The latest on Matt Garza: Could the Cubs get these 3 players from the Giants?

UPDATE 3:47:  Gordon Wittenmeyer tweets that there is no teeth to the Garza extension rumor.  They were just covering their bases and the conversation went nowhere.  Anybody surprised here.  This is pretty much what we expected and kudos to Wittenmeyer for debunking the rumor.

With's some fun trade speculation regarding Garza and a team that we know is scouting him.  We also know from multiple sources that the Cubs are scouting the Giants farm system.

Based on what we've heard the past couple of days -- click here in case you missed it -- the Cubs and the Giants have a mutual scouting relationship going on right now.

Tom has heard that the Giants will have a top scout to watch Garza's start tonight while we have heard internally that the Cubs have had scouts at various levels of the Giants system.  Today I communicated with  Justin Gallagher, editor of the San Juan Star, via Twitter (follow him here) and he told me that the Cubs had scouts to see 21 year old LHP Edwin Escobar's start last night.  He described Escobar as" a pitcher with a big time arm with swing and miss stuff".  Escobar is a bit of a late bloomer who tweaked his mechanics a bit and added some life to his fastball, which now sits around 92-93 mph.  He also throws a very good change and has shown advanced command and the ability to miss bats.  He also keeps the ball down and in the park.  His weakness --  and if you've been reading us lately then you already know what's coming -- Escobar needs work on this breaking ball, which is more of a slurve right now.

Escobar is 3-4 with a 3.01 ERA but, more impressively, has struck out 11.09 batters per 9 IP while walking just 2.05/9 IP.  As mentioned, he keeps the ball in the park, allowing just 0.36 HRs/9IP and his FIP is a ridiculous 1.98.

Does this guy fit the Cubs profile or what?

Gallagher also told me to keep an eye on a pitcher named Ty Blach.  I'm less familiar with Blach, but Gallagher gave me this report,

Outstanding command, fastball usually sits 91-93. Good change up. His command stands out. Cal League is a notoriously offensive league. Throws a ton of strikes, guys haven't hit him.

Blach is a 22 year old LHP pitcher in the aforementioned California League.  Blach has walked less than a batter per 9 innings (0.90) while striking out 8.13 batters per 9 innings.  His FIP is outstanding at 2.31.  That is an incredible walk to strikeout ratio and that along with the FIP are certainly numbers that bode well for him as he moves up the system.  His traditional numbers are outstanding as well, as he's 9-3 with a 2.61 ERA.  It seems he may even be ready for a move to AA, which fits the Cubs desire to bring in guys who can help at the upper levels.  And did you notice that his best pitches were his fastball and change-up?  No mention of a breaking ball.  Hmmm...if this is true, then I think there is no denying the Cubs have a certain profile right now when it comes to pitchers and both Escobar and Blach fit that profile perfectly.

We both pretty much ruled out Kyle Crick as a return but when I mentioned that the Cubs may want an MLB ready player, he did mention LHP Mike Kickham, whom we talked about in the previous article and also Gary Brown, whom we also talked about in that same piece linked above.

If the Cubs are seeking LHPs from San Jose -- where Gallagher says the real prizes are, then perhaps Brown makes more sense, especially in light of what Jed Hoyer said today in his conference call that the Cubs would like to add a RH bat whether it's from the farm or one he can acquire.  Well, Brown fits in nicely as a RH outfielder who has shown an improvement in his offensive numbers of late.  He's the Giants former top propect (currently #4 on BA's list) and an excellent athlete who runs extremely well and can handle CF.

Brown is currently hitting .244/.304/.422 with 11 HRs but he switched back to his old upright stance at the end of May. Since June 1st, Brown has hit .301/.335/.552 with 8 HRs and 6 SBs.

Brown is basically MLB ready and would allow the Cubs to let Junior Lake continue to develop in AAA.  They've debated bringing him up with some of the personnel presumably hesitant to accelerate his development, but Brown would be an excellent solution to both issues.

Would you take Brown, Escobar, and Blach for Garza?

Sounds like a solid deal to me if that is indeed what's being offered, but the Cubs are now reportedly considering extending Matt Garza. Heyman says that it's the first time in about a year that the Cubs have broached the possibility with Garza.  Perhaps it's an indicator that the Cubs are not liking the offers they're getting.  It could mean that the Cubs would rather keep the 30 year old Garza, knowing he likely has 3-4 good years left -- which fits the Cubs timeline.

Or it could be a message to teams stating that if you want Garza, you're going to have to bring in more serious offers.


Filed under: Rumors/Speculation


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  • Supposedly the Cubs are in talks with Garza again for a long-term extension according to Jon Heyman and ESPN. I think I have to call shananagens on that one as the Cubs are obviously trying to create some leverage. But you never know...

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Very true -- that could go either way. Cubs may not be liking the offers they're getting yet.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Did the Cubs even offer a contract for Garza? If so, how much and long?

    Did Garza's agent propose a contract? If so, how much and how long?

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    In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I don't think it's shenanigans at all. We've known all alone there are three options when it comes to Garza.

    1. Trade him for a valuable package, with impact talent, including a well-projecting arm.

    2. Make him the qualifying offer and get a valuable compensatory pick when he leaves.

    3. Resign him, preferably before the end of the season to fend of free agency, and let him be near the top of our rotation until around 2017 or 2018.

    All three of these options have a lot of clue for the cubs and all three have been on the table all along. I imagine that talks with Garza and his agents have been ongoing, allowing the FO to put a pretty exact number on extending Garza to compare that with the other two options. Now, it's probably true that this leaked to Heyman to remind other teams that Garza is still very valuable to the Cubs in two different ways so the trade must be worth it. But I don't think this is blowing smoke. If option #1 doesn't work out, #2 and #3 are still very valuable.

  • Sounds like a excellent deal to me as well. Unless you trade a superstar, teams almost never trade their BEST prospect. They will trade 1 or 2 of their top 10 prospects, which sounds like the case in this one.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    It's a very intriguing package if true.

    I just added the bit about the possibility of re-signing Garza, but I get the feeling it's just a play to try and pry another player loose.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Same here, it sounds like the Cubs are trying to shake out the serious bidders from the non-serious. A good tactic id that's what they are doing

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John ... If Gordo actually got one right, that's one thing. Personally, he gets lumped into the same stinky stew as Rogers and that MO RON Sully ... just one opinion.

  • Stratton and 2 of Mejia/Blach/Escobar/Agosta.

    Love this fit for the Cubs, hope they can find a way to make it work. John, I profiled the Giants today over on another blog, which seems like it's good timing for this news. Gave you guys a shoutout too. Hope you don't mind me posting it.

  • In reply to TulaneCubs:

    As long as you gave us a shoutout ;)

    I'm not sure they can get Stratton but I think Brown/Escobar/Brach would make an enticing package -- a combo of an athletic, MLB ready player who fills a need and the two pitchers fit a large organizational need in terms of not just starters, but LH starters with better than finesse type stuff.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Brown doesn't really do much for me. His OBP the last 2 years in a couple of the higher leagues has seen a decline (.347 last year, .304 this year) and he's already 24.

    Think I'd prefer Clayton Blackburn to him, although I know you're just kind of meh on him.

  • John, do you really think it is possible to get 3 players for a 2 month rental? I would like to think it is possible but I have my doubts the haul will be that large.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    Yes, I do. The guys the Giants really want to protect are Kyle Crick and probably Chris Stratton. I think they have a window here with a chance to win and are willing to give up a couple of Class A arms. Escobar was ranked 14th before season and Brach wasn't ranked at all. Brown has slipped to #4. Granted, all seem on the upswing at the moment but it seems plausible.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    We got a above expectation return for a DFA'd Campana and a platoon Hairston.

    Anything is possible, apparently...

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    Interesting turn of events. I had really hoped that we would resign Garza. Ahhhhh Drama....

  • I'm a little uneasy about pulling the trigger on that trade. Just seems like we're "buying high" on some of the Giants' prospects, and I don't see a true headliner in that group, which I think is a fair expectation in a deal for a TOR starter like Garza's been in 2013. I'd prefer to sign Garza to a deal, or take the compensatory pick.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I like that it's the opposite of Peoria Cubs Fan! Both of you have valid points. When I see this kind of back and forth -- where opinions vary on both sides, plus the fact that I pieced this together with a Giants writer, makes it seem all the more plausible to me.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That being said, terrific job leaving no stone unturned in finding out who the Cubs are looking at in this trade. I don't know how you guys do it, but I'm sure as hell glad you do.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have thought for some time the draft pick might be the best way to go with Garza, provided he does not sign extension with Cubs.

  • In reply to peoria cubfan:

    I think the best way would be to trade him for some actual prospects and then turn around and sign him as a free agent. Tell him how much we love him on the team, explain to him how it's best for the organization, and then make a fair deal in free agency. Garza doesn't seem like the money chasing type and he's not stupid. That would be the best way. But alas it's a dream.

  • I'm getting Dempster flashbacks....

    The bar keeps getting lower. Oh well, you can't get Kyle Crick..... O.K. Krickham and who then.....well, no not krickham but three from any of the B-,C+ pool........

    I would totally re-visit extension talks. It's not only great from the Cub perspective, but it's good from a trade negotiation perspective.

    Will any Giant fan complain about Kyle Bleeping Crick if they win a third world series?

    There's weeks to go to optimizing value. And they shouldn't have to "settle" for anything.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I'm not sure these guys don't have more upside than Krickham, but I know what you mean. They didn't rule out Krickham -- I just thought the deal worked better with Brown.

    Agree on the negotiations aspect from both sides of the coin.

    I think the main reason on Crick is not so much that they wouldn't trade him, but it seemed to us they're more reluctant because they are less sure this team can win than past teams. In other words, if they were a better team with a better chance, they'd be more apt to consider trading Crick.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, the problems with trading to a team with a top-heavy farm system.

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    Actually the Giants system is far from top heavy. They really only have one top prospect (Crick). Everyone else is kind of in the B/C level. The difference between their 2nd and 10th best prospect is not all that great.

  • In reply to Lou Sofianos:

    That's always tricky too. In fact, I'd say they have one excellent prospect in Krick and a couple of good ones in Panik and Stratton, but it really drops off after that unless you can dig up some finds, which is what these guys might be.

  • In reply to felzz:

    The Cubs wouldn't be settling for anything. Those three players are worth more than two months of Garza, and substantially more than I expect them to get.

    You aren't going to get a top pitching prospect for Garza at this point.

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    I would hope for a stud prospect in return for Garza. The guys mentioned are decent. Maybe they have some upside, but I want top level. Kickham is a back end starter. Brown is a 4th OF. The PCL inflates numbers like crazy. For the other two pitchers, I just don't know enough. I follow prospects fairly well, so for me to not know them says to me they aren't enough. But I'm OK with being proved wrong.

  • In reply to Denvil Farley:

    They're good prospects, more late risers and not quite on the map yet-- Cubs obviously interested if they're watching those starts -- though I can't say whether they were impressed or not.

  • I really like the fire and leadership Garza provides on this otherwise pretty dead-ass team. I don't want to sound like Hawk here and talk about TWTW but Garza offers a lot of intangibles in addition to his baseball skills.

  • In reply to Mikethoms:

    I do like him in that he's not the typical milk and cookies type the Cubs seem to have.

    This is going to sound strange but a friend and I were comparing two opera sopranos (yes, I'm a geek). He said listening to Beverly Sills was like having milk and cookies and listening to Maria Callas was like getting your having a chair smashed over your head (he meant it as a compliment).

    Garza is definitely Maria Callas.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Interesting comparison, John. Opera sopranos who reach the top of their field are indeed like the best starting pitchers--dependable, consistent, high-talent performers who are box-office magnets.
    However, don't forget that among the divas, Miss Sills was considered a genial lady, while Maria Callas was known for her unpredictability and temper tantrums. Carlos Zambrano was more of a Maria Callas type.
    What a great debate topic though -- Garza as the lead in Madame Butterfly or the Marriage of Figaro?

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Ha! I do think Garza is more Callas than Sills, though.There's a lot of raw emotion and intensity with Garza, but he has contained it very well the last few years-- and he channels it into his performance, much like Callas did on her better days.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Good points. Garza is definitely more of a Callas than a Sills.
    Let's hope Garza hits some high notes as a Cubs World Series winner (or brings us a new diva who does the same).

  • I would agree with tulanecubs I would at least need Stratton to start the deal and one of surkamp/escobar as the 2nd player

  • Daytona Cubs RHP Matt Loosen just threw a no-hitter today. Looks like it was an incredible performance. Here's the link to the box score:

  • In reply to DcCubsFan:

    D-Cubs twitter feed stated that in his last four starts: 3-0 27IP 9H 0R 0ER 5BB 31K

    not too shabby

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Wow. Congrats to him. 9 inning no hitters from one pitcher are rare in the minors. Seems to be overcoming the control issues that plagued him in Tenn and got him demoted. He's been a decent sleeper prospect the last couple of years. Maybe he can use this latest stretch as a spring board.

  • John,

    If the Cubs were to sign Garza to an extension, when do his 5 & 10 rights kick in?

  • John, that's an intriguing package that you've outlined. I wouldn't do it, if it was me. But it's intriguing. We need impact SP prospects that are near MLB ready. I have said, and still maintain that we should get net a top 25 SP prospect for Garza+. I'm okay if we have to throw in one of our platoon players... But anything less, and we would be better off extending him.

  • I have a small amount of hope that we can extend Garza, over pay for 3 years with a mutual option. I am not sold on the option of a less than great prospect return.

  • In reply to rsanchez11:

    Garza can get 5 years on the open market. No reason for him to accept a 3-4 year deal unless it is a major overpay.

  • The SF package sounded pretty good. With that said, I still like the idea of signing Garza the most. If he's up for it, I say we do it. If we can't get a stud prospect (and it sounds like we can't), I'm not super into the idea of trading for three guys that have maybe a 10% chance of turning into a Matt Garza... for Matt Garza. (Obviously if he won't sign then we should trade him.)

    Another thing I didn't think of before is the fact that if we sign Garza, we'll have two #2's and an All-Star in our rotation. That would probably make it a lot easier to trade for a #1 in the future, if we wanted to include one of the #2's. Something like a Samardzija + one great prospect for a Price might be easier to swallow than unloading the prospect boat.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    I think that depends on the team. The primary reason for the Rays trading Price would be substantial salary relief. Thus, they are going to want a similar package as the one the traded Garza to us for. That one was highlighted by a near MLB ready starter plus other high level prospects. Shark and Wood don't really give the Rays much control or salary relief. Honestly, I think if you resign Garza, it is not with a trade in mind, its with winning in mind.

  • In reply to J Bounds:

    Good point on the salary relief, and I agree that a trade is not the goal, though I do think that Shark and Wood give pretty good control/salary relief (for now, at least). Both are signed for pretty cheap right now -- I'd guess at least as cheap as Price is currently costing the Rays.

  • In reply to J Bounds:

    Agreed, J Bounds. the Rays are going to want high level prospects. Something along the lines of one of Baez/Soler/Almora, plus Pierce Johnson and probably one of Blackburn/Underwood.

    I've never been adverse to extending Garza, but the price as to be right. Somewhere around 4 years at 16-17 per with a club option for a 5th at 20?

  • i understand the giants not wanting to give up krick, thats completely fair. but if they don't want to give up impact guys then they're going to have to give up more depth and more flyers. escobar, blach and brown seems like an okay package, but adding in another back of the their top 10 guy makes this deal fair for both sides. im thinking another lhp, adalberto mejia (another san jose guy)

  • The fact that both Heyman and ESPN reported this within minutes of each other makes me think someone got on the phone to get the word out for leverage.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    I thought the same thing. I don't think there are two more easily influenced "sources" out there.

    Personally, I'd prefer to keep Garza on a 3-4 deal. If a trade goes down, this package from the Giants would seem pretty fair for a rental and shows enough upside that I would not be disappointed.

  • I really like Escobar and Blach, but I don't care for Brown and question whether he is in fact (or will ever be) MLB ready. He looks like a faster version of Dave Sappelt to me.

    Even still, I'd take Escobar and Blach plus a lesser prospect for Garza.

  • The Cubs need to start with a first round level draft pick as a rejected QO for Garza as the starting point for any negotiations. If they can't at least garner that type of return in a trade then we hold onto him and see if we can resign him for a contract that isn't Greinke-like.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Agreed, worst thing we could do is pull a Marlin.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    Which is basically a draft pick in the 30-40 range or basically a top 10 prospect in an 'okay' system.

  • any time you take multiple players for a quality player(garza) you chances of a successful trade goes down as the quality of player you recieve in return is less than the player your trading

  • Man, I hope Heyman's report isn't just a plant to increase leverage. Garza is the real deal and I really want him on this team going forward. Show him the money and let's get 'er done!

    Of course, if he turn down $60 or $70M over 4 years then OK, we gotta get whatever we can. But I'd much rather have Garza for the next four years than Escobar/Blach/Brown.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Agreed. A guy like Garza is going to be very close to the exact thing we hope to acquire in a trade. We all know that the chances of even highly-touted pitching prospects becoming as good as Garza are quite slim. I understand the economics of getting team controlled pitchers, but if the Cubs are going to compete soon they need some more insurance at SP. It may cost more, but if we were willing to throw out that cash for Edwin Jackson, signing Garza should be a strong option. They better absolutely win the deal if they're going to cash in the best chip they've had since taking over.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    Yep. It's not just about getting the right prospects, it's also about knowing who to keep long term.

    And while this site is all about the prospects and the scouting and the saber-analytics -- and, yes, I love it -- WE ARE NOT A SMALL MARKET CLUB THAT HAS TO BEAT EVERYONE ELSE AT MAXIMIZING VALUE!

    Sorry for that all caps. But I get the Rays and As and KC and others having to trade away established talent for prospects. But the Cubs, as one of the most profitable teams, don't have to play that game. So let's give him and the money and build around him.

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    In reply to Nondorf:

    I agree. Gary Brown is a non-prospect at this point, nothing more than organizational depth. He's always been overrated and though he is "toolsy" I used to vomit a little at the suggestion of some other blogs that claimed he was a 5-tool player. He actually reminds of a Brown we are all familiar with, first name of Brant.

  • Really don't know anything about them other than Gary Brown, but sounds to me like a nice deal. I'd take it

  • Maybe extension talks are leverage for the trade partners, but maybe all the trade talks are also motivating the Garza camp to sign. He seems to like being a Cub.

    I'm voting for him re-signing.

  • The Giants package doesnt sound like a bad one, especially considering the KK/bb is so good and they both keep the ball in the park in a notorious hitters league. Top off the fact they are both lefties, since we lack hard throwing lefties in our system. Only thing that mystyfies me is why the Gints would want to trade for 2 months of Garza in the first place. There record is almost as bad as the Cubs.

  • Great stuff, John. I can't help wonder, as you mention here, if this is because they aren't getting the offers that they are expecting. I do like the prospects you have outlined from the Giants. If we can get them in an offer for San Fran, I would jump at it.

    What possibility is there that we might use Garza to pry Middlebrooks away from the Red Sox? I think that he would fit in well with where we are and what we are trying to do.

  • In reply to supercapo:

    I hope not on Middlebrooks. He is garbage. We don't need any more free swingers. We have plenty of right handed power coming.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    As a person who follows the Red Sox just as much as I do the Cubs, I would say that you're right. Middlebrooks has power, but will always be a low OBP guy who strikes out at a high rate. Not what the Cubs need, especially with the 3B depth they already have in their organization.

  • If Garza refuses a qualifying offer, isn't he in lala free agent land where no teams want to sign him and give up a comp pick. I would think it in his best interest to resign or get traded. Am I correct here in this line of thinking?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I wondered that too, but I worry that Garza's talent is just too much to make a team worry about signing him. Bourn and Lohse aren't the game-changers that Garza is. If I'm a contending, "win-now" team, I'd much rather sign Matt Garza than not sign him and keep my first-round pick.

    I also bet that it's easier for a team to give up a drafted player that the team never actually had than it is to give up a prospect that the team already admires (regardless of whether this is logical).

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Not really. The comp pick was not a problem for signing the top tiers guys. It was the next tier guys that had a problem.

    For Garza, if he continues to pitch well the comp pick won't be a factor. Also remember, the Cubs are the only team that get get a comp pick for Garza.

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    Personally I think the Giants are looking for relievers rather than starters. But Garza would be a good get for anybody if the price is right. If the Cubs do trade Garza I'm still hoping for Washington, seems like their mid-level guys would be upper level guys in other teams systems, especially when it comes to pitching. I love the Nationals' system.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    We know they're looking at Garza.

  • In reply to Jivewired:

    Why is that? Their pen is really good. Starting pitching? Hasn't been so hot.

    And I'm the exact opposite on the Nationals system. Very little there I'm interested in. And I don't agree that their mid-level guys would be upper level guys in other systems. Seems like a bunch of old, injury plagued guys to me.

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    In reply to TulaneCubs:

    Looking at Garza and trading for Garza are two separate things. John I cannot blindly agree with you on this one like everyone else. I think it makes good baseball sense to check in on Garza, but, despite a division that is up for grabs, I don't see the Giants going for Garza, nor giving up a *haul* if they do. To me, the Giants need to retool for 2014 based on expiring pitching contracts and Garza doesn't fit that plan. Zito is gone after this year, Lincecum too. They are going to give up prospects and then lose 60% of their rotation? Not buying it.

    Then there is this: John Shea reporting from the ballpark . . . I asked Bruce Bochy a couple of questions in regard to the trade deadline. Asked if there’s a need for a power bat. Asked if there’s a need for a starting pitcher. His answer: neither. He prefers help in the bullpen.

    Look I am not here for the sake of disagreeing but, honestly, of course you kick the tires on Garza and hope the Cubs bite.

    As far as the Nationals system, it is obviously a matter of opinion. The Giants system to me is barren as compared to the Nationals. The Nationals have drafted incredibly well over the last five years.

    Tulane Cubs you can call that system a bunch of "injury-plagued old guys" all you want but I and most baseball experts disagree. First of all - who is "old" in that system? Secondly, who is "injury-plagued"? Giolito? Purke? Cole? AJ Cole and Matt Purke, were they in the Cubs system right now, would be the team's top two pitchers. They are ranked #4 and #8 by Baseball Prospectus in the Nationals system coming into this season. I'd love Purke on the Cubs. That's one nasty lefthander.

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    John, could the negotiations on an extension be part of a sign and trade? Maybe they asked him and his agent to give them a list of teams, even though they didn't have to, that he'd consider signing an extension with. This might especially make sense in light of the fact that he grew up in Fresno a Giants fan. Maybe the Giants are offering two different packages for Garza, one based on him signing an extension and one based on him riding out his current deal.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    We can only hope that's the case. Would love for whoever agrees to trade for Garza to already have the parameters of an extension in place.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I suppose that's possible. Never really thought about that. Maybe letting a team know some loose parameters might entice them by giving an idea of whether they can sign him or not.

  • With Blue Jays Josh Johnson having a bad year and will re-sign with the Blue Jays to improve his value, Garza will be the #1 sought after pitcher in this years free look for a price tag around $100 million for five years by Garza's agent.

  • John,

    Unless Gary Brown projects has a average to above average starter down the road, I don't see a role for him in the future. And the need for a warm body to fill in for the time being isn't great enough to include him in a package for Garza in my estimation. Now if the Giants would replace Brown with Susac, I'm down. I like Escobar and Blach, but Escobar would have to be rostered at the end of the year. Not to say that would disqualify my interest, but it is something that should be taken into account.

    Have you heard anything on Adalberto Mejia? He's another lefty with good size (6'3", 195), just turned 20 and is pitching well in A+ right now. He fits the Cubs profile in that he has never had a BB/9 over 3 and misses bats, usually around 8 per 9. He has two years after this season before he'd have to be rostered.

    He fits my personal profile of being signed as a 17-year-old (out of the Dominican Republic), pitching well there as an 18-year-old, skipping a league (in this case two, going right to Low-A), struggling a bit as a 19-year old there but still giving a passable performance and improving in his 20-year-old season in High-A. Generally, prospects who are performing well as a 20-year-old in High-A (he started the year in High-A at 19 and just turned 20 in late June) have success at the upper levels.

    Did his name come up in your discussion with Justin Gallagher? describes him as having a low-90s FB with decent movement, a quality change-up and an inconsistent wipeout slider.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Adalberto Mejia is a very interesting prospect but we didn't discuss him -- though he vaguely said the real prizes were in San Jose and I have to assume he meant Mejia among that group as well.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    I also think Brown has the potential to be more than a warm body, but I will agree the deal lacks a true headliner.

  • The way Garza is pitching right now, he is a ace on most teams and these are hard to come by even if only for two months. I would rather Theo hold out and see if teams get more desperate as we get closer to trade deadline. I do not think we need to be in the position of a *must trade* situation.

  • "kudos to Wittenmeyer for debunking the rumor."

    Just to clarify John. He didn't debunk it, he disputed it. To debunk it he would have to present verifiable proof. He is expressing a reporter's strong opinion that might be true.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    I guess...

    I'm not sure he's going to be able to present anything he gets from a source anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Matt Garza confirms contract talks.

  • In reply to ddevonb:

    Garza thinks it's 50/50. The Cubs don't. That's the key here.

  • Hey everyone, per Ben Badler, Juan Carlos Paniagua got his visa and he's in Arizona.


  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Great news, on an already great news day for the Cubs. That's awesome. I will now do a shot. Jim Beam, anyone?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Haha! I like to drink whiskey slow...but I'll join you.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    yee. and also, ha.

  • In reply to SKMD:


  • I don't know enough about these prospect to differentiate a good trade from a bad one. In fact, expect to put forth a generalized platitude that a good trade is one where we receive equal or better value than we are giving, its hard to have a strong opinion about this.

    One thing I find curious, though, is that so many Cubs fans seem to accept this organization functioning like a small market team. I am fully on board with investing in the acquisition and development of a stronger farm system a/k/a the "rebuild". But what I do disagree with is failing to spend money to field a competitive team while this is going on. I understand that these two goals are not mutually exclusive, but this Matt Garza situation is a perfect example of what I see is amiss. He seems to be exactly the kind of player management is targeting, with the exception that he is not - for the moment - "cost controlled". If they want him, they should pay him. That means pay him market or more - if they have to, in order to keep him. They are a big market team, not the Kansas City Royals. They can afford to overpay some players. If they think they can better the organization by trading him, fine, I'm cool with that and I trust their judgment. But its seems crazy to me for fans to worry about whether we are "overpaying" to keep him. If the Cubs are not in a position to compete 4 years from now because they paid Garza $3MM, or $5MM or whatever million more per year than anyone else would have been willing to pay, or they guaranteed an extra year that no one else seemed to want to, then it seems to me that management has blundered badly in its other decisions and the Garza contract wouldn't matter anyway.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    First off, Jerry Martin was one of my favorites as a young boy.

    That said, I think the Cubs are getting to the end of "acting" like a small market team. What the previous front office didn't realize or perhaps didn't agree with was that there are times to spend big and times to build waves.

    The Cubs are currently in wave building mode. Once those first waves are close to arriving, it will then make sense to spend bigger on major league talent. The Cubs may have had the resources to act like the big market team, but the last two seasons were just the wrong time to do so. Instead, they invested in the future. In more ways than just acquiring minor leaguers. They built the academy in the DR. They built a new spring training facility in Mesa. They're investing in new revenue streams for the future. It's not like they haven't been spending money. They just haven't spent it on players at the major league level.

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    In reply to Quedub:

    Excellent points.

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    Well said, Jerry. I agree with you 100%. Garza is a guy we should sign fo sho!

    BTW, I too love Jerry Martin growing up. But my Little League coached reamed me out when I tried -- and successfully executed -- the ole' Jerry Martin basket catch in centerfield. ; - )

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    In reply to JerryMartin28:

    You make an excellent point Jerry Martin. That said, I think there are very limited ways the FO can add talent. One way is the draft-albeit under new rules-and the other is by making trades. Big market or small, free agents are by far the most expensive way to put a team together. It sure doesn't appear that Garza is willing to give the Cubs any discounts. He wants full boat retail. Part of the problem we have right now is we traded away four prospects for two years of Garza that were wasted on Cub teams that didn't stand a chance.

    I'd much rather be the Cubs right now the Angels for example.

    I think the commitments that we've made to Rizzo and Castro are good examples of how we'll do business in the future-develop good talent and sign them to long term deals. Either deal could still be a bust but not even close to the level of $ vs. performance that the Angels are facing with Pujols and Hamilton. I think you'll see alot of big market teams acting like this in the future.

  • Other names of interest would be Chris Stratton, Martin Agosta and Clayton Blackburn. Would one of those guys be too much to ask for? They're currently further away than Escobar, but should be fast risers with greater pedigree.

  • Jon..
    Anyway the Cubs can swing something with the Tigers and still pick up Porcello? I feel like he's finally starting to figure stuff out.

  • Well, based on the update that Garza won't sign an extension, I'd grudgingly let him go for the aforementioned package of three Giant prospects. Like I said, I'm wary of buying high on them, but I still think there's a better chance of getting value from that threesome than getting value from one compensatory pick.

  • Lincecum's $22 million comes off the book at the end of the year.
    Zito goes from $20 million in 2013 to $7 million in 2014, which is the final year of his deal.
    The Giants have the money to sign Garza.

  • In reply to ucandoit:

    Hypothetically, so do the Cubs.

  • Hey John, Juan Carlos Paniagua just received his visa and reported to AZ!! Good news!!!

  • In reply to Caps:

    that report was told by John....19 minutes ago here.........

    Do you still get your news by Pony Express?

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    No, your grandma still delivers the news here which is why it takes so long, you shouldn't let her work so much, get a job already, buddy.

  • In reply to Caps:

    Have a job....thanks for asking.....

  • In reply to Caps:

    Caps, someone's "job" is to play Nostradamus 2.0 on this site -- making vague predictions and pronouncements with no consequences when they are wrong.
    Except Nostradamus 1.0 was an amiable fellow -- not nasty, bitter, or mean-spirited......

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I just figured it out!

    CubsTalk is Lee Elia!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Nice comparison....except Lee could be civil.

  • Question of the Day......

    Who will be the next Cubs player to get traded?

    A - Garza
    B - Scheirholtz
    C - Villanueva
    D - Barney
    E - DeJesus

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    According to you Garza should have already been traded.

  • Only one hour before the Garza-traded-by-7-pm balloon goes up......

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    and Raley is warming up in the bullpen.......

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    Here's the link for Juan Carlos Paniagua if anyone missed it.

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    Whoa!! You left your favorite whipping boy off that list.

  • In reply to Dafoxx:

    You mean Samardzija!.......we need something to discuss next July trade dead line.

  • It's best for the Cubs long term plan to trade Garza and other
    veterans with some value. Throw in a prospect if need be.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    ITA agree, the Cubs know this as well. When ( not if) they trade Garza, I expect at least 2 more veterans to be traded as well.

  • In the AL, I'm thinking the Blue Jays make the most sense as a trade partner. If the Cubs package Garza with Soriano or Barney, or maybe even someone else, looking at the options, I think the Jays are the most likely to bite in the American League.

    Rangers are always a possibility as well, but I don't look for any surprise teams, because middle of the road types won't want to sacrifice prospects.

    National League is basically the entire West, and maybe the Braves or Nationals in the East. Don't see the Cubs dealing within their division, but it's not impossible.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Garza & Soriano are not getting traded together.....lets put that scenario to a rest......

    Soriano has a "No Trade" clause.....and the guy is staying in Chicago for personal reasons more than a baseball reason.....I think Soriano would want an extension and more money to change his mind and approve a trade.....

    Expect a Cubs prospect to get traded .........

    Team's GM's have different views on their prospects in the last hours of the trade if Garza is still around in two weeks, maybe Theo can squeeze out better prospects from other GM's......

    Eight teams are ahead of the Blue Jays......not Buyers any longer.....

    Aramis Ramirez hearing he might get traded to the Dodgers, put himself on the DL today........heard that before......

    Wind blowing out tonight.........

    Lets Go Cubs!

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    I agree with Cubs Talk on this one. You rarely see packages of major league talent dealt to leverage a better return of prospects. Plus, the 5/10 rights are huge with Soriano, and no way he goes to Canada.

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    It wouldn't surprise me if the Dodgers became players for Garza. I'm only half joking. It seems like any 'name' player they want to add, no matter the contract. It's like Al Davis came back from the dead and is now the Dodgers owner.

    I know they just traded for Nolasco but they already had 8-9 big league starters making $8 mil+ before the Nolasco trade.

  • Late to the comment party here, but I can't figure out why so many people are so down on this trade package.

    Before today, the Cubs had basically one guy, Pierce Johnson, capable of putting up comparable numbers to these two pitchers at A+. Do these two guys plus a potentially still useful CF knock your socks off, no, but it's very solid value. Along with the Hairston trade, if you could tell people you could triple your quantity of Pierce Johnsons, with two of them being lefties, in one day by trading Garza and Hairston, they'd be very happy.

  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    When I say capable of putting up those numbers in A+, I'm talking about right now, and before Paniagua.

  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    Sorry, quadruple

  • In reply to Monkey Shines:

    Quadruple, not triple.

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    John, I do want to ask you this question. Do you suppose that teams have a near Pavlovian reaction when it comes to dealing with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer and that their reputations precede them? Is it possible that if Theo or Jed asks about their guys they automatically go into "he sees something our scouts are not seeing" mode?

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    The Giants have an awful system and if they're not willing to part with Crick, I have no clue how there's even a discussion here.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Gotta disagree, Giff. The Giants system is on the way up in the rankings, though coming into this season they were probably a lower middle, bottom third organization. But that doesn't mean their awful and only have one good player. The main reason why they have been ranked so low recently is the complete lack of hitting prospects. The strength of their system is clearly their pitching.

    John Sickels ranked them 17th going into this season. Here's his write up from

    "17) San Francisco Giants (26): Strengths: Pitching! Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton, Clayton Blackburn are all strong rotation candidates for the future and there are some nice lefties too (Mike Kickham, Steven Okert, Josh Osich, Adalberto Mejia) plus bullpen material. Weaknesses: Hitting. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Gary Brown, Joe Panik, and Francisco Peguero. Can Mac Williamson be the needed impact bat?"

    For two and a half months of Matt Garza (whom I personally would love to extend), I would be very happy with one of Chris Stratton/Clayton Blackburn along with one of Adalberto Mejia/Edwin Escobar. If I can get them to include Andrew Susac if they get something extra coming back or if I picked up most of Garza's remaining salary, all the better.

    The Giants are not disqualified simply if they refuse to deal Crick.

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