Report: Cubs Considering Long-Term Extension with Matt Garza

According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs have re-engaged talks with Matt Garza over a possible long-term extension. The two sides discussed a long-term contract shortly after Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations for the Cubs. The talks are believed to have broken off after Garza asked for no-trade clause to be included in the deal.

Jon Heyman and Jesse Rogers reported that the Cubs and Garza have recently discussed contract options that would keep with the Cubs.

According to the report from ESPN Chicago, the Cubs will still likely trade Matt Garza prior to the July 31 deadline. The Cubs have reportedly received a lot of calls about Matt Garza and are rumored to have discussed packages with several teams. The Red Sox, Nationals, Orioles, Rockies, Indians, Rangers and Blue Jays are rumored to be the most interested. The Orioles are thought to still be in the mix even after acquiring Scott Feldman last week.

Jon Heyman mentioned the Cubs and Garza had long-term contract discussions two springs ago in his report.

The Cubs are not going to give away Matt Garza and it would not be surprising to see them extend him if they feel a team will not pay, in terms of prospects, what the Cubs’ feel he is worth.

According to a report from the Tribune on Monday night, the Cubs are thought to be talking to teams about a possible package deal that would include Dioner Navarro, along with Matt Garza.

Stay Tuned …

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  • calicub

    Probably a ploy, but definitely an interesting wrinkle to the hot stove season.

    The injury history makes me nervous but if they lock him up now I think it means the FO thinks this club is ready to compete sooner rather than later.

    • calicub

      Couple that with the plan to trade off international monies next season rather than stock pile talent goes to show they may be ready to shoot for a wild card next season.
      Can’t imagine rizzo a sophomore slump or castros hiccup will be back next year.

      Go Cubs!

      • cubtex

        Even with Garza, they have way too many holes to fill to compete for a wild card next year. Remember, Garza is 2 months younger than EJax. He won’t turn 30 till the end of November. 2015 will be the soonest that I see them being competitve.

        • paulcatanese

          Agree with too many holes to fill.
          But they have to start somewhere to establish a starting rotation. It wouldn’t be spectacular, but Garza, Wood, the Shark and Wood gives them a base on which to build, what would he(Garza and EJax) be, 31-32 in 2015?
          The worse they could be is have a staff and no hitting or bullpen.
          (boy that’s not much of an endorsement), I would like to see them(FO) settle down and slow down on the in and out of things, and with a steady staff may pull it off.
          The dream of not putting it together until it’s felt that they are going to compete for a world series is very suspect, no matter who they think is going to carry it off. Any team will need a lot of luck.

          • cubtex

            I am all for extending Garza. I meant that he is still young enough that the FO wouldn’t be signing him for the hopes that they will compete in 2014. This would be for 2015,16,17. Look at the FA market for pitchers next year and the following year. In order to get a top of the rotation starter you need to develop your own,trade for one(as was the case when we aquired Garza) or overpay for one in free agency.

          • GaryLeeT

            After having watched the Cubs play 2 consecutive series against the 2 (currently) best teams in baseball, they only seemed miles apart in one area, and we all know what that is.

        • Tony_Hall

          Hey, hey….cubtex is back!!!!

        • calicub

          Your probably right but for uaving such a mediocre team this team isnt playing awful baseball. The bullpen needs help but parker seems to be legit, and the cubs have plenty of bp arms they can plug in. Travis Wood (assuming he doesnt regress too terriblythe second half) Garza and shark are and would be one of the top3 in baseball even if none are actual number ones. Rizzo and cadtro and even castillo are going to get better.

          THIS TEAM MAY ONLY LOSE 90 games even with the sell off. Plug in a few guys in FA like phil hughes etc. and they may just surprise.

          Good to see you back in the Cubtex moniker!

          • cubtex

            Good to be back in the CubTex moniker!

          • calicub

            Geez this nook is hard to type on!

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            My Kindle is a pain too! I’m almost always on my phone (hence the typos). The Kindle was too much…

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Cubtex is back! Man Ray you were always crazier as Cubtex. What prompted the change in the first place?

          Either way, glad you’ve figured out a way to stick around despite the log-in changes. Wouldn’t be the same without you.

          • cubtex

            I had to get my disqus acct back up and running. I will be using strictly Cubtex from this point forward. Will try and not be as crazy as the past.

          • triple

            I don’t buy the “as crazy as the past” sentiment… but cheers for thinking it’s a possibility!

    • raymondrobertkoenig

      Garza’s injury history would give me pause, as well.

  • texcubnut

    I hope it is not a ploy. I have wanted to keep Garza all along and believe him to be a top of the rotation starter. I don’t believe that , even though he is at top of the market value, that we will get back what he is worth from any team. Garza is worth at least what Jackson is being paid plus more. Now, extend Samardzija and you have four starting pitchers under control for the next 3-5 years. ( Pierce Johnson, your table is waiting) Sign Kris Bryant, and keep the ‘position players’ line moving at the minor leagues and ,if not next year, then the year after, start competing, year in and year out, continue to replenish the minor leagues and land a BIG free agent if you need to. IT’s time and this fan base, one and all , deserve this. That’s my two cents. Keep the change. (and the faith)!

    • cubtex

      I agree with your two cents! A lot of common sense coming out of the Lone Star State!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Just because the fanbase wants to win and deserves it doesn’t mean you drop 100 mil on a guy. Garza’s not going to take a 3-4 year extension, more like a 5 to 6. Extending SP’s is a risky business and especially one that has had as many injuries lately as Garza has. I want the Cubs to win as much as the next, but I don’t want them to be a one and done like the Sox in 05. I’d rather have something along the lines of the Blackhawks and I don’t want the FO to deviate from the plan so they can “win” faster.

      • cubtex

        There is never any guarantees of this “Sustained” success in baseball. That is why you should never throw away a season. Injuries come into play too much in baseball to think that teams can win each and every year. That being said….the hardest thing to aquire and hold onto in baseball is top of the rotation starting pitching. If they trade Garza….where will that TOR starting pitching come from? Do you think Shark is? I feel as if he is a #3. Travis Wood? Do you think with his stuff that he can be one? Vizcaino? Will Vizcaino be durable enough to start? Let’s look in the minors. Kyle Hendricks? What is his ceiling? Pierce Johnson? Blackburn? You see my point?

        • 07GreyDigger

          I didn’t mean a dynasty for “sustained” success. Sustained success for me is like the Cardinals who since 2000 have had 12 winning records, won 6 division titles and won the WS 2 out of 3 times. That to me is “sustained” success and that’s what I want. I want the Cubs to win a WS, but I don’t want them to be like the Sox in 2005 where they won and then tanked the following 2 seasons.

          I like Garza and was very excited when they traded for him. He definitely makes the rotation that much stronger and gives the team the chance to win every time he pitches. But in the same vein of you want them to win faster, they need to trade Garza to accelerate their chances of improving.

          This team has so many holes, (BULLPEN, starting pitching depth, OF, 3B, 2B) that they need the return on this trade to make them better. How else are they going to get the talent to make them win? And faster? I don’t want to rely on free agency and the crapshoot of the draft.

          That’s why I like the FO’s approach. They want to win and they want to win continually, but they also don’t want it to take ten years like the Pirates, Royals or Rays.

          • cubtex

            But if you have an asset like Garza and if you are not going to get a top of the rotation “prospect” back in any deal….wouldn’t it be better to lock him up?The Cubs do not believe in no trade contracts, so you can always trade him next year or the year if another team blows you away. I still feel as if they will probably trade him so all this discussion is probably in vein.

          • Tony_Hall

            YES

          • cubtex

            You mean we agree? I still feel he will be traded but I would love to see it. I said before that I would imagine that if Garza would sign an extension before the trade deadline that he would insist on at least a partial no trade clause. Wouldn’t you imagine that would be the case?

          • Tony_Hall

            He won’t get the NTC, but he may get an unwritten agreement to not send him to certain places or bad teams.

            I have always been in favor of extending Garza, and as you know, feel it is the only way that we make out in trading for him initially.

          • cubtex

            I know you have always been for extending him. My point is that with Garza so close to free agency…..and the Cubs extend him for 4 years(thus increasing his return) and deal him to a place that Garza doesn’t really want to go to….he is stuck there now for 4 years. He could wait until the end of the year and sign with a team who he would prefer to be with.

          • Tony_Hall

            He would want some pretty strong assurances that that wouldn’t happen. But, anymore he is not likely to get the NTC any where else, so anywhere he goes he will have this issue.

          • triple

            Totally agree Cubtex! However highly rated of a pitching prospect or 2 we get in return, there are no guarantees.

          • GaryLeeT

            I would happily trade 8 years of losing for one World Series Championship. Just get 1 then worry about rebuilding the system. And speaking of the Hawks. Dale Tallon went for broke, and they won. Then with a brilliant F.O. they dismantled, and rebuilt a team for sustained success, and won again.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Tallon might have gone for broke, but having Toews, Kane, Seabrook and Keith kinda helped too. That’s what I mean. Hawks had a ton of young guys who produced and when Tallon went for broke he added guys that complimented them. That’s what I want for this team.

            Maybe I’m being selfish, but reading Garza trade rumors all day makes this time of year more exciting especially when the bullpen brings the team down. But I get what everyone is saying, middling prospects make zero sense for a big arm like Garza. I just don’t want them to sign Garza to a Sorianoesque deal that we all bemoan forever.

          • GaryLeeT

            With this front office, you will never, ever see one of those types of contracts. Thank God.

          • triple

            Funny, I actually agree with Cubtex more than you on this issue. I think we are much closer to a winning team with him than without. With him, we actually have a good enough starting rotation. Without him, I only see 2 guys that are starting to prove they can keep us in a game in Wood and Shark. So to have Garza remain a Cub means we will continue to have better depth for the rotation which would just become another problem to fill in the offseason.

            The bullpen can be addressed this offseason, hopefully there’s some in-house guys from our organization so it doens’t get too expensive.

            I think many of the moves that the FO has done have been very calculated from the start. They see how badly the team played last year after the selloff and new they needed more SP depth. They added Edwin Jackson, and even if he doesn’t look like a good signing now, he’s improved, and manages to keep them in games when the team actually scores some runs and gives him a lead. In fact, he is likely to actually have a good season or two before his contract is over. They’ve done their job there. In fact, I’m sure Arrieta fits in that category for next year, as does Villanueva (barring a trade). Maybe a guy like Brooks Raley or Chris Rusin shows they deserve a shot and get that chance in spring training. But I’d still figure the FO will go out and get another starter or 2 in the offseason on a cheap contract to see if they can maximize some value of a good start to ’14 and be traded away by the deadline next year.

            So are we really that far? I think we’ll know that as we see how this season plays out. If we make some trades and the team can at least hang around that 10 games below .500 mark, I’d have to say we are close, but this all remains to be seen. I know 10 games below is not a good place to be, but with as many games that we’ve lost due to the bullpen and lack of clutch hitting, they should be a .500 team. And if you’re playing at .500, you gotta say there’s a chance, especially if all the bad luck this team has endured this year (i.e. blown saves, RISP hitting, Rizzo slumps, and Castro) can balance out next year and the young players bounce back and bullpen meltdowns are limited.

            I don’t know, that’s my perspective of where the Cubs are at, and if Garza gets extended, I really believe that puts us one step closer. Maybe the FO manages to even find some money somewhere to go out and get a decent free agent that can help contribute in the future. Not really thinking a big ticket guy, but someone who makes an impact in the ways that can help this current team function even better.

          • 07GreyDigger

            I agree with you that this team is closer than we think. I mean 10 games below .500 is not good, but compared to last year at this time they were 18 games below. Quite an improvement I think.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I think we’re closer to winning as well. With some decent bullpen arms we’d be a .500 team this year.

            If we got a free agent in the offseason we could really be in the mix next year (providing we get some bullpen arms). I’m starting to like the idea of Ellsbury. He’s a tad old but his skill set is rare.

        • mutantbeast

          Vizciano has had tons of arm problems. At this point, I seem to think hes a bullpen option, where his stuff might play better.

          • cubtex

            You could be right.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I heard a stat last night where 30% of MLB pitchers have had TJ surgery. I won’t count him out until he’s had an attempt to start. But shoot, a shutdown closer can impact a season more than a starter anyway. Vizcaino could be a guy that other teams would fear in the 9th…

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          But you have to admit that if they can execute the plan as they have so far they will give us the best chance for sustained success. And that’s what I want, a chance. I’m with Digger. I don’t want a one and done. I want to be like the Red Sox, Yankees, Braves, Cardinals, shoot even the A’s. I want to be in the mix year in and year out. To get that you have to do it like they are attempting.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I agree with you too. Except if we can get a good deal from Garza. Then he goes. Otherwise I think your on the same page as the FO…

  • Tony_Hall

    I have been for extending Garza since the day the traded for him. They will not get back enough in value for him, compared to extending him.

    Bottom line, Garza has to want to stay in Chicago, or it doesn’t matter how much the Cubs want to extend him.

    • cc002600

      I agree. If the only choice is to give him away for mid-level prospects, then what is the point ? If teams don’t want to ante up, extend him.

  • matthew8510

    do you think if garza has a great outing do you think he is good as gone after this start

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I thought that after the last 2 so who knows?

      If I’m a team in the hunt who needs a #2 starter, shame on me for not doing all I can to get Garza. If the shoe was on the other foot I’d say do what it takes.

  • mutantbeast

    Take away there sucky bullpen anbd the starting staff hasnt been that bad. Wood, Shark, Garza have been solid, and Feldman was fairly consistent. Even E Jax is showing signs of improvement. The team is doing better pitching wise since Strop and Guerrier arrived, getting rid of high wire headache MarmHo and sore armed Fujikawa. This team does need offense, particulary from the right side. Id say if we trade Garza Id want at least 2 very good prospectrs in return, and Id certainly be open to trading Gregg, who has pitched above his career norms this year.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I look forward to seeing what we get for Gregg. Especially since everyone was so upset they picked him up in the first place.

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  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    trade him before he is injured or extend him. I am happy with either of those outcomes…

  • triple

    I notice alot of talk about Garza wanting a no-trade clause. I certainly hope the FO wouldn’t give in on that. I would rather the team just up his contract money for the 1st 2 years of a new contract to offset it, because after those 2 years, he would be a 10/5 guy any way and would have those rights regardless. Or maybe have him offer a list of 10 teams he’s willing to be traded to over the next 2 years to get him through that period. That way, both sides would feel like they have good options if it becomes apparent that a trade is necessary.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    By all means, if you can’t get what he’s worth I’d love to see him stick around. He’s a great pitcher and a solid citizen.

    However if we can get a couple top pitching prospects I’d pull the trigger. We’re two years away at least.

    • cubtex

      I heard Peter Gammons on the radio talk about what Garza’s trade value might be. He basically said 1 top prospect and 1 mid tier….so maybe that is why the talk about extending him is coming out now.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        I’d probably take that. Depending on who the top guy is. I want a potential #1, ready for the show in 2015.

      • triple

        That sounds about right. And I know I keep bringing this up, but if the Cubs are engaging in contract extension talks with his agent, maybe it is a ploy to get the trade price to raise, but maybe it’s also a feeler to see what it’s gonna take to resign him after he becomes a FA agent, even if they end up trading him? I think that would just be the ballsiest move. Trade him for a top and midlevel prospect, and then throw enough money his way to bring him back to Chicago after the season… that would be a ginormous win if they can pull that off!

        • cubtex

          That would be the absolute best case scenario. I am a Garza fan and would love to see him back. If there is anyway they can trade him for prospects and he would be willing to consider signing with the Cubs in the offseason…that would be the ultimate.

        • texcubnut

          Totally agree with you on this, but a big , big (IF) they could pull that off. I think FO realizes they are not going to get much for Garza in trade and because he’ll test free agency and some team like LA will offer some ridiculous amount of money for a ridiculous number of years and the Cubs (and rightly so) will not make an offer to equal that and they will lose Garza . It is coming down to this; either extend Garza now or trade him, at best, for a couple of mid-level prospects. I do not believe they can sign him in free agency.

  • DWalker

    My first response reading this is, what took so long? not that they are considering an extension, but that they leaked they would consider an extension. This FO is so tight lipped, the only time a leak happens is when someone involved gets antsy. considering the fact this is basicly internal, to me this screams FO controlled release. my bet is garza’s injury history has other teams making offers below what the FO feels is a good market price and this is something to light the fire and remind everyone that the cubs don’t HAVE to make a trade here. Gotta remember, there are really three options here. Trade him for good prospects, extend him now, or keep him and make the qualifiying offer and maybe a better than qualifying offer and take the compensation prospect or even resign him with the offer. The trade prospects have to be better than what they feel they can get in compensetory pick or they won’t make the trade. Personally, I think theres little chance garza takes the extension now. even if he was interested, he and FO seem pretty far apart in the past, and now he has his chance to control his own destiny. maybe he really does want to stick around, but I don’t know that FO will make an offer that makes it worth him staying. I’d like to see him stick around, but I am not going to hold my breath this is anything but a marketing move.

  • raymondrobertkoenig

    The Garza extension rumors have since been debunked.

    • cubtex

      Did they publicly come out and say that?

      • raymondrobertkoenig

        Gordon Wittenmeyer tweeted that there are no teeth to the rumors of an extension for Garza.

        • Tony_Hall

          Well then it has to be true….

        • triple

          Well that makes it sound like he’s either been extended, or a trade is going down right after he kills it tonight!

        • raymondrobertkoenig

          I suggest an over/under poll on how many more starts Garza makes for the Cubs this season. The over/under number would be 2.

          • cubtex

            I would guess this would be his last start but I am like Boardrider…I thought that after each of his last 2 starts.

          • raymondrobertkoenig

            The Cubs are in a tough spot. If they trade Garza they obviously want a good return, but with every start he makes he risks another injury.

  • DWalker

    Finally! –
    RT @BenBadler: After a long delay, Cubs RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua has his visa and is in Arizona

    • Suzy S

      DWalker…at last…he’s a wild card I’ve desired to follow as I think he has front of the rotation capabilities!!!

  • Suzy S

    OK…so the Garza extension talk has been debunked by the Sun-Times…There’s another scenario that you guys have not discussed that could raise Garza’s value….change the deal from a rental to a long term deal…What if Garza did an extension as part of a sign and trade deal.
    If nothing else…the Cubs could help potential trading partners ink a deal in exchange for better prospects.

    • Denver Mike

      I was thinking the exact same thing this afternoon, if the Cubs don’t like the offers they are getting, and Garza is willing to agree to a sign a trade to a team he prefers it could significantly increase our return vs. a team that know he may just be a rental for the rest of the year…if we can’t extend him I love this option.

  • cubtex

    Gammons was talking about Garza this morning about who might be the best fit and most aggressive to get him. He said the Giants. He said Garza went to Fresno State and he would probably be willing to sign an extension with the Giants. Barry Zito is coming off the books next year for them so it makes sense.

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is a look at what is going on with Garza and a look at what kind of contract he would get…about what I have been saying would be a good place for Garza to agree to an extension.

    “Garza’s value is difficult to peg, given his history of durability followed by the long layoff. Last offseason five starting pitchers received deals of three or more years, most of whom did not have draft pick compensation attached. A salary in the $13-15MM range seems appropriate for Garza, but from a team point of view it would be difficult to guarantee more than three years.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/07/cubs-garza-talking-extension.html

    • Denver Mike

      If we can’t extend him I’m loving the sign-and-trade idea to try to increase the return we get.

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