Report: Cubs Close to Sending Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers

According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are closing in on a deal that would send Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for a package of prospects. The Cubs would receive “a strong package” that could include Mike Olt. The Cubs and Rangers have discussed “prospects at various levels” according to multiple reports.

The Cubs and Rangers are believed to have discussed Mike Olt, along with right handed pitchers Luke Jackson and C.J. Edwards.

Matt Garza caught a flight to Denver on Friday morning and told Bruce Levine that he has not heard anything from the Cubs.

Updated 8:34am CDTAccording to Jon Heyman, right handed pitchers Neil Ramirez and Roman Mendez have been in the discussions with the Rangers for Matt Garza.

Updated 9:16am CDTAccording to T.R. Sullivan, Luke Jackson is no longer part of the trade talks. Sullivan reported there is “no deal yet” but the Cubs and Rangers appear to be “working hard on a trade.” Tim Brown reported that the two teams have not gotten to the point of exchanging medicals.

A report from Patrick Mooney late Thursday night indicated the Rangers were moving to a Plan B and away from a Matt Garza trade due to the Cubs asking price and unwillingness to back down from their demands.

Peter Gammons thinks a Garza deal to Texas seems imminent with Martin Perez not in a possible deal and eight pitchers on the Rangers’ DL.


Updated 8:34am CDTJon Heyman reported on Friday morning that the Cubs have also discussed right handed pitchers Neil Ramirez and Roman Mendez in a package of prospects for Matt Garza.

The Rangers selected Neil Ramirez in the first round of the 2007 draft. Ramirez has steadily advanced through Texas’ system. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Ramirez is 9-3 in 17 starts at the Triple-A level this season with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. In 92 innings, Ramirez has allowed 62 hits, issued 33 walks and struck out 113 batters.

Neil Ramirez’s Page on Baseball-Reference

Ramon Mendez, the soon-to-be 23-year old reliever (July 25), is 2-0 in 16 games this season with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. In 24 2/3 innings at the Double-A level, Mendez has allowed 12 hits and walked 11 batters with 24 strikeouts.

Ramon Mendez’s Page on Baseball-Reference


Updated 9:16am CDTAccording to T.R. Sullivan, Luke Jackson is no longer part of the trade talks. Sullivan reported there is “no deal yet” but the Cubs and Rangers appear to be “working hard on a trade.” Tim Brown reported that the two teams have not gotten to the point of exchanging medicals.

Stay Tuned …

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  • SirGladiator

    I don’t even know who the heck that Perez fellow is, but it’s not a good sign when they aren’t even willing to give up nobodies. I’d say screw them, and deal Garza to St Louis, where they have real players to offer in return. Rosenthal, Wacha, Martinez, Adams, etc. just tons of young talent, you name it they’ve got it, and they’re legit, not guys like Olt hitting .211 in the minors. If you want real talent, you go to the guys who have it, and if Texas isn’t willing to trade any of theirs, then take whatever we can get from the loaded St Louis system you know you’re getting the highest of quality.

    • Vivid_Reality

      If you haven’t heard of Martin Perez then you clearly don’t know enough about the Rangers farm system to make statements like that.

      • Theboardrider

        Perez is a stud on the brink. CJ Edwards is one of their top 10 prospects and a guy with #1 or #2 potential…

        • DWalker

          If Perez is really out of play, than I have to think the package starts with Edwards and/or maybe Ramirez. Olt might be in the discussion, but his performance this year is going to make him a harder sell as a centerpiece of a trade. The question is, is this going to be a strict graza for prospects, or will there be another player or two involved on the cubs side? that goes for any team lookign to pick up garza.

          • Theboardrider

            Olt will be included but not the centerpiece. Our haul will center on pitching unless they were to get cra-cra and offer someone like Profar.

    • J Daniel

      Perez is a STUD! If I am the Rangers I DON’T give him up. The argument is to get a seasoned guy to help you win now. Well, I could make an argument that sometimes you win with great young talent because they are free and loose. NO DEAL with PEREZ if I am the Rangers.

  • Brp921

    I’m not sold on Olt. We need pitching.

    • Theboardrider

      CJ Edwards is a high ceiling, potential #1…

      • Theboardrider

        From Bleacher Report…

        “Despite his record, Edwards still posted a 2.11 ERA over 47 innings, giving up a total of just 11 earned runs. He also managed to strike out 60 batters while walking only 19. Opposing hitters were held to just a .160 average during his time in Spokane, and Edwards was again promoted. He was promoted to the Hickory Crawdads to start the 2013 season and has remained with the team since his call-up.
        As this season currently stands, Edwards is 6-2 with the Crawdads, posting a 2.07 ERA in his first 12 starts. He has held hitters to a .176 average this season and allowed only 14 earned runs. To put it simply, this kid looks to have a bright future.”

      • Brp921

        I like Edwards too. I just hope Olt isn’t the headliner of the deal because we need arms. Now if there’s another deal and they trade Olt for more pitching then ok. I do trust the FO to get the enough talent back, though, with their track record since they’ve been here.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Olt could be a great buy low candidate. The advantage of having good position player prospects/players is their young/controllable assets that usually = young pitching.

          • Theboardrider

            I believe Olt will be included but Edwards would be more of the centerpiece even though Olt is currently higher rated. I’d imagine they want to throw in Olt and we’re demanding Jackson or Edwards or both. If we could get both plus Olt I’d be tickled.

            Jackson is sounding like a pipe dream but Olt, Edwards and Ramirez would be a solid return. Ramirez is closer to MLB ready but maybe not as high of a ceiling. Tons of talent though is he puts it all together.

          • J Daniel

            I agree with you if you can get both plus Olt but that is probably the hang up. The Rangers probably believe Olt isn’t going to make it at this point either and are promoting his ranking and past. The Cubs probably don’t want him either but need to make a deal as I don’t think they will get better with 1 supplemental pick. It is a matter of if someone else is involved and willing to give up a similar type package that can be used in leverage to raise the price.

  • J Daniel

    Well, if we can believe industry sources, the next GREAT debate on ChicagoCubsOnline is about to begin.

    I was kind of hoping for a repeat of last year when the deals came during the same game. First, Soto is hugging everyone as he is leaving. Then, I think Reed Johnson. Maybe Demp as well – can’t remember the order of it but it was CLASSIC!

    The main thing now, IMO, is to get as many HIGH CEILING pitchers as possible, regardless of the level they are currently at. A majority of the position prospects will start to come now with Lake being the first one. I know his stay is probably short and just a tease to make him want it even more. But, as I posted last night, I hope he plays so well they can’t send him back.

    Time will tell but here we go …

  • Neil

    I have posted two updates this morning and will continue to do so throughout the day to this report with time stamps.

  • Neil

    Garza just tweeted: In Denver, but for how long? I hope the whole series! #gocubsgo

  • Theboardrider

    What if we got a 3rd team involved that would want Olt?

    • Vivid_Reality

      Marlins and we get back Nicolino? I would be thrilled.

    • daverj

      I’m sure the Cubs will listen to offers if they get Olt, but probably complicates the deal too much to try to prearrange a deal like that.

    • DWalker

      gotta find a buyer, which is possible. Vitters, Jackson and Olt though makes one wince. Still though, All three still have some hope.

      • daverj

        Olt has more value than Vitters or Jackson right now since Olt is only a half season removed from being a Top 25 prospect. Jackson and Vitters are over a year removed from such status.

        • DWalker

          no question, and Olt has always been the better ranked prospect. Theres also questions as to why he is underperforming that might be less major than Vitters or Jacksons problems. Still though, having all three in the system is rather wince worthy unless they can be turned around or turned in a trade.

      • Sonate

        Olt and Jackson are virtually the same age and are performing equally poorly in AAA this year. Luke Jackson was mentioned earlier as part of this deal. I’d rather have him than Jackson-clone.

  • daverj

    If Garza goes for Ramirez, Olt and Edwards, I’d be somewhat disappointed that we didn’t get a top prospect close to the majors, but I’d be satisfied.

    I think a deal like that would disappoint both Cub fans and Rangers fans … which might mean it’s a fair trade.

    • SomeGuy27

      Here’s the way I look at it:

      If the deal included Garza signing a long term deal with the Rangers I’d be somewhat disappointed by the return.

      However, if he is only a rental it’s a fair exchange. The wildcard is Garza says he doesn’t want to leave. If he is a rental only that means he is a free agent next year and can be re-signed. There is a possibility, that since an extension was talked about plan B from the Cubs might have been “Look, we don’t want to pay you the $XXX at XXX years on a stand alone basis. However, if we move you for prospects and you go to the open market, we ask you give us first shot and the package you want doesn’t seem that unreasonable anymore”.

  • triple

    Well this is all getting very interesting. I’m about to hop on a flight to Chicago and hoping there’s some good news from the CCO when I land at midway. Might even try to see a white sox game on Sunday and root for the team wearing those cool, yet atrocious 80’s throwback jerseys!

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  • bpot92

    Here is what is being said about some of the propsed prospects:

    73.(ranked in miidseason top 75 by Minorleague ball’s John Sickels)

    C.J. Edwards, RHP, Texas Rangers. Previously not ranked. Deep sleeper prospect woke up, blowing away Low-A. I originally had him about 100 but he deserves to be higher than that.

    Neil Ramirez- Neil Ramirez, RHP, Texas Rangers
    One of my favorite “breakout candidate” prospects pre-season was Neil Ramirez of the Texas Rangers. Although he had a 4.43 ERA in 140 innings for Low-A Hickory last year, he also had an excellent 142/37 K/BB ratio, and scouts reported a fastball that could hit the mid-90s. He was very effective in the second half (78/17 K/BB after June 1st) and I wrote that “this is the statistical profile of a pitcher on the verge of a breakout” in my book.
    The breakout is underway.
    Rangers officials were effusive in their praise for Ramirez in spring training, pointing to improved mechanics and a more consistent curveball and changeup to go with his mid-90s heat. He made one start in High-A to open the season, fanning nine in 4.2 innings, then jumped up all the way to Triple-A. He’s made three starts for Round Rock now, with a 17/6 K/BB in 16 innings, just eight hits, and three earned runs (1.69 ERA). Pacific Coast League observers are quite impressed, and if he continues his current pace of development, he could be ready to reinforce the major league staff this summer.
    Ramirez was a supplemental first round pick in 2007 from high school in Kempsville, Virginia, but for some reason he’s never received as much attention as he’s deserved outside of Texas fandom. There’s a good chance that will change later this year.

    Prospect Info and Scouting Report

    Roman Mendez / RHP, TEX
    Born 7/25/1990 (22 yrs old)
    San Pedro de Macoris, D.R.

    Height 6-2
    Weight 180
    Bats/Throws R/R
    507 | 2/10/2013

    Experience Ranks


    Total professional innings pitched: 341.

    One of two Mendezes pitching on the Texas farm, (the other is Venezuelan lefty Yohander), Roman Mendez is a righthanded power pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He zipped through A ball last year and landed at AA Frisco, where he’s expected to open and probably close the 2013 season.
    A perfect Nolan Ryan project: a sturdy, solid grinder who throws the ball hard. Damn hard. His 96mph heater comes with unhittable late movement, and he seems able to maintain that velocity for six or seven solid innings before tiring. As is common with young flamethrowers, it’s the development of his (still iffy) changeup and breaking ball that’s holding him in the low minors for now, and that’s where he’ll be focusing his effort in the year to come.

    NONE of this is my personal opinion, rather the opinions of various scouts such as John Scikels and other scouting reports. I am just bringing some of the opinions on these guys besides what Neil has already provided for anyone interested since I was curious myself

  • Neil

    Report from Sacramento:

    Matt Garza (Fresno St) trade from Cubs to Rangers is “99 percent done.” Teams going over medical records now. 6 players in the mix

    • cubtex


      • cubtex

        Just noticed Soriano in lineup for tonight. He still can be scratched but I imagine it could be Garza and a prospect. If Olt is coming maybe Vitters would go to Rangers? We shall see hopefully by end of day

        • Theboardrider

          That would make sense. Swap Olt and Vitters…

  • Theboardrider

    This is kind of sucking. We’re all on pins and needles and we probably won’t even have anything happen today…

    (maybe I’m subconsciously just trying the ol’ restaurant trick, where I’m impatiently waiting, so I get up to go to the bathroom and my food is at the table when I get back).

  • jtrain23

    I hate to be the pessimist here, but I have read reports that Ramirez is a major part of the trade and is highly coveted by the Cubs. He has rebounded quite nicely this year after really struggling last year. But, he has missed the better part of the last few weeks with some type of shoulder injury that is obviously listed as minor. I pose this question, however. Is any shoulder injury to a power pitcher ever “minor”?