the Cubs continue to talk extension with Garza but also thinks the Cubs are likely to deal him before his next start.  Curiously, he also says that the Cubs would be willing to accept a smaller prospect package if a team offers to pick up part of the tab.  I have serious doubts about that. Rosenthal is well-sourced but it doesn't mean he doesn't get planted info that is inaccurate from time to time.  As far as teams involved Rosenthal list the Nationals, Red Sox, Dodgers and Rangers as the most interested suitors.  He also previously mentioned the Cardinals -- which would be great for the Cubs in that they have great pitching prospects, not so good in that they'd improve their rivals rotation.  I don't think that's a realistic option.
  • Lastly, from Garza himself, he is realistic about getting traded but he admits it's going to be tough to leave the Cubs.  The feeling is mutual from our standpoint, but Garza understands it's a business.  If the Cubs can improve their long term future by trading Garza, then that's what they need to do.  He remains 50/50 on the possibility of re-signing.

Odds and Ends

  • There's been rampant speculation that Nate Schierholtz not being the lineup is in part because of an impending trade.  The Cubs are saying "bumps and bruises" which gives them a solid reason for giving him some rest while also allaying any fears about his long term health for this season.  We have heard from good sources that the Cubs aren't shopping him, but that doesn't change the fact that some team see him as a desirable asset.  If the Cubs can get value in exchange -- or if he's the piece that sweetens the deal on a larger package, then the Cubs have to listen.
  • There was also speculation regarding Brett Jackson because nobody seemed to know where he's been lately.  it turns out that he's rehabbing in Arizona from a calf injury.

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  • I read an interesting stat on WAS yesterday: they're 13-24 in games not started by their big 3(Strad, JZ, Gio). I had discounted them as a serious bidder for Garza but Rizzo is aggressive and doesn't let problems fester for very long. Given the injury histories of their top SPs, they have to maximize every season of opportunity.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I think they're a darkhorse in this. If Rizzo decides he wants Garza, he won't be shy about outbidding others.

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    been looking at the Rangers' blog, it seems rangers fans are still holding Olt as being virtually untouchable, looking for Garza + other return for Garza. Personally I don't see why we'd even still be talking about Olt. We're not as desperate at third as we were last year, and with his hitting problems I wonder if we're just asking for another Brett Jackson/Ian Stewart situation with him (not talking about Stewart's attitude, just his hitting).
    Cubs are currently clearly a .500 team. We'll need both relief and starting pitching next year, that should be the focus on the Garza package, unless of course someone wants to offer a can't-miss position player. Mike Olt ain't one of those.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I don't think that's true at all. What's blog, do you have a link?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    lone star ball

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree w/ SK. I too have read LSB and was surprised that he received the highest # of votes for the blog's (LSB) mid season overall top prospect. This can be confirmed by the following link:

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Odd how hometown blogs and those who post always seem to overvalue the home team's systems. Who would think that?

    Olt is a far better hitter than Jackson and Stewart. Plus, you are talking about acquiring long term assets. Not every player you acquire is going to play in the majors, or rather, start. An over abundance of players at one or more positions will always work itself out, i.e. it's a good problem to have and a bridge to cross when you get to it. Still, if the offers are between The Rangers and Olt and another team dangling pitching, the Cubs likely will take the pitching, providing it is a prospect of comparable value.

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    In reply to Jivewired:

    "Olt is a far better hitter than Jackson and Stewart."

    2012 + 2013 .190 BA, 30% strike-out rate, 3 HR, .712 career OPS. How much better? are we still looking for 2011 Mike Olt to appear, like we did with Stewart?

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding this Post, but Olt absolutely crushed just last year in AA. 28 home runs and 977 OPS.

    I'm not guaranteeing he's destined for stardom or anything but he had better numbers in 2012 than 11.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    You're telling me over the past two seasons Olt has hit only three home runs? I see 28 home runs last year and an OPS of .977. Maybe you wanna know your content before you start shooting out ridiculous rebuttals. And where did you get "career .712 OPS"?

    Olt was the #22 prospect in ALL OF BASEBALL coming into this year. I have a hard time believing the Cubs would get Olt AND Perez for 2 1/4 months (12-16 starts, tops). But you keep holding out for somebody better.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    They always do, don't they? I'm going to try real hard not to do that when it's the Cubs turn to buy!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Wow, what a shocker a hometown blog over valuing their players/prospects....LOL.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    I'm really not all that interested in Olt.
    Granted, if he's part of a package with a really good young arm, I wouldn't turn it down.
    But with the glaring imbalance of position players versus arms, I'm really hoping for a better deal.

    I just think Texas doesn't want to sell low on him.
    However, the appeal of Olt starting at 3B for the Cubs next year, and being used as a trade chip once Baez/Alcantara are ready would be really beneficial.
    I just don't see him as a headliner for Garza.

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    sorry, meant Garza + other return for Olt

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree, with Villanueva, the new kid and possibly Baez in the 3b future, I'd rather get pitching.

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    In reply to SKMD:

    Why do the Cubs have to package another player to get more for Garza? It doesn't make sense. Teams that are looking for Garza are looking for a difference maker SP, not a difference maker SP and...........

    Some teams may need another player. Last year the Marlins had to give DET Sanchez and Onfante to get Turner. But DET needed a 2B. These teams that are talking to the Cubs do not need a throw in, so a throw in holds no value and in fact lessens the return value of the overall package, so stop looking at it as an enticement to increase the value of the return for Garza. You could get more for Schierholz or DeJesus trading them separately, because Texas, Washington, St. Louis and Boston and whomever else is "in" on Garza do not really need help in the OF. And the teams that need OF help and are looking at Rios or Schierholz probably will not pay up to get Garza as well.

  • Daniels is trying to play hardball, I'm sure. I'd prefer to deal with Rizzo. He's like Kenny Williams , if he wants somebody , he'll determine fair value and pay up. Daniels is always trying to " win " the deal.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Daniels did allow cubs to remodify the Dempster deal last year

  • In reply to nkniacc13:

    I'm not saying he's unethical. They're "in" on every big name that hits the market but don't make that many deals. He seems to kick the tires on everyone but only moves at his price. Certain GMs(Rizzo, Towers, Kenny W,even Reuben) decide they want/need someone and don't mess around. They'll trade value for value. Olney wrote an interesting article about GMs views of each other, two years ago.Hendry was another one who fellow GMs said bargained in good faith.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I like dealing with Daniels.
    Giving up Loux as compensation for an injured Brigham was a class-act move.

    Although, I agree that Rizzo will overpay more so than Daniels.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    I like Daniels as well. One of those guys who will deal fairly. Funny how teams that are willing to give up value - i.e. Texas, Atlanta tend to be consistently successful teams.

  • Maybe a good time to buy low on Olt

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    As great as the Cards system is, I can't imagine them letting go of any of their pitchers in the top 100 and I couldn't possibly be less interested in Kolten Wong.

    Olt+Perez would be kinda interesting but considering Olt's struggles, there would have to be a better package put together than the one the Rangers were NOT willing to pull the trigger on last year.
    with the recent surge of Catchers in the draft, I'm sure Theo would be interested in Jorge Alfaro.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I don't know about not giving up top 100, because teams evaluate their own guys differently, so what I can't see them giving the Cubs guys they think will be studs -- maybe top 100 guys, but guys who they think, in their own evaluation, may end up as relievers.

  • I really hope that a Garza trade doesn't bring back relievers. Garza is your biggest chip and if you put Schierholtz in a deal with him that gives the team acquiring him a player they have for next year.

  • Was watching the KC game and according to announcers, Scott Baker's fastball was in the 90-92 mph range, in the first inning he was basically only throwing fastballs and then started to mix in his pitches, it seems he needs to work on command and getting a feel for his secondary pitches.

  • I personally would love to see Garza on next year's Cubs team,.... but if you get a good offer for him in trade this season - you're stupid to not trade him.

    Many things the current Front Office may be,.... but I suspect stupid is not on that list.

    Also personally - I would love to see Schierholtz roaming RF again next season.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Neither will be easy to replace.

  • Also, Olt strikes out a ton, even when he was mashing at AA. Seems like huge bust potential

  • If the Cubs do get olt in a Rangers trade I fully expect that they will trade a 3rd baseman before next year.

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    I think the Cubs already has the #1 SP in Garza....Good pitching is hard to come by and Garza fits in great with the teams new attitude and is pitching great now. We wont get any better players
    that what Garza is and can be for the next 5 years. EXTEND THAT MAN NOW! By the way, I was in LC bleachers last night and had the time of my life with my brother from TN. "Helmet Nachos" RULE!

  • In reply to freeagent24:

    I still worry about keeping Graza healthy. Cold beer rules!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Cold beer at $7.25 does NOT rule!

  • In reply to freeagent24:

    Those helmet nachos are awesome! Gonna get some when I go see the Cubs play the Reds Aug 14th.

  • Re: Brett Jackson
    With all the cows in Iowa, you're bound to get some calf injuries. }

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ugg,.... I hate bad puns,.... Luckily that was a good pun.

    Well Done Sir!

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:


  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    HEY HEYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!

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    Is it just me or does the ESPN 2 coverage of the Futures Game stink?

  • Are we still clamoring for Mike Olt?

    Didn't we just spend a 1st round pick and 6.7 million on a future 3rd baseman. Javier Baez is on the way, Christian Villanueva is still loved by Epstoyer.... we need a fourth 3rd prospect? He's played 3 games in the OF.....but 9 hr. 88k's to just 30 walks........yeesh. I don't know. For Gregg maybe. But he's the second player in the deal for Garza....right?

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    In reply to felzz:

    I would want a minimum of 2 high quality SP prospects for Garza. Not interested in adding more hitters, especially at a position we're now loaded at.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Bryant may never play 3rd, not a lot of 6'5 third basemen.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    No but we also have Baez, Villanueva, Alcantara, Dustin Geiger, and others. Olt is struggling mightily at AAA.

    But regardless, if they're going to deal Garza they HAVE to get to SP prospects back. We have a million good hitting prospects, we have very few SP prospects of any value, especially at AA or AAA. Our rebuild is going to take forever if we have no pitching.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Always about collecting assets. Both Bryant and Olt are capable of playing the OF really well, though Olt is the better defender of the two at 3B.

  • In reply to felzz:

    And Jeimer Candelario looking good at Kane County...

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    In reply to felzz:

    ^ thank you. ^

  • In reply to felzz:

    This years Brian Roberts, we don't need this player, we just signed our future 3rd baseman.

  • Neil Ramirez would be part of any Garza deal. He's making a nice rebound.

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    I think most baseball fans watching the Futures game would prefer to hear Keith Law and other "prospect guys" talk about the players instead of the announcer and Sutcliffe.

  • Jake Arrieta 3 innings of 1 hit ball so far, no walks, 5 K's... 93-96 mph fastball.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Nice. If he gets his control he will be a great buy/trade low player the Cubs will have gotten.

  • I agree felzz if Olt is in a deal for Garza he had better be a 2nd or 3rd player not the top player in this deal. 1 because of his flaws but more important to me is because the cubs need pitching you have the best pitcher on the market now you have to get your biggest need which is starting pitching

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    In reply to nkniacc13:

    Olt will soon be 25. That's very old to have not had any success in MLB if we're talking about somebody we hope will be a fixture at 3B or in the OF. It's very, very unlikely he suddenly blossoms into anything close to a star-caliber player.

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    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    What do you do if you are blocked by Adrian Beltre?

  • i don think that olt is a theo/jed type of guy, but i do think its possible that if they acquire him they plan on doing a rizzo-cashner-like trade and move olt for a top pitching prospect. if we make a deal with texas this is what i am hoping happens.

  • Totally agree with you on the Blue Jays, John. Considering where they are in the race, it makes no sense for them to look at Garza.

  • I can't imagine getting much more than Olt and Perez for Garza, and I kind of like it. Perez could go straight into the rotation and Olt could very well be starting at 3B next year. 2 team controlled players that could turn out to be real good and are basically major-league ready. Sounds fair to me. Maybe one more low-level guy as a throw in?

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    In reply to Denim Dan:

    Olt is hitting .209 in AAA and his K/BB ratio has soared to almost 3/1. .386 slg percentage. He's having a miserable year.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    Yeah, I agree that's pretty suspect. It is his first season there, however, and his AA numbers were fantastic last season. You may have a point as far as that marring his value some, ultimately. He is going to strike out a good deal, we know that.

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    In reply to Denim Dan:

    It's his first prolonged slump, but it is half a season long. His power has declined, his walks have gone down and his k's have gone up. It has to make scouts wonder about his long term potential.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    Right, people are crazy if they think Garza is going to bring back multiple top 100 prospects which is what would happen if Olt was the 2nd or 3rd best player in a deal.

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    Woohoo! Alcantara turns on one and takes it out.

  • Alcantara! Solo shot!

  • fb_avatar

    Alcantara homers into the 2nd deck!!

  • Holy moly what a shot by Alcantara!!

  • Alcantaarraa!!

  • That was a freaking bomb from Alcantara

  • I'm not excited about Ott and as someone said Garza is better than Sanchez. What would it take to sign him?? Is there any other reason that they don't want to resign him? How many pitchers project to be better than Garza in our system? If we trade him will we be able to get a better player in return for a half year rental? I'm confused why they are so determined to trade him unless his demands are insane.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    Sanchez brought back Jacob Turner. Cubs should demand similar value.

  • Arismendy Alcantara just hit a home run in the All Star game. I can see him at second base in the coming future. Barney should be looking over his shoulder.

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    Upper Deck smash. Damn!

    He has some pop!

  • In reply to EasternCub:

    I will be interested to see if he goes to Iowa this year. If he does I think Watkins gets moved.

  • Can't wait to see what the team will look like in 2014/15. I hope
    someone will offer the right prospects so Garza can be traded
    before something bad happens.

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    At first, it seemed unlikely to me that the Cubs would take a less-attractive package for Garza if a team picked up more of what he is owed for 2013.

    However, I think it's clear that the Cubs aren't getting offers much better than what they think they could retrieve via a comp pick by making him a qualifying offer. So maybe they are trying to get the best deal they can get plus the additional money.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    The scenario you propose "doubles" in value if you believe you have a decent possibility of signing him to a FA contract post-season.

  • If you haven't seen Alcantara before, that was a good example of what I mean about those quick hands/strong wrists.. He makes hard contact seemingly with little effort.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    John and others, if you had to pick one player from the minors you're most excited about based on this year's performance, who would it be? I think I would go with Alcantrara, especially given his improved approach at the plate.

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Based strictly on performance (as far as top prospects) you can say Alcantara, but Baez making it to AA at age 20 and hitting 20 HRs at midseason might top it. Almora would be up there too if he had more ABs.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He's a little guy, but built with strong lower half as well. The double play ball he hit from the right side was a smash also.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    He did make hard contact -- just right at the guy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    The power of an IF like Rizzo, Alcantara, Baez, and Bryant would be amazing.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    That's potentially a monster lineup -- and you didn't even mention Soler.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Yeah, Soler, Lake, and Almora in the OF. Power, speed, and high OBP... that's the ticket.

  • John - are we nearly ready to start including Alcantara in with the BIG 4??

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    In reply to Illini88:

    Do you think his ceiling is high enough to put him in that group? If he's going to be projected at second, I guess that's not as crucial.

  • Look like we found our 2nd baseman for late 2014?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Very good chance for that.

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    I'm not exactly huge on comps but the Jimmie Rollins comparison sounds about right for Alcantara.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I'm thinking Hammering Hank.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Which Hammerin' Hank? Sauer, Bauer, Aaron, Blalock, or ... Aguirre?

    Arismendy Alcantara looks and sounds like a Ball Player. Good exposure for him today too.

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    There are times where you're watching Arrieta pitch and you think "late-inning reliever" and then there are times where you're like "why isn't this guy a #1 on some team?"

    Today is the latter. He is filthy when he repeats his delivery. I look at him right now and wholeheartedly see a #1 pitcher. Might be different next time out but today he looks like an ace.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Just hung a curve that was crushed for a HR. All he needs is consistency.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Of course right after I post the comment he does that :) all about consistency with him.

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    That is a interesting comp. !! If he comes close to Rollins , the Bleacherbums will be overjoyed.

  • - Do not want to trade Arrieta
    - I always hear "take the best guys available", but it seems we have a lot of 3B options in the system. Are we projecting Olt as a 3B/LF/1B or just a 3B?
    - Garza could go to someone in the division, with a wink nod agreement that he won't sign an extension with them. However, that's risky from many standpoints.
    - I'm amazed at the lack of news regarding possible trade packages for Garza. Does anyone know what the Cubs are asking?
    - If you could have one big time young player not named Trout or Harper, who would they be, and who would you give up to get them?

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Giancarlo. Anybody.

  • Ra ra ra, Alcantara!

    Would like to see him and Baez stay together so the DP work around the bag becomes second nature. Maybe Baez won't stick at short, but who knows.

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    SP Kyle Crick, SF prospect and rumored to be a Cubs target at one point is now pitching in the Futures game.

  • Why we would the FO want a severely under performing 25 year old prospect who is having a horrific year. He is old, does not play great defense and the Cubs are stacked at 3B , Baez, who will go there, Bryant, Candelario. . . . . doesnt make any sense, and I suspect Bruce Levine is basing this assumption on last years reported deals, but the Cubs have filled that hole and wouldn't plug it with a under performing 25 year old anyway. . .

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    Cleveland has been mentioned as a possible landing spot , how about a package built around Danny Salazar?

  • I mean seriouslly Bruce, the guy is batting 209 and has 88 Ks in 215 ABs. That is a 40% strikeout rate. . . and there is nothing to suggest that trend ending. This guy sucks and the Cubs know it, and are not trading their best chip for a position they are stacked at, and even if they would good grief it wouldn't be this clown. Rant over.

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    Folks might be hung up on the "Olt" part of the deal. Martin Perez would be the part that interests me. Be nice to add another lefty to our rotation. Olt would be the sweetner, imo.

    Since it looks like the Cubs and Garza cannot come to an agreement, the better question would be is Martin Perez better than any comp pick we could get if we held Garza and he denied to take a qualifying offer after the season is over?

    The debate should start there. Because it's getting to be obvious that the Cubs won't get a "home team" discount to keep Garza. After we decide if Martin Perez is worth it we should really see if any other clubs want to top that offer.....

    Wouldn't this be a better way to evaluate what Garza's worth is for 2 months of service?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    What is Cleveland willing to give with. We hear Salazar but who is the sweetener? Could be a good deal for us as well.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    My feeling is that Cleveland is fading out of the picture right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree John, it's combination of the Indians really not being that deep and the Cubs not being that in love with the Indian prospects...IMO.

  • MLB Trade Rumors says the team just informed Garza that he is likely to be traded. What is the sense in that?

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    If true, to keep Garza and his agent informed throughout the process.

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    Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 11m

    #Cubs DFA Henry Rodriguez

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Henry has potential,.... and one heck of a heater,... I liked him when he got a look-over back a season or two ago by my (current) hometown Nationals,... but Henry isn't consistent enough to be a 40 man roster guy at this stage.

    Wonder who the space is getting cleared for?

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    It was clearing a pitcher to make room for OF Gillespie. Sveum said a few days ago they would carry an extra pitcher in Hairston's spot while the bullpen gets a break. It must mean Gillespie is dressing for tonight's game.

  • In reply to Just Win:

    THX - missed the Hariston trade while on vacation. Makes more sense.

  • clearing spots on the 40 man

  • By sometime next year we should have a new "Latin connection"
    around ss and 2nd for many years to come. The international
    market will give us many our starters of the future.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Most of our top hitting prospects are latin, it's nice to see us scouting, signing, and developing good players from a region the Cubs weren't very good at for decades.

  • I'm still hoping they will ink Garza to an extension, but since we have no idea how the discussions between the FO and Garza have gone, it's possible that they don't have much of a choice and feel they have to trade him. I just hope they can get at least one elite pitching prospect for Garza if they deal him. I don't see the need for Olt and have some reservations about a guy who will be 25 next month and is having a poor season in the minors after a horrible debut in the majors last year. If Olt is part of the package, I hope they already have a deal worked out to trade him for a future ace.

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    In reply to WSorBust:

    The FO has already informed Garza that he should be ready for a trade. That's a pretty good indication from the FO that an extension will not happen.

  • In reply to WSorBust:

    Olt would not be the center piece of any deal.

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    In reply to KGallo:


  • In reply to KGallo:

    I hope it won't be Perez and Olt either. Perez is young, but his minor league numbers don't impress. Garza is a proven TOR guy and that rumored package that was supposedly on the table last year isn't worth it IMO.

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    You know, LAST YEAR if the Cubs would have traded Garza for Olt straight up most of you would have been crapping candy corn and peeing Mountain Dew in excitement.

    Olt has value. Ron Shandler of Baseball HQ is a guy I really respect. His philosophy is that once a player establishes a tool he never loses it. With Olt, there was an injury, a concussion I believe, that affected his eyesight temporarily. And please, stop with the strike outs, the Cubs first round draft pick will strike out just as frequently.

    Me, I have a hard time believing that Olt would come to the Cubs for a half a season of Garza. It is a sellers market, but the Cubs better move fast, because after the break they may break up the Phillies and Giants.

  • the eye condition was that his eye wouldn't produce any tears/moisture so He was having blurred vision in his right eye. Corrected now with special drops, since his batting average has climbed from the .150s to over ..200 , He would be a nice get for a rental.

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