According to multiple reports, including one from Fernando Perez, the eight-player trade between the Cubs and Rays is done and the only things missing are the press releases from the clubs and for Jim Hendry to hold a press conference.
The Cubs sent five players to Tampa for Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and an unnamed minor league player … some reports have suggested a pitcher (possibly a reliever with Major League experience), others an infielder and one from ESPN 1000 indicated the third player will be the infamous PTBNL. Hendry unloaded four of his top 15 prospects (depending on the publication) and Sam Fuld to mixed reviews. Some like the deal for the Cubs, and some hate the fact Hendry dealt Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Robinson Chirinos and Brandon Guyer for a pitcher slotted to begin the season as the third starter in Mike Quade’s rotation.
No one knows how Garza will perform in a Cubs’ uniform but two things are certain. Garza will be under the Cubs control for the next three seasons (arbitration eligible) and the worst-case scenario is the Cubs have three trading deadlines and two off-seasons in which they can find the highest bidder for Matt Garza services.
Fernando Perez was on XM Radio with Mike Ferrin and Jeff Nelson on Friday night … and it was an entertaining and informative interview. Perez confirmed he is involved in the trade and said he woke up Friday morning a Chicago Cub.
Jim Hendry called Perez on Friday morning and told him he would have a chance to make the team out of Spring Training.
Perez admitted (without making excuses) that he has been hurt and has played really bad baseball the last two seasons. Perez said he’s feeling very good this winter and is looking forward to the season. He added that he does not really know the situation in Chicago … or many of the players on the roster. Perez mentioned that he and Garza would probably live together while they are in Mesa this spring.
Perez thinks Garza was just as surprised by the news of the trade as he was. Perez was extremely complimentary of Garza and said no Cub fan will ever question his commitment or passion. Garza just wants to win ballgames.
Salary Arbitration Filing
With Matt Garza on his way to Chicago, the Cubs will have a total of seven arbitration cases this off-season. The Cubs have already settled one when Jeff Baker avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.175 million back on December 2. The Cubs still have to work out contracts for Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall and Matt Garza.
Lost in all of the Garza rumors this past week was players could begin filing for salary arbitration.
Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall and Koyie Hill could file for salary arbitration beginning last Wednesday … players have until January 15 to file.
Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto and Sean Marshall are expected to receive big raises this winter. Marmol is in his second year of arbitration eligibility and could reach the $5 million mark. Marmol earned $2.125 million in 2010.
Marshall earned just under $1 million last season ($950,000) and will see a big increase in pay. Soto is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and will also see a significant increase from his 2010 salary of $575,000.
Garza earned $3.35 million in 2010 and figures to reach at least the $6 million mark for the 2011 season.
Gorzelanny ($800,000 in 2010) and Hill ($700,000 in 2010) could each become millionaires this winter.
Players and teams will exchange figures on January 18 and arbitration hearings take place between February 1 and February 21 … if the two sides cannot agree on a contract.
Stay tuned for the official announcement on the Garza trade to the Cubs …