The trade between the Cubs and Rangers for Matt Garza that was thought to be close and even imminent, according to some reports, hit a snag on Friday after the teams exchanged medicals on the players thought to be involved in the deal.
The Rangers are still interested in Matt Garza after reviewing his medicals which would lead one to think that Garza checked out fine but one of the players that was coming to the Cubs in the deal did not. There has not been a report from either team on which player or players’ medicals did not check out.
Prospects from the Rangers’ system that were thought to be in the talks included RHP Neil Ramirez, RHP Luke Jackson, RHP C.J. Edwards, shortstop Luis Sardinas and third baseman Mike Olt. The number of prospects the Cubs would receive in return for Garza varied depending on the report.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs and Rangers are still discussing a deal for Matt Garza and are trying to find the right package to satisfy the Cubs. But other teams remain in the mix, including the infamous mystery team. A report from Ken Rosenthal indicated the snag in the deal opened the door for the Cubs to discuss Garza with other teams. The Red Sox, Indians, Dodgers and Cardinals are thought to still be interested in Garza but according to Jim Bowden, the Nationals are not involved with talks for Garza as of this writing.
Both Jeff Passan and Ken Rosenthal reported the Rangers may be asking for James Russell to be included in a deal for Garza. Russell is one of the players the Cubs have been listening to offers for and his inclusion could be to increase the quality of prospects the Cubs receive back in the deal.
According to a report from the Tribune, Theo Epstein was working on a deal for Garza during the Pearl Jam rain delay at Wrigley Field on Friday night.
Matt Garza completed his scheduled bullpen on Friday, which was another good indication a trade was not inevitable because according to multiple reports from Rangers’ beat writers, Texas wanted Garza to make his Rangers’ debut on Saturday night.
It is very likely that Matt Garza will be traded before his next start on Monday … but if anything, the last year has shown that a deal is not done until it is announced.
The Cubs have not approached Alfonso Soriano about a possible trade yet but according to a report from the Tribune, it doesn’t sound like Soriano wants to leave the Cubs.
According to the Tribune, Soriano said it is hard for him to think about leaving the Cubs for two months. Soriano indicated he would not be able to “feel comfortable” with another team in that short of amount of time.
Junior Lake had an impressive debut on Friday night going 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. Dale Sveum planned to hit Lake at the top of his lineup until Lake told Sveum he was going to swing at the first pitch he saw. Lake was solid in centerfield and Sveum’s plan for Lake’s playing time is different from what Jed Hoyer said on Thursday night.
Hoyer indicated that Junior Lake would play against lefties until David DeJesus is able to return from the DL then he would be sent back to Triple-A in order to continue his development. Sveum said prior to Friday’s game that Lake would play every day until DeJesus returns.
Dale Sveum gave Lake a good compliment following his debut. Sveum said that Lake is the “first kid that’s really come up and looked like a major leaguer.”
Scott Baker made his second rehab start on Friday night with the Kane County Cougars and he did not fare too well. Baker threw 60 pitches, 36 for strikes, over 2 2/3 innings. Baker allowed six runs on six hits with three walks and one strikeout.
The Cubs are confident that Baker is healthy but he is not trusting his surgically repaired elbow right now. Baker said told Bruce Miles that “better results are the byproduct of good mechanics and being able to execute pitches. Right now, that’s just not the case.”
As long as Baker is healthy, his struggles are to be expected and what minor league rehab outings are used for. Whether Baker can replace Garza in the rotation, if and when Garza is traded, is irrelevant right now. The Cubs need him to be healthy so they can make a decision on whether or not to try to re-sign him in the offseason.
Scott Baker is expected to make his next rehab start.
News and Notes
Josh Vitters was activated from the DL on Friday. Vitters started at third base and went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Henry Rodriguez cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa.
Jeff Samardzija is impressed with the way Matt Garza has handled himself with all of the trade rumors. Samardzija sounds like he is hoping a deal does not happen for Garza so he can stick around for the rest of the season.