7/17 What’s price tag for Garza?

The Cubs were willing to part with top prospects Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer and Hak-Ju Lee to get Matt Garza in January 2011. Which team will find the right combination by the Trade Deadline to acquire the right-hander?

The Rangers are reportedly the front-runners for Garza as July 31 approaches, but MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports they will not part with Venezuelan left-handed pitcher Martin Perez, 22, who is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. Right-hander Luke Jackson, 21, has drawn some interest. A first-round pick — 45th overall — in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson is 8-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 16 starts at Class A Myrtle Beach. He has struck out 86 over 82 1/3 innings.

Another player the Cubs may be looking at is Mike Olt, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter who was Texas’ first-round pick in 2010 (49th overall). He was batting .211 in 61 games at Triple-A Round Rock with nine home runs and 14 doubles.

The Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Dodgers also have had scouts at Garza’s recent starts. The right-hander has been impressive, posting a 5-0 record and 1.24 ERA in his last six outings.

“He’s handled it great,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Garza. “Obviously, he knows [about the rumors], as well as last year at the same time when his name was all around. He’s pitched in as good a five-game stretch as he has in his whole career.”

In January 2011, Jim Hendry traded five Minor League players, including Archer and Guyer, the Minor League player of the year, to the Rays for Garza. Tampa Bay added two other players in the deal in reliever Zach Rosscup and outfielder Fernando Perez, but Garza was the Cubs’ target.

“It’s a good, old fashioned baseball trade that doesn’t often get made with the volume of people involved and for the right reasons for both organizations,” said Hendry, the Cubs general manager at the time.

Several of the teams interested in Garza consider him to be a No. 3 starter for their rotation — the Pirates, for example, already have an ace in Francisco Liriano. But could Garza be the piece needed to get Pittsburgh to the postseason? All-Star Jeff Locke (8-2, 2.15 ERA) was not available for Tuesday’s game because of lower back tightness. The Pirates may decide Garza is worth the high price tag the Cubs have set.

“Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well and he’s very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him,” Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, said on Friday. “For us, he’s helping us win games now, there’s a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we’ll just balance all that out and do what’s best for the organization.”

There has been talk about a possible contract extension, but the more likely scenario is the Cubs deal Garza by July 31. The right-hander will be a free agent after this season, something bidding teams have to factor in their decision as to which players to part with for what could be a two-month rental. There is another option: If Epstein does not deal Garza, the Cubs could make him a qualifying offer at the end of the season.

The Cubs players like having the right-hander on the mound, or on the top step of the dugout in games he’s not starting.

“He’s a leader in the clubhouse,” Jeff Samardzija said. “He leads by example. He can talk a little bit but that’s not his main point. He does that for fun. He loves talking. He’s just a great dude to have and the more guys you have like that out of your 25, the better chance you have for a successful season.”

Garza was rumored to be traded last season before an elbow injury sidelined him for the final 2 1/2 months. He made his last start July 21. A strained lat in Spring Training delayed his 2013 start until May 21, and he looked sharp in his season debut, holding the Pirates to one hit over five shutout innings.

“He’s one of the hardest working pitchers you’ll ever be around,” Sveum said. “Even the four days he doesn’t pitch, he’s on the bench and rooting his teammates on. You’re always going to hear him on the bench. He’s one of those special starting pitchers who will always be involved in the game, and position players who play every day and other people appreciate that.”

So, any teams interested in Garza, be prepared. He’s loud, he needs Popeye’s chicken on the day he starts, and a quiet place for an hour or so to watch comedy shows on his iPad before he takes the mound. He can be loud, is quick with the post-game pie in the face, and devoted to his family.

On Sunday, the Cubs closed out the first half of the season with a loss to the Cardinals. Garza, who had picked up a win the night before, holding St. Louis to two runs over 6 2/3 innings, left the clubhouse about 11:30 p.m., eager to spend the All-Star break with his kids.

“You get caught up in [the rumors], but I’ve been through it so much that I’m just oblivious to it until something happens,” Garza said Saturday. “It’s stressful but at the same time, I have a great outlook. I get to pitch every five days. I just keep going and keep looking forward to that next five days.”

His next scheduled start is Monday against the Diamondbacks.

— Carrie Muskat


Any club wanting Garza`s services should pay dearly. Do not like what Rangers are offering. There is a plethora of other teams which covet Matt and know he could be the key piece in their respective quests for the championship ring. He is the best hurler currently available amongst all major league clubs according to the MLB Network. Let`s insist on equal value for this hot property.

Please do not pull another “Maddux”. Sign him long term. Even his intangibles are indispensable and helpful.

Why sign Garza or Samardzija to long term contracts when this Cubs team is not close of competing for the next three years? Trade both for top prospects so they will be ready when Soler, Bryant and others all come up together.

That`s the most intelligent comment I`ve seen on this site in a spell, Cubs Talk. The only caveat I see is with 2016. Could we not be contenders by that season? What think you?

If the 8 position players are ready and capable of CONTENDING by or in 2016 and THEN we lack some pitching I believe that pitching will be acquired via FA or trades because we will have a well stocked farm system by then to use as trade chips….a reversal of what is happening right now and that is what I want to see…. THE CUBS being the ones in need of a player or two to put them in the playoffs. So I agree, if it takes trading both Garza and The Shark….make it so.

I’ll clarify however that if the Cubs DON’T trade The Shark it’s not the end of the world nor will it put the brakes on the rebuilding progress. The Shark CAN be a part of 2016 and beyond but he doesn’t HAVE to be. Nor do I think he will be the ace of the staff as I think we all know that we will need somebody much better than The Shark as our ace if we are going all the way to the WS.

Please do not trust the Ricketts family. They are all Republicans (Joe is a radical) and therefore they’re only it for the money. They’ll pull a G. W. Bush and sell and make a killing all off the assistance of government and acquiescence of Wrigleyville residents.

If only in it for the money why then have they hired the EXPENSIVE Epstein and drafted the EXPENSIVE picks? No sir, I respectfully disagree since they ARE INDEED spending money…just in a more THOUGHTFUL way and with BETTER reasons than the former owners and THEIR somewhat bumbling GM.

You mean buy a business, build that business then sell it? WOW! Who ever heard of such a thing? I doubt any Democrat would ever do that.

HA HA….good one Jasper.

How much are they spending on renovations the next 5 years? What was the cost of the Cubs? As Joey stated, how much have they put into rebuilding?
With all that said, sounds like they might be in it for the long haul.

Don’t forget the W’s bit where he duped and misled the taxpayers. Ask Seattle citizenry re: trusting ownership. Hint OKC Thunder

Plus, top dollar Theo’s 3 big signings-Castro, Rizzo and E. Jackson. I hope there are some rabbits in the hat.

Jim, regardless of whether or not the “3 big signings” are worth the BIG money or not is irrelevant to the point you are trying to make, that being the Ricketts are only in it for the money. Being in it for ONLY the money as you state is NOT supported by the fact they have SPENT big money on the “3 big signings”. I think you just contradicted your view of the Ricketts. Not to mention as Jasper has stated the COST of the team and ALL the expenses they incurred to date plus the future renovations to the field. Sure they will at one point make a tidy profit but seems to me they are spending quite liberally on their new investment and are a long way off from making a bananza like profit.

Dont really understand how Politics are brought into or the obvious hate for Republicans. Ricketts has done an amazing job since the hiring of Epstein & Hoyer.
Not only rebuliding the team from the bottom up, but now the renovations the next 5 years, They are keeping the history of Wrigley field, while improving around it. What can be wrong with that?? They give scholarship money, players pitch in to community organizations.
Putting blame on the Ricketts for building and doing good for others, is unreasonable.
There has to be more behind your story, it just dont make sense.

First off if u think Jackson Rizzo and Castro are big signings u don’t know the mlb of 2013…. those are all team friendly deals and will not hurt us… Jackson maybe but he still got market price… two who gives a rat ass about political background … we r all Americans and should strive to make this country the greatest it can be… parties just don’t get stuff done anymore BC just like urself u saw a classification and lumped him in with the rest… third ricketts are spending a ton of money but u just don’t see it … things need to be done to set us up to put all our resources into the mlb later…. fourth NOT spending money now on pitching is dumb we aren’t going to be able to instantly put together a team to contend in one year… each year we should make progress… fifth Not every prospect is going to pan out stop lumping every prospect we have into the lineup just not going to happen…

You covered just about everything that needed to be said petrey, I agree with it all. Most importantly, this is baseball, can we just stick to that and leave politics out of it? I look to baseball to get away from all that stuff for a while, and I’m sure I’m not the only one

Petrey was just making a point and was using a political example to do so. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. “Freedom of Speech” and all that. And he did get his point across didn’t he!

You are praising Petrey, White? I feel as if I`m in the Twilight Zone. This is not the site I`d been accustomed to. Where is Mamma Mia? I miss his astute input.

Hi jhosk – I am not praising Petrey but I am extending him the same right that we should all extend to each other on this sight. The right to express opinions and to exchange ideas and inject a bit of humor here and there. Or, as he did, to use political or other subjects to make a point. I also miss Mamma Mia very much, His input and interesting stories are important to me. I believe he might have given up on being allowed to report his findings because he was insulted by a certain person on this site each and every time he posted. I would hope that he reads that we miss him and will return to posting. I also enjoy your posts and see that you are very baseball savvy.

The political comment was not toward petrey, it was for the comments further up by Jim regarding not trusting Ricketts & family solely because of the fact that they’re republicans

And I know it’s freedom of speech and all that, I’m not against it, but this is baseball here. The news already feeds us as much political drama and whatnot we can take. Baseball should be one of the getaways from that kind of stuff

LMAO, I was waiting for that one briney212. Nice if someone reads all the posts before giving a lecture.
Any Garza rumors?

If Garza gets traded this weekend, other GM’s might panic in the days after….I believe Theo is ready to make Samardzija available on the 11th hour of the trade dead line….hopefully, Theo can clean house on a team’s farm system whose GM will panic.

Look saying shark is available is really not true … will Theo listen? Sure why not but shark is not being shopped … just doesn’t make any sense… this is just like the Bryant situation… everyone freaks out cause he hasn’t signed a contract but in the end as we get closer to that deadline a deal will get done….. everyone chill!!

Hope you didnt take me wrong petrey? I just feel like you offer a guy a contract, that means you want him as part of your team as you grow. Thats a compliment. He says he wants to wait, then dont do as well. I would take that as a sign that maybe he dont want to be here or maybe hes not happy here. If thats the case, I dont mind seeing him gone. Not freaked out, just dont care one way or the other if he stays or gets traded.

Jasper not offended at all but I take it as shark just thinks his value will be more than the current offer… you gotta sit back and think here the reason theo offers contracts this early is to not pay as much through arbitration

I understand completely petrey. It could go both ways too, the two contracts Cubs management has given out, Rizzo and Castro locked them up, made them rich at a young age. Also showed Managements faith in those two players.
Samardizja is in a different situation, he is already very wealthy, so yes, he can wait. I just think some kind of loyalty can be shown by players. they offered him a contract, he declined for? Thinking he can get more later? Waiting to see if the Cubs are competitive when he hits FA? Its all in how an individual looks at it. Rizzo was very happy with his contract, knowing his family and he even mentioned his grandchildren would be set with that contract. Thats common sesnse in my opinion.

Right on Jasper. The Shark’s reasons for not extending his contract now are his own and valid to him but what you say makes perfect sense….SOMETHING is keeping him from extending his contract right NOW, either money or his speculation regarding how competitive the team will be when a FA (as you stated), I hope it’s the later and it’s all about winning and less about money. The one thing he may not count on is his chance of becoming an EXCELLENT pitcher or remain a PROMISING pitcher which is all he is really right now as he is nowhere near the elites.
So I’m still with you…he stays beyond 2016 then he stays…he gets traded for some young studs so be it. Jasper, what do you think The Shark’s ceiling is?

Pretty easy for you and me to sit here and say yeah he’s rich already and should take the contract but in reality when you work don’t u try to maximize your earnings??? That’s all shark is trying to do…

petrey, thats why I put it, all in the way a invidual looks at it. Some people work until they cant, some work until they are comfortable. Some retire at 50, some never. How much is enough for the player to be happy is really up to them.
Kerry Wood signed a home town discount one year for a million dollars, if I remember correctly. He was already well off, he just wanted to pitch for the Cubs.

No doubt Theo is looking at the market for Samardzija. Theo wants max. return for Jeff, and if it takes us next season, Theo can wait. How long will it take for the Cubs to contend? Several factors are in play…..

1 – Players….when will the MLB roster be set with players like Bryant, Baez, Soler, Almora roaming around at Wrigley?……should all be here by 2015……the question is the pitching……a few guys in the minors will be ready, butht he Cubs need to go into F/A to fill the rest of the pitching staff out.

2 – Manager……is Dale the guy who can led this club into contention?…….2014 / 15 seasons will be critical for Dale. He just needs a set roster to show what he can do.

3 – Front Office – Drafts, F/A signings, trades….so far, so good……time will tell how good Theo & Jed did on making this team a winner.

4 – “X” Factor – Cardinals, Pirates, Reds……as the Cubs got stronger in the farm system, so have these teams……..Cubs need to keep on pressing on all cylinders to keep on improving.

My Prediction…..I see one more “Sell Off” in 2014….Samardzija, Barney, Dejesus, Russell, and finally Soriano…….more prospects in return……Cubs should be a Wild Card team as early as 2016.

Pretty well said but I doubt we’ll get any viable prospects for Soriano, he being the only one you mentioned with a “dump” tag on him. I am still hoping he is gone by this year’s trade deadline as he may be somewhat serviceable as a right handed bat to a contender in dire straits. If both Garza and Samardizja are both gone it leaves us with Wood to build around for 2015 and beyond so yes I agree about the FA signings being important come then.

I really enjoyed this post Cubs Talk. Very nice!!
(1) Even as fans we all know that not every Draftee is going to make an impact. There is much hope for the guys you mention, plus many more not mentioned. So many life changing events for very young men, who become instantly rich. How do they handle it? Alcohol, Drugs, Women, Family problems, injuries, slumps? Some dont speak english, communication problems. So in my opinion, this is where the scouts come in; Talent, work ethics, love of the game, morals all play a huge part if a youngster makes it. We all know the guy out partying and having fun after games is a huge risk.
(2) I have no problem with Sveum at this point, I think he was hired for his skills as an instructor of the game. As stated many times, he is a very good teacher. I would like to see more bunting for hits, making the opponent play in more, giving ground balls a better chance of getting through. I would like to see a suicde squeeze now and then. I think Sveum is learning also, so will he be the guy in 2015 or 16?? It may take a stronger leader or Sveum may grow into that as the team gets better.
(3) At this point Management has made a couple mistakes. That being said, I have total 100% faith in everything they have done. The FA signings, Trades, Rule 5 pick ups. I view Hoyer, Epstein, the scouting, the building of a IT department and everyone they have brought in as dedicated to the Organization and building a winning club.
(4) The X factor will always be in play, compition is the name of the game. I agree with the 2014 sell off prediction. I also see a few of the AA guys being called up in SEP 2014 or sooner.

Good post but I still don’t think you guys are looking at who is going to be available in free agency…. the top arms just aren’t going to be hitting the market anymore… the new CBA has stopped a majority of that… shark will extend the front office would be dumb not to… its going to take a deadline to get it done just like the Bryant situation

You are right about (myself) not looking ahead at the FA market. I like to watch the stats of the Cubs young pitching, but really dont pay attention to FA pitching down the line. Not saying thats a good thing or bad, its very estute.
So much can change with a Pitcher year to year, Strains, lats, elbow, Tommy John, mechanics. When Samardizja gets ready to sign and he wants to remain a Cub, I am sure it will get done. If not, I am sure Management will factor that in the overall plan.

Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Russell, Valbuena, Soriano, Gregg, and, Yes, a Little Garza | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Here’s a list of pitchers who will be free agents after the 2013 season:
Starting pitchers:
Bronson Arroyo
Scott Baker
Erik Bedard
A.J. Burnett
Chris Capuano (option)
Chris Carpenter
Bruce Chen
Bartolo Colon
Aaron Cook
Jorge De La Rosa
Scott Feldman
Gavin Floyd
Jeff Francis
Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland
Matt Garza
Roy Halladay (vesting option)
Jason Hammel
Aaron Harang (mutual option)
Dan Haren
Roberto Hernandez
Tim Hudson
Phil Hughes
Ubaldo Jimenez (option)
Josh Johnson
Jeff Karstens
Scott Kazmir
Hiroki Kuroda
Jon Lester (option)
Colby Lewis
Ted Lilly
Tim Lincecum
Paul Maholm
Shaun Marcum
Jason Marquis
Ricky Nolasco
Roy Oswalt
Mike Pelfrey
Andy Pettitte
Wandy Rodriguez (club option)
Jonathan Sanchez
Ervin Santana
Johan Santana (club option)
Joe Saunders (mutual option)
James Shields (club option)
Jason Vargas
Ryan Vogelsong (club option)
Edinson Volquez
Tsuyoshi Wada (club option)
Jake Westbrook (mutual option)
Chien-Ming Wang
Suk-Min Yoon
Chris Young
Barry Zito (vesting option)

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