Winter Meetings Day Three: Cubs Targeting Matt Garza?

The Cubs began Day Three in Orlando by spending $10 million on Carlos Pena … and spent the night discussing how to improve their pitching staff.

A late report from Bruce Levine indicated the Cubs and Rays met for a second time and “discussed parameters of a trade that would send right-handed pitcher Matt Garza to Chicago for a number of the Cubs’ top prospects.” According to Levine, the Cubs “have the strongest bid” for Garza at this point.

Bruce Levine discussed the possible deal with Mike Ferrin and Jeff Nelson (XM Radio) on Wednesday night. Levine indicated three to four really good players could be traded for Matt Garza, including Robinson Chirinos and possibly one of the Cubs minor league shortstops. .

According to a report from Bruce Miles, Jim Hendry spent Wednesday night meeting with teams and agents about pitchers. Hendry will leave early Thursday morning to fly back to Chicago to attend the visitation for Ron Santo.

With the Rule 5 Draft on the horizon Thursday morning, here’s the update from Day Three of the Winter Meetings as the Cubs focus on a Matt Garza deal

Rule 5 Draft
Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings end on Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft. The Cubs are not expected to select anyone this year after drafting David Patton in 2008 and Mike Parisi in 2009.

According to a report from Cubs.com, “Chicago has added 14 young players to the 40-man roster since the beginning of the season began and needs to have some flexibility rather than committing to someone taken in the draft.”

There has been talk that some team could take a chance on Cubs’ minor leaguer, Marquez Smith … who had a very good season in Triple-A in 2010.

Chris Davis
According to multiple reports Wednesday, including one by Mike Ferrin on XM Radio, the Cubs are still interested in trading for Chris Davis.

Bruce Levine mentioned the same during his update on the Afternoon Saloon (ESPN 1000) and indicated the Cubs would like to add depth to their bench. Davis can play first and third and would provide a left-handed option to back-up Aramis Ramirez … and a lot of power off the bench.

The Cubs are also interested in Darren O’Day and the Cubs might have to go the trade route to improve their pen according to Levine.

Matt Garza
According to a report from Cubs.com, the Rays “have apparently decided to hang onto the right-hander for now” Bruce Levine’s report of the Cubs interest in Matt Garza contradicted the earlier report.

Garza would be a very good addition to the Cubs’ rotation, one that could cost the Cubs two to three very good young players in return according to Bruce Levine. Levine thinks the addition of Garza would re-establish the Cubs in the NL Central.

Levine was told that the Rays were looking for “near ready” Major League players that the arbitration clock has not started on yet. Chris Archer and Brett Jackson would not be traded for Garza.

According to a late report from the Daily Herald, there “does not appear to be a good match for Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Garza” but from all of Levine’s reports, the Cubs are targeting the right-hander.

Brandon Webb
The Cubs are very interested in Brandon Webb and are “taking extensive looks” at Webb’s medical history.

According to Bruce Miles, the Cubs could sign Webb to an incentive laden one-year contract.

Miscellanous Notes
The Tigers are interested in acquiring Tom Gorzelanny for Armando Galarraga.

Michael Young and the Cubs were mentioned together in a strange report from Jon Paul Morosi. Morosi said the Cubs and Rangers have “engaged in trade talks regarding multiple players in recent days” and it’s “not clear if the Cubs have serious interest in Young.” Morosi pointed out Young would only fit at second base in the Cubs’ infield.

This is not an advertisement of any sort, but for those interested tickets for the 26th annual Cubs Convention are still available.

For more from day three in Orlando … Winter Meetings Day Three: Cubs Talking Pitching

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Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Quote of the Day

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." - Abraham Lincoln

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