Cubs Close to Trading for Matt Garza?

According to a report from the Sun-Times, sources indicated Tuesday that “the Cubs were close to trading” for Matt Garza. The Cubs have moved past the Texas Rangers in the pursuit of Garza and could be drawing near a deal for the right-hander.

Jim Hendry has been working on a deal for Matt Garza since the Winter Meetings.

Updated – January 5, 12:47am CTAccording to a tweet from Dave Kaplan, ” a deal is seriously being discussed.”

The addition of Matt Garza would give the Cubs a strong top of the rotation … and in the process could improve the backend. According to the Sun-Times, with Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza anchoring the rotation, the last two spots could be filled by Andrew Cashner, Randy Wells, Carlos Silva, Tom Gorzelanny or Jeff Samardzija.

The Sun-Times mentioned the possibility of a next-step deal happening in order to clear payroll for the arbitration eligible Garza. According to the Sun-Times, the addition of Garza could free up “one or more” of the back of the rotation candidates to be traded … and Tom Gorzelanny has been rumored to be on the block for the last month.

The Sun-Times pointed out, “the Cubs have the farm-system depth for the first time in years, including several near-ready prospects, to make a deal happen.”

The Sun-Times did not mention which players would be involved in a deal for Matt Garza.

Stay Tuned …

Updated – January 5, 12:47am CT - According to tweets from Dave Kaplan, his sources have told him a deal between the Cubs and Rays “is seriously being discussed”. It could end up costing the Cubs three solid prospects.

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  • Baron_S

    that would be a great deal… but no comment till it happens — still a Hendry-skeptic.

  • Dexter

    holy crap

  • Gary J

    (chanting softly to self) come on Jim… Come on Jim…

  • MikeT_2008

    Whoa did not see this coming, I mean most of the rumors had died down, but who cares, just get it down Jimmy boy

  • daverj

    Heading to bed with fingers crossed …

  • Wickitkevin

    Wait isn’t the suntimes the same paper that said the Cubs were on the verge of trading for Roberts and Peavy?

  • Tony_Hall

    JH doesn’t have the payroll dollars to pay Garza. He will have to move more than Gorzellany to come up with the enough loose change in his pocket to take on his ARBITRATION contract. Garza made $3.35M in 2010 and will be getting a raise to $6M? $7M? or more.

  • Tony_Hall

    From the article

    “The Cubs appear to have moved past the Texas Rangers and into the driver’s seat in efforts to acquire Tampa Bay Rays 15-game winner Matt Garza — a potential move that could put the Cubs back into the ­National League Central title conversation for 2011.”

    Really – against the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers rotations.

    IF – Zambrano can return to the Good Zambrano for at least 25 starts

    IF – Dempster can continue to be effective for most of the year.

    IF – Aramis acts like he wants to play

    IF – We can find someone to bat leadoff

    IF – Soriano doesn’t go backwards ANY more, and actually needs to play better

    IF – Marlon Byrd plays like the 1st half of 2010 not the 2nd half

    IF – Tyler Colvin and Starlin Castro don’t have sophmore slumps

    IF – The ONLY change in offense can hit 220…

    IF – Soto can stay healthy and get 500 AB’s (see I like Soto, he just can’t stay healthy, enough for me)

    IF – The trio of Baker/Dewitt/Barney can form a productive 2B combo

    IF – Woody can be as effective as we all see in our minds.

    IF – Cashner can have a good year in the rotation

    IF IF IF

    Not all of these have to happen, but the biggest IF

    IF – JH will trade away 3 SOLID prospects after moving our only LH Starting pitcher AND moves a contract like Fukudomes and ONLY has to pay $7-$8M of it.

    I would love nothing more, than to be in a position where we could afford to give up solid prospects for Matt Garza, afford to pay him, and be in the right year for it to matter.

    2011 is not the year.

    I hope I am wrong.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Concerning your list, here’s what I see Tony, for 2011 Cubs:

      1. Z doesn’t act like the total jerk he was in 2010. He and Aram were pouting vs. Pinella, and when Pinella resigned, suddenly they could play. I think Quade will be able to handle him in 2011.

      2. Dempster: should be the same Dempster of 2009 and 2010. In other words, 11-15 wins, a decent starter.

      3. Aram will want to play along with Z, imo. I think he’ll get 100 RBI in 2011.

      4. Leadoff? Leadoff??!!!??? FORGETABOUTIT! Quade will probably do the stupid thing of batting DeWitt #1 or #3. Incredible as it seems, I expect that of him.

      5. Soriano does not improve over 2010, but regresses to 21 HR and .239 BA.

      6. Byrd? Hahahahahahahaahhahahaha! Well, he ain’t worth the $5 million. I see him hitting .289, 12 HR and the 60 RBI all over again, in 651 PA like last year.

      7. Colvin regresses, in my mind, unfortunately, to .223 and 15 HR and even more strikeouts. Castro, I’m looking at .280 with less than 5 HR.

      8. Carlos Hahaha . . . Carlos . . . hahahahaha. .. . Carlos Phahahahahahaha . . .. Calohahahaahaha . . . .Hahaha. Carloshaha. PenhahahahahahPena! Hahahahahahaahahahahahaha.
      Yeah, he hits .219 with 24 HR and he does most of his damage in the first half. I think he might pull a Funko–you know, he less every month of the season.

      9. Soto AIN’T getting no 500 AB. Just FORGETABOUTIT! So have a backup catcher that can hit more than Mario Mendoza. If only Quade and Jim Clueless were that smart . . . .

      10. 2B Baker/DeWitt/Barney: FORGETIT/FORGETIT/FORGETIT/FORGETIT/FORGETIT!! And let me say one more thing about it: FORGETITFORGETITFORGETITFORGETITFORGETIT!!!!!!!!!!!! FORGETIT!!!!!

      11. Woody? Where oh where does all the love come from?? He ain’t gonna start a game for us with that horrible shoulder. He’s not a great reliever anymore. He’s near to done. Aaron Heilman is back!!

      12. Cashner doesn’t make the rotation. He’s out real setup guy out of the pen, imo. He’s the RHP before Marmol.

      13. And your biggest IF of all?
      I personally do not see Jim Clueless having the money to sign Garza. I think P.K.Ricketts has taken operating capital away from Jim Clueless and spent it elsewhere (scouting, stadium improvements, paying off debt), and Jim Clueless is only pretending to have the means to make a deal. If Garza comes, there will be some trades FIRST. And come on, people! Funko ain’t a goin’ nowhere. Nobody wants a $13 million dollar platoon player with no speed, little power, and a cork screw strikeout vs. LHP.

      But IF I were the GM, and we had Garza AND all of our current staff, my rotation would be:

      Z
      Dempster
      Garza
      Wells
      Gorzalenny

      Silva would be most likely DFA. Samardzija would be in the pen because he’s out of options. Cashner would be my RHP setup, since we have only Wood in that roll, and I’d like to see Casey Coleman compete vs. Gorzalenny for #5 starter.

      Wells wins 15 in 2011 IF he stays with the Cubs.
      It says it right here.

      • paulcatanese

        Again Rip, well said,You and Tony hit it on the button.

      • Tony_Hall

        Rip – Puts everything in perspective, that an awful lot has to go right for this team to even be competitive.

        Still pushing Wells for 15, I see. I would love to see it, I just don’t see it, myself. Hope you hit this one on the head though.

        • Ripsnorter1

          If I could talk to him, or observe to see just how hard he parties, I could tell you whether it will be 15 wins in Chicago, or 5 wins in Iowa. But I ain’t close enough . . . still, I’m banking on his determination to be ready for 2011.

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,well said.

    • Johnsmu4

      all of these IF’s are so true. maybe 40% of these IF’s will happen and we will still finish 4th, with a long shot at 3rd. very sad.

  • Mozob

    Can you say Brock for Brollio?

  • Larry

    this deal depends on who we give up if it happens at all. i am sceptical that garza is the top of the line starter as advertised. accordingly, i would prefer that we hold on to the prospects and see what we have, then make moves for `12, when we can more adequately add pieces by shedding large contracts.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Larry, I keep hearing the Rays like Hak-Ju Lee and Robinson Chirinos. As Kap mentioned, it will take at least three top prospects.

  • The Maven

    DON’T DO IT! YOU’LL BE SORRY!

    • paulcatanese

      Gold stars for that post.

  • ripken boy

    It ain’t gonna happen. I got all jacked up when we were getting Peavy and Brian Roberts and Jimbo could not pull trigger. Jimbo would not trade Pie or Rich Hill to get those guys. I am having my doubts on his evaluation of young talent. If he does get Garza, he probably trades a young superstar to get him.

    • Mark

      Yeah, you’re right! EVERYONE wanted Corey Patterson back in the day. We had a chance to trade him straight up for Ichiro. Look what happened. Take a chance? Do we REALLY need Garza that bad, especially for 2012?

  • Cloycub13

    OK my Disqus box is not working, but I have to chime in. First off, Happy new year. Secondly, I am not buying any of this trade stuff until I see a post on the CCO that says “from the wire”! I am not buying into it! Lastly on this subject I will not be making any judgements on the deal until I know who is going.

    Now, If Lee is part of the deal, how can anyone say this is a really bad thing? I love prospects, you all know that I do, but many have made arguments that Lee is not going to be here til 2013…That’s 2 MORE YEARS. And as many have also pointed out that is not a guarantee.

    There are a whole lot of if’s on this team, but hey we are Cub fans, have we not been saying “What if” for years? If the Cubs do not get a Garza type I fear they will be battling with the Astros for 4th and none better in 2011. At least a Garza deal IMO puts them ahead of Houston, and allows them with luck to be within striking distance of the race in June/July. I have significant doubts about run production with no leadoff type hitter, Aram Regressing as our best RBI threat, Castro and Colvin entering that dreaded second year, and Pena (who I am neither for nor against until he shows what he can do starting 4/1/11). The Cubs need to have effective starting pitching, hoping the offense produces a little, and the backend of the pen is nasty. That is the formula for 2011, Ideal it is not, but it is what it is.

    Go Cubs!

  • jw

    Brian Jake Garza ACT II?

    Actually I think Garza is a better trade target than Roberts or Peavy.Hate to see Lee go but it seems clear that’s who you would have to include to get Garza…. With the bullpen it would give Quade a fighting chance to compete in Central if he can get production out of the veterans mentioned. Lee might be a top tier player but if Garza performs at the level he has with his relatively inexpensive contract there is value there as well. The second shoe to drop i.e. the pressure to add at the deadline while giving up even more quality prospects may be the bigger concern because even with Garza the Cubs are not a WS team, imo. unless Ronnie can pull some strings as well

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney:

    One well-placed source says this, as of this AM:Considering TB’s current posture, it’s more likely a Garza deal happens in July than now.

  • Cloycub13

    Seeeeee that is what I am saying…until the best Cub site in the world says From the Wire I am not buying any of it!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    A report that #Cubs are “close” to trading for Matt Garza surprised team officials. #Rays, who want a lot, more likely to wait until July

    • PleaseStopLosing

      Excellent news… If we were one pitcher away from contending for a title this year I would be all for grabbing Garza and going for it…. But, lets face it– We are far more than Matt Garza from fighting for a title this year. So why give up the farm (whether or not they could fail) for someone who probably won’t even still be with the Cubs once we shed big contracts and old guys and get back to being able to put up enough runs to actually compete.

      Praying this deal doesn’t happen…. I could careless if we end up 3rd or 4th in the division this year… I care about ending the World Series draught and this move I think is a negative to obtaining that goal.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • nick_ss

      Oh, by the way Neil, I love the new commenting system!

  • studio179

    I don’t believe the Rays will trade Garza to anyone now. Just like others reported, July is more likely.

    • Aaron

      Oh…I don’t know about that. Hendry is notorious for overpaying, whether it be free agency or trade, to get “his guy”. If Garza really is “his guy”, then he’ll get it done, and we’ll likely look back on the trade as the day the franchise totally went in the crapper.

      I have NEVER felt that hanging onto prospects for the sake of hanging onto prospects is the right move to make.

      However, when you factor in certain things, in this case with the Cubs, it appears that, unless it’s a young, power-hitting first baseman, or young, power-hitting corner OF, we better stand pat in most every trade that requires top prospects in return.

      The reasons are simple:

      1) Our payroll is too high right now. For a team that finished in 5th place in the Central last season, that’s downright embarrassing. Ricketts wanted to slash payroll, NOT add to it, so Hendry had to be extremely creative to even land Pena.

      2) Following reason #1 above, It’d require trading away Gorzelanny (likely to earn $2-3 million through arbitration), and cutting ties with someone like Baker (who will earn something like $1.5 million next year), Hill (likely to earn $1 million next year…WOW!!!). That’d leave us without a lefty in the rotation, and without a versatile back-up like Baker. Trading Fukudome would solve everything, but the problem is NOBODY wants him. What team, in their right mind would deal for a player that hits .250, 10-12 hr, 50-55 RBI, and K’s about 100 times per season….oh, and is paid $14 million?!? We’d likely have to pay at least $9 million to rid ourselves of his salary, and that’s just not going to happen.

      3) The Cubs are on the hook for $62.5 million for 2012 right now. Baker, Marmol, Marshall, Gorzelanny, Soto, and Wells will all be in arbitration, with the first 4 listed being in their 3rd year of arbitration (meaning their most expensive years). Soto will be in his 2nd year, and Wells will be in his 1st year. I believe Baker will be gone, so we won’t have to worry about him, and Gorzelanny is likely traded, so we won’t worry about him either, but the rest of them will likely total this: Marmol-$6 million, Marshall-$3-4 million, Soto-$6 million, and Wells-$1-2 million. That’s likely going to add about $20 million to payroll, taking it up around $82 million. Then, we owe Pena $5 million on top of that for his deferred payment in January, taking it up to $87 million.

      4) Right now, here are the high priced contracts we’ll still have on the books for 2012:
      Z-$19 million
      Dempster-$14 million
      Gorzelanny-likely $5 million if he’s still around
      Wells-likely $1-2 million if he’s still around

      Marmol-?? probably $6 million
      Marshall-?? probably $4 million
      Samardzija-$6.5 million

      C-Soto-likely $6 million
      1B-
      2B-
      SS-
      3B-
      LF-Soriano-$19 million
      CF-Byrd-$6.5 million
      RF-

      That’d be about $87 million committed, and we’d still have to fill holes at 15 positions (1 starter, 4 relievers, 5 bench spots, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and RF). Now, obviously I’m not including Castro, Colvin, and Cashner in this discussion, though they’d almost certainly be on the team unless they completely tank next year…But they’d be minimum salaries anyhow. Any good 1B is going to take between $15-20 million/year, so our payroll becomes $107 million. If Castro and Colvin perform up to expectations next year, you can take SS and RF off the list, and combined they’d add about $1 million total to the payroll with minimum salaries. An above average 3B is going to set you back about $15 million, which would take payroll up to the $120+ million range, and we still have to fill 5 bench spots, 2B, 1 starter, and 4 relievers.

      And now you can begin to see my point on why this could become an absolute disaster if we deal for Garza, because…

      5) Next year Garza will likely cost $6 million in arbitration. But in 2012, that number likely climbs to $9-10 million. So, basically swap out Wells, and you add $8-9 million in payroll by the addition of Garza. Ouch!

      6) It’d take no less than Hak-Ju Lee, LeMahieu, Chirinos/Castillo, and one of our top pitching prospects like Jay Jackson, Carpenter, or Coleman to land Garza in the first place, and that seems like a low offer too from what I’ve been hearing. They likely want Brett Jackson as well, instead of one of our pitching prospects as they have a lot of depth there. And here’s where this hurts us tremendously, and we might never recover for years to come.

      If LeMahieu adds power as expected with the Camp Colvin he’s attending, he could provide a solution for us at 1B, 3B, or even 2B if one of Castro or Lee struggles.

      Lee is our one true lead-off threat in the minors. He has the speed, knack for getting on base, and is a pesky hitter you want in that spot. Someone said Brock for Broglio, and I couldn’t agree more, because that’s EXACTLY what you’d be doing. We do NOT need Garza, and that is the biggest point here.

      Chirinos/Castillo add insurance in the inevitable DL stint by Soto. Outside of them, our only options are Clevenger, Brenly, and unfortunately Koyie Hill. That’s not good.

      Brett Jackson, noted by several scouting services as our one true power threat in the minors right now, would be a TREMENDOUS loss for us. He’s the eventual starter in CF the way I see it, and would allow us to deal Byrd, which is what I’ve said needs to happen anyhow.

      So, at the very least, we could have 4 spots filled on the roster by these guys in 2012, making the MLB minimum, and allowing us to upgrade significantly at key positions like a starting pitcher, a power hitting 1B, and maybe even a 3B if LeMahieu doesn’t generate enough power and becomes a bench player.

      That’s why a trade like this is so dangerous. It sends a contradictory message to the fans. It’d almost place the fate of the franchise in limbo, because it brings the following things into question:

      **************************************************************************************

      Are we going to build from within?

      Are we going to build through free agency?

      Are we going to have a mixed team with veterans and prospects?

      Are we even going to be able to compete with our own division….forget about the rest of baseball…but can we even surpass the talent already in the majors or on the cusp in the minors of the Reds, Brewers, and even the Pirates?

      Will a no better than #3 starter in Garza be enough to compete with the Reds, Brewers, and Cardinals rotations right this minute? More simply put, is our top 3 of Z, Dempster, and a would-be Garza better than:
      Chapman (if he starts, otherwise Arroyo), Cueto, and Volquez
      Carpenter, Wainwright, and Westbrook
      Greinke, Gallardo, and Marcum

      The answer is no, it is NOT better than those, and what’s worse, is that all 3 teams have 5 deep rotations where the 4-5 guys are probably on par with our top 3. The Reds have Leake and Wood, the Brewers have Wolf and Rogers, and the Cardinals have Garcia, and LaRussa’s annual reclamation project, which last year they got sub 4 ERAs from Suppan and Penny.

      And the REALLY crappy thing, is not only can we NOT compete with their rotations, but their lineups put ours to shame.

      It’s time to admit defeat, and start over. Hendry is only setting us back more years if he completes a trade like this. I could be wrong that Lee, Chirinos/Castillo, LeMahieu, and Brett Jackson will ever amount to anything. I could be dead wrong….But if I’m right, then we have a LOT to lose, and if I’m wrong…well, we still suck. So wouldn’t you rather take a chance on prospects, than keep going the free agent route, which clearly is NOT working for us?!?

      But Studio 179, I agree with you that the Rays probably will and should wait until July to deal Garza…And in either case, I think we should stay away from this, as it does not make us better. I find it extremely hard to believe that from a group of Archer, Cashner, McNutt, Jay Jackson, Carpenter, etc., we wouldn’t be able to find someone like Garza….and for FAR cheaper. And, outside of Jackson, it doesn’t appear any of the others have the character baggage that comes with Garza

      • paul catanese

        Good,concise well thought out post,you are right on all points, I cannot at any deal consider Gorzo to be traded,leftys are VERY hard to come by.

      • jey518

        I agree completely. This year is lost, why ruin the future too.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Kaplan:

    Cubs not close to a deal at this point for Matt Garza. Interested in landing him? Yes. Close? Not at all. http://www.csnchicago.com

  • John_CC

    I am taking Cloy’s tack on this – no reason to get worked up about a warmed up rumor from the back burner. There a lot of “fors” and “againsts” here, and I am somewhere in the middle.

    The one comment that I keep reading that I would address is that the 2011 Cubs are no contenders – I agree – and that Garza will not be the difference in 2011 – I agree – so it would be bad to make a trade of prospects for him in 2011. That is where I disagree. This is 27 year old pitcher with a solid and improving record over 3 seasons. Acquiring Garza, and extending him, would do a lot for the Cubs for the next few years. Isn’t 2013 the year some of you are waiting for? In my opinion, it sure would be nice to have top of the rotation veteran on that team to go with the otherwise rotation of first and second year (hopeful) starters, i.e. Cashner (could be his 3rd year as starter – could be), Coleman, Archer, etc.

    Archer has promise and I think Cashner has already shown what he can do, Coleman is back end pitcher. Top of the rotation pitchers are harder to develop from prospects than position players.

    Garza, 27, for 6-7M$ in arbitration with a 2-3 contract seems like a pretty sound idea.

    It all depends on the deal.

    We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath.

    • Gary J

      Nicely put John_CC – saves me from having to restate my position on why trading for Garza would be a good thing :-)

    • Tony_Hall

      John – Please read Aaron’s post and tell me again, Why it would be a good idea to trade for Garza for 2012 and beyond?

      Arms don’t last. I would only want to pay the price of prospects and cash for Garza – IF – we were in contention this year. Doing it for future years, when we don’t know how many of these pitching prospects will be able to fill the rotation, in 2012/2013, is just not a good move today.

      • John_CC

        Maybe later, when I have more time to digest that post!

  • MikeT_2008

    Oh well I guess it was too good to be true. Still got the old Cubs juices pumping again, Spring Training can’t get here fast enough

  • paulcatanese

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, .190 hitter for 10 mil,Garza for 7 mil,Gorzo ,the only lefty he has as a starter and two top prospects.No gurantee that they will move above fifth place. Sounds like a GREAT DEAl for everone but the Cubs. Must be some reasoning behind a move like this,but I have yet to see it. Not a very solid start to re-build.

  • paulcatanese

    Maybe JH thinks that Garza can strike out as many as Pena strikes out, that would make it a wash,but just spend the money,give players away etc. It is true however that a prospect is just a prospect until he has proven himself at the Big League level. Well play these guys in the spring, evaluate, and then deal. A lot of that could have been done last Fall,but wasn’t.

  • Tony_Hall

    The last part of Baseball America’s prospect assessment.

    “Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee had the best regular-season records in their leagues, and both Class A affiliates had winning marks, with legitimate talent driving all those victories. One pro scout who covered the Cubs opined that they had more future big leaguers than any other organization.”

    MORE FUTURE BIG LEAGUERS than ANY other organization!

    And I thought all the hype was just here at the CCO!

    Scouts can tell which players will be playing at the major league level, the good ones, can tell how successfully!

    Projected Lineup in 2014 from BA

    Catcher Geovany Soto
    First Base Tyler Colvin
    Second Base Starlin Castro
    Third Base Josh Vitters
    Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee
    Left Field Brandon Guyer
    Center Field Matt Szczur
    Right Field Brett Jackson
    No. 1 Starter Andrew Cashner
    No. 2 Starter Chris Archer
    No. 3 Starter Trey McNutt
    No. 4 Starter Carlos Zambrano
    No. 5 Starter Ryan Dempster
    Closer Carlos Marmol

    A couple of things that stand out.

    – Not even BA can find a future starting 1B in the Cubs system, they had to put Colvin there.

    – They have Zambrano and Dempster taking up the back of the rotation. Wow, that means we resigned them.

    – Maybe I am wrong about our catching prospects, as they still have Soto catching. I just don’t see him still catching by 2014, the abuse of catching is already affecting him.

    • Ripsnorter1

      This Baseball America stuff . . . .

      “The Cubs have more future big leaguers than any other organization.”
      Well, that remains to be seen.

      “Triple A Iowa …had legitimate talent driving their winning record.” Almost everyone in AAA Iowa in 2010 was 27-36 years old (as of April 6, 2010), and not a prospect anymore. LaHair 28, Hoffpauir 30, Synder 27, DuBois 31, Scales 32, Johnson 34, Fuld 28, Stevens 26, Parisi 27, Gray 28, Mathes 28, Scott Moore 30, Diamond 27.

      Legit prospects in AAA Iowa on April 6, 2010–
      Castillo, age 22, C
      Coleman, 22, P
      Jackson, 22, P
      Maine, 25, P, maybe a prospect
      Robinson, 25, C
      Marquez Smith, 3B, 25, maybe a prospect

      That’s it, folks.

      • Vivid_Reality

        “Life was better down on the farm than it was at Wrigley Field. Righthanders Chris Archer and Trey McNutt went a combined 25-4, while outfielder Brett Jackson pounded Double-A pitching in his first full pro season, establishing themselves as the best prospects in the system. Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee had the best regular-season records in their leagues, and both Class A affiliates had winning marks, with legitimate talent driving all those victories.”

        Lets not take things out of context.

      • Tony_Hall

        Rip – We all know that AAA is filled with AAAA players. The future big leaguers are at AA.

        AAA is for fill-in players and guys that look like big leaguers, but never were able to make a big enough splash to stick in the majors.

  • Matt R

    As much as i love to see garza in cub uniform. now is not the time, low chance of us getting him and to hig of a price for position cubs are in right now dont do it

  • Ripsnorter1

    I should mention that Baseball America doesn’t even rate Casey Coleman as a prospect, according to the posts on the CCO on 4 January 2011.

    • sadowski

      They cant because Coleman threw too many innings for Chicago. Lots of rushed players to the Major Leagues this last season and like Callis said if they’re werent so many rushed players that the Cubs would be ranked 2nd to the Royals.

    • Tony_Hall

      Coleman was very good for the Cubs, in Aug/Sept, but isn’t barely even mentioned as a candidate for the rotation. Guys who don’t have “miss your bat kind of stuff”, ususally don’t rate in the rankings.

      • sadowski

        Coleman is that style pitcher when you look around and he’s pitch you into the 7th innning with a chance to win, no exciting, couple of k’s with 6 to 9 hits but he’s got you tied or in a lead. Also Maddux toures our minor league pitching staff and says Coleman is his favorite pitcher, because thats what Casey is a pitcher with an idea how to pitch. Just look at his family background and it makes sense. Plus he’s got a great pickoff move, he can hold runners well, fields his position maybe as good as anyone on the club and can swing the bat like he showed in September. He’s a 5th starter who proves himself as a 4th starter down the road and maybe works his way into a third pitcher if he’s had some success at that time.

  • Gary J

    Time for fractions :-)

    A third of the board is complaining that Hendry doesn’t pull the trigger on Peavy/Roberts/etc deals by not being willing to give up what it takes…. while a third is complaining that he shouldn’t pull the trigger if the other team is asking too much in return…

    A bit ironic LOL

    About half of the remaining are just positive that Hendry will screw it up if he deals or if he doesn’t because he’s Hendry.

    I’d say that remaining sixth remains cautiously optimistic and sees this as a good thing if it happens… hope people :-)

    • Tony_Hall

      Have you ever been in charge of something, that many people like to give you their opinions and ideas on what you should do.

      I have, (as many have) and the decisions are always tough, and more to it then the outsiders (us in this case) know.

      This isn’t meant as a backing of JH, as most every team in the league, would have fired JH if he was their GM, by now.

      But meant to say, that all tough decision have people in different corners.

      The key to running anything successfully, is to listen, analyze, and have a plan, then when the decision is made, ALL involved need to back it, regardless of what decision has been made. It doesn’t seem to me that Rickets, JH, and Lou were on the same page. Lets hope that changes and that TR, JH and Quade will be on the same page, but being on different agendas, sends mixed messages of what the plan really is, which makes for much more second guessing.

      Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. I have Hope that JH doesn’t pull the trigger on this trade. You have hope that he does. Once again, different sides of the fence, even for hope.

      • John_CC

        Well put, Tony.

        I agree that Lou and Hendry were rarely on the same page, and then when Ricketts was thrown into the mix…well, we all saw it come unraveled. Lou had too many years in and, I believe, felt that he deserved more. More players, different players, etc and that he wanted to pick those players. Hendry appears to me as a true Yes Man to his bosses. For this reason, I wish again that the Cubs had hired a young manager, one that could grow with the new shape of the organization.

        O well, we’ve always got hope, right!

      • Gary J

        While I would obviously like the trade to happen – it’s not hope for the trade that I have but rather hope for the season. While the offense struggled at times, the early season woes were from the pen – which has been addressed both in Wood and in youngster development. Following the Lou retirement though – the fact that the team had the second best record in the majors says that they do in fact have a bit of talent in house.

        My hope is more of a general hope that 2011 isn’t a lost season.

        And part of that hope would come from adding Garza to solidify a rotation that lost a big piece in Lilly.

        At 27 and with three years still under team control – I don’t see getting Garza as harming the future of the franchise.

        But as you say – it’s an opinion :-)

        • Tony_Hall

          That would depend on what you give up, and what those 3 years cost in terms of dollars, and a rotation spot.

          Dempster and Zambrano take 2 spots for 2011, 2012

          Cashner should get a spot
          Gorzellany is our only lefty and has pitched well enough to have a spot
          Wells is gonna win 15 John_CC :)
          Coleman earned a spot in Aug/Sept
          Archer is almost ready
          McNutt looks close

          What do Cashner, Wells, Coleman, Archer, and McNutt cost – league minimum. 414K each, just over $2M total. If we can’t fill 2-3 spots with these guys in 2011 and 2012, we have no hope for the future anyway.

  • cubs1967

    stating the obvious:

    Castro must bat lead-off to determine if he can. a 20 yr old should not be pigeon-holed as a #2 hitter after less than a full season. he may struggle; he may not steal bags at a 75% clip; but we DO NOT know that yet. and 2011 is not about winning……..ask the penny pinching P.K. Ricketts and family about that…….

    second, Cashner must start…….becuz we DO NOT know if he can yet…….and should for a full year and if he struggles……to the pen. and again….2011 is not about winning……..right P.K.(hye—where again did the increase in tix go???……what Dominincan did we sign??)

    third, has anyone noticed the cards opening contract talks w/ Pujols………..and we DID NOT get AGon like a progressive franchise would of (like the Bostons)……..so who’s gonna be the franchise 1st baseman…………..none in the system (Vitters is closer to bustville than productionville)……either Pena hits .260 and 30 dingers OR fatty fielder from brew town is the guy everyone will be chasing…….and won’t that be cublike to give him a big ol’ 5 or 6 yr deal for 22M plus and then watch him………
    drop……
    drop……
    in production.

    2011….day 5 of the 103rd season w/o a Cubs World Series Championship.

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      1st Castro should not lead off the 2 hole is perfect for him. Leading off he would not have a lot of oppurtunities for RBI. He is fast but in the minors he stole 51 bases and was caught 23 times THAT IS BAD! In the majors he stole10 bases and was caught 8 times THAT IS HORRIBLE! He still needs to develop more patience at the plate, most feel he will hit for a lot more power down the road and could be a 3 hole guy. He hits a lot of doubles some triples and a few HR right now and will knock in some runs from the 2 hole which will greatly help this team. Batting him lead-off is not a good idea at all.

      • Tony_Hall

        Castro looks like a 2 hole hitter, and should be penciled in to the 2 hole for the next 20 years!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Question: according to your logic, should we also start Samardzija in 2011 because we do not know if he can/cannot succeed as a starter in MLB?

      My view would be that he shouldn’t even make the team in 2011. But of course, he will because he is out of options and they owe him $2.5 million.
      Just another case of playing “my guy” because he is “my guy” and letting some other deserving fellow–eg, Casey Coleman, eat dirt in the minors. You watch and see . . . .

    • Patrick_Schaefer

      In 2012 Pujols will be 32
      A Gon will be 30
      Fielder will be 28 IN HIS PRIME THE RIGHT SIDE OF 30!

      I’m not saying that Pujols won’t have some good years left in him but not as many as Fielder.

      A Gon will definitely have some years left as well but Fielder is still 2 years younger!

      Yet you signing a guy for 5 or6 years and at the of that he will be 33 or 34 and that he will drop of all the sudden Doubtful.

      Pujols on a 5 or 6 year deal where he would be 37 or 38 at the end of it would be stupid!

      A Gon a five year deal would be good!

      • JoePepitone

        The production of Fielder, a significantly overweight 28 year old may also fall off the table, just like another overweight 1B named Boog Powell did in the 1970′s. After receiving MVP votes in 5 seasons by the time he was 28 (including winning it as a 28 year old in 1970), Boog’s BA & HRs fell precipitously starting at age 29 (he batted .259 and averaged 16 HR & 68 RBI in the next 4 years after averaging .274, 28 HR and 94 RBI from age 22 to 28). While Baseball Reference lists Powell at 6’4′ & 230 lbs., I’ve seen one web site that stated, “the hulking Powell weighed 250 pounds by the most conservative of estimates” (http://bruce.mlblogs.com/archives/2008/07/card_cornerboog_powell.html).
        By contrast, Fielder is listed at 5’11″ and 270 lbs. and, at age 28, had a “down” year of .261, 32 HR and 83 RBI. I’m guessing that the 270 lbs. is lighter that his actual weight now. I wouldn’t bet on a long-term contract for someone with his physique. Interestingly, his dad, Cecil Fielder, also had a significant drop-off in stats beginning at age 30 — and Prince is shorter and fatter than poppa Cecil was.

        Nope. I don’t sign Prince to a 5 or 6 year deal. I’d rather sign Soriano, and I wouldn’t do that, either.

        • The Maven

          Powell did have a great Lite Beer commercial.

  • Mgripken

    Question: If the Cubs get Matt Garza does it put us in the World Series? I say NO. Keep the young players and build from within. In my lifetime the Cubs have never done that and that is the foundation of all winning organizations. The core players on the Yankees have all been home grown players: Jeter, Cano, Posada, Bernie Williams, Mariano Riveria, Pettite, etc…. and they then spend $$ on free agents that compliment those home grown players.