Results tagged ‘ Rays ’

8/6 Cubs vs Rays

Here are the pitching matchups for the Cubs’ upcoming Interleague series against the Rays at Wrigley Field, which starts Friday:

Friday: LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 3.32) vs. RHP Chris Archer (7-6, 3.42)
Saturday: RHP Edwin Jackson (6-11, 5.66) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (7-9, 4.09)
Sunday: LHP Travis Wood (7-9, 5.08) vs. RHP Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.52)

1/8 Garza deal for present & future

GM Jim Hendry wanted to make it clear that giving up top prospects like Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer to acquire Matt Garza was done not only to help the Cubs in 2011 but also for the next few years.

“Matt’s 27 and he’s going to be a Cub for awhile,” Hendry said Saturday. “We look at this as a great trade for the present and the future. For the Rays’ sake, they weren’t able to hold onto some of their talent through free agency that left because of their situation and look what they’ve done and the way they’ve re-tooled before and they have great young pitching in the Minor Leagues. I have no doubt they’ll re-tool again and be a factor in the American League East, and probably sooner than people think. This was a trade for not just now for us. We’re not giving away the farm to try to win in one year. That couldn’t be farther from the truth with a guy like Matt Garza.”

Why did Garza come at such a steep price? Because he’s heading into what will likely be prime time for the right-hander and he also will be under team control through the 2013 season.

Garza got his first look at Wrigley Field on Friday. He has never pitched there.

“I had the pleasure of seeing it yesterday in its snow-covered glory,” he said. “It was outstanding and I love it. As long as the dimensions are the same, I’ll be all right.”

He is coming from a team that won 96 games and the tough AL East. The Cubs finished fifth in the NL Central.

“Before the Rays won 96 games, they were in the cellar of the AL East,” Garza said. “We just went in there with all positives. We went in there [and said] ‘We’re in for a dogfight so let’s go get them.’ That’s the same attitude I take year in and year out. It’s going to be a dogfight no matter who you face. Our opponents are Major League ballplayers so nothing is going to be handed to us. Right now, it’s going to be a tough race and let’s see how we get ready and get it done. Why not?”

— Carrie Muskat

1/8 Perez eager to join Cubs

Outfielder Fernando Perez told the St. Petersburg Times he was “very excited” about going to the Cubs. Perez was reported to be one of the Rays Minor League players included in the deal in which the Cubs get pitcher Matt Garza. Chicago will send five players to Tampa Bay, including Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos and Sam Fuld. The deal could be announced Saturday.
“I think there’s a lot of reasons I really liked the Rays, it’s the only place I’ve ever known,” Perez told the Times in a phone interview Friday. “I loved it there. And I’m prone to sentimentalism. … But the opportunity is probably better [in Chicago], so I’m excited. I would have loved for it to have worked out in Tampa Bay, and it was probably going to happen before I hurt my wrist [in Spring Training 2009] and everyone forgot my name.”

A switch-hitting outfielder, Perez came off the bench for the Rays in the 2008 World Series. He dislocated his wrist diving for a fly ball in Spring Training. He’s healthy now.

“I’m totally looking ahead,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to play for the Cubs?”

Cubs GM Jim Hendry called Perez Friday and told him there were people within the organization who had wanted the speedy outfielder for some time.

“I’m really, really excited,” Perez said. “I’m sad to go. … I know this is a business, and that’s how it works.”

Perez has acknowledged the deal on his Twitter account, saying, “Getting traded is so distracting! Readin same pg over&over thinkin ’bout ivy and pena doing dugout dance b4 WS game garza starts & wins”

That may be a reference to the decisive Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Oct. 19, 2008, between the Rays and Red Sox, which Garza, Carlos Pena and Tampa Bay won, 3-1. Garza gave up one run on two hits and struck out nine over seven innings, and was named MVP of the series.

Perez has appeared in 41 games with the Rays in 2008 and ’09, and was on the roster for the ’08 postseason. He appeared in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series as a pinch-runner and stole second. But the Phillies won the game, 4-3, and the series.

— Carrie Muskat

1/7 Archer key to Garza deal

The Cubs and Rays have talked since the Winter Meetings about a possible trade but the Cubs were reluctant to part with 22-year-old Chris Archer. Earlier this week, discussions broke off. But the Rays called again to say another team had entered the bidding. The Cubs decided to include Archer in the package. The Cubs will send five players to the Rays for Garza and two Minor Leaguers, and the deal will be complete once all undergo physicals.

Archer combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 28 games between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee in 2010. Acquired from the Indians in December 2008 in the Mark DeRosa trade, he was 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA with the Smokies.

On Oct. 12, Archer struck out 10 and threw six scoreless innings for Team USA to help beat Cuba, 4-1, in the Pan American Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico. On Friday, he was attending the Rookie Career Development Program in Leesburg, Va., when he got news of the pending trade and left to get a physical exam.

— Carrie Muskat

1/7 Cubs to get Garza in 8-player deal

The Cubs apparently are close to acquiring Rays pitcher Matt Garza for five Minor League players, including 2010 Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer and 2010 Player of the Year Brandon Guyer. The deal will be finalized once the players undergo physicals.

Sources said Friday the framework is in place for the multi-player swap in which Chicago would get Garza in exchange for Archer, Guyer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Sam Fuld. The Cubs also would get two Minor League players from the Rays. According to the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, one of the players is outfielder Fernando Perez, 27, who batted .234 in 107 big league
appearances. He hit .223 at Triple-A last year.

Team officials would not confirm the trade. Earlier this week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported the Cubs were close to acquiring Garza but both teams denied anything was imminent. The Daily Herald reported Friday that a deal was in the works and had the names.

Garza, 27, would join a rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny, and Carlos Silva. The Rays right-hander was 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA last season, and would definitely give the team a boost and help counter moves made this offseason by the Brewers, who added starters Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum. The Cubs have been looking for an innings-eater type pitcher.

Garza is arbitration-eligible for the second time and will get a raise from his $3.35 million salary in 2010. Archer combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 28 games between Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. He was 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA with the Smokies, and also had a 10-strikeout game in the Pan-Am Qualifying Tournament this winter. Archer was acquired from the Indians in December 2008.

Guyer batted .344 with 39 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, 50 RBIs and a .398 on-base percentage. He was the Cubs’ fifth round pick in 2007.

Lee batted .282 in 122 games with Class A Peoria. Chirinos batted .318 with 15 homers and 64 RBIs at Tennessee and hit .364 with three homers and 10 RBIs with Triple-A Iowa. Fuld has a career .285 Minor League average and has hit .252 in 98 big league games with the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat

1/5 Garza to Cubs rumors

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday the Cubs were “close” to acquiring Rays right-hander Matt Garza. That was news to the Cubs. ESPN’s Buster Olney cited a well-placed source Wednesday morning as saying the Rays were more likely to deal Garza this summer. My Tampa sources say the same thing. The Rays are waiting for a team to blow them away with players in exchange. Are the Cubs interested in Garza? Yes. But the Cubs don’t want to give up some of their young talent. The Rays may change their mind around the trading deadline. The Cubs do have depth in the rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva. Garza would definitely give the team a boost and help counter moves made this offseason by the Brewers.

— Carrie Muskat

12/8 Carlos Pena update

The Cubs were expected to call a news conference Wednesday at baseball’s Winter Meetings to formally announce the signing of free agent first baseman Carlos Pena to a one-year, $10 million deal. Pena’s batting average isn’t pretty — he hit .196 in 2010 — but he has some other stats that justify the deal. Pena has averaged 36 homers in the last four seasons, including a high of 46 in 2007 with the Rays and an American League-leading 39 in 2009. He’s also averaged 93 walks, 24 doubles and nearly 102 RBIs in that same time frame, and compiled a .884 OPS.

Pena began his career with the Rangers — and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo — who made him a first-round pick (10th overall). He was traded to the Athletics in January 2002, and traded again that year to the Tigers, where he played from 2002-05. He’s also played for the Red Sox (2006), and Rays (2007-10). He received $10.125 million last year from Tampa Bay. An All-Star in 2009, Pena won a Gold Glove in 2008 and a Silver Slugger award in 2007.

He’s had an interesting career, having been released twice — once in March 2006 by the Tigers, and again in August 2006 by the Yankees. He had a clause in his contract in ’06 that allowed him to become a free agent if the Yankees didn’t put him on the 25-man roster by Aug. 15. Pena actually lost out in his bid to make the Rays roster in March 2007 to Greg Norton.

At the time, Pena told Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon that he’d be back and promised he was going to “make an impact.” Hours later, Norton injured his knee and Pena was on the Opening Day roster. He did make an impact, hitting 46 homers and driving in 121 runs.

“We owe a lot of this to Greg Norton,” Maddon said then. “We got lucky.”

Pena also has a reputation as a great clubhouse guy.

“For me, a leader has got to be willing to give himself up for somebody else first and Carlos does that,” Maddon said in an interview in 2008. “He makes people feel much more important than he is.”

— Carrie Muskat