Depending on the report, Matt Garza will either be traded during the break or by Friday … or by Saturday. But the general consensus is that Matt Garza will be dealt before the Cubs begin the four-game series in Arizona on Monday.
According to a report from David Kaplan, Garza’s performance over the weekend against the Cardinals has pushed several teams into serious negotiations with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer for Garza “despite the fact that the price to acquire the talented starter is extremely high.” The thought around the game prior to his recent outings against the White Sox and Cardinals was that the Cubs were asking too much for Garza but that “perception has started to change.”
From reports on Monday, teams such as the Rangers, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Nationals, Cardinals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Rockies and Indians were linked to Garza.
The Rangers are considered the favorite to land Garza despite that fact Texas reportedly does not like trading prospects for rentals. But a deal could be expanded with the Rangers that would include Alfonso Soriano according to the Tribune.
Multiple reports in recent days have indicated St. Louis is very interested in Garza and Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak was able to get a firsthand look at him behind homeplate on Saturday night. The Cardinals might not be willing to part with top talent that they could end up watching for a decade or more in a Cubs’ uniform for a two and a half month rental in Garza.
According to David Kaplan, the Cubs are willing to trade Garza within the division because they are looking for the best return for their top trading piece.
The Pirates are also thought to be very interested in Garza and would be willing to part with a couple of their top prospects to acquire him. Pittsburgh has a very deep system and a lot of pressure not to fold after the All-Star break for the third year in a row.
Jim Bowden reported on Monday night that there is an 80 percent chance that Garza is traded before his next start. Bowden reported the Rangers, Nationals, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Rockies are all in on Garza and so are the Indians, but to a lesser extent. During his show on MLB Network Radio on Monday, Bowden said the Rangers are “all in on Garza” and the Indians could land Garza for a package that included Trevor Bauer. Bowden said that Garza is seen as a difference maker for a contending team and the Cubs are going to get a top prospect, or two, for him.
The Cubs are in a position to acquire top talent for Matt Garza that will make them more competitive in the near future.
Jon Heyman thinks teams such as the Rangers, Yankees and Rays could be interested in trading for Alfonso Soriano because all three teams are looking for a right-handed bat. The Cubs are willing to eat 2/3 of what is left on Soriano’s contract according to Heyman if they can receive the right player or players in return. While Heyman believes Soriano would be a fit for the three AL teams, he is amazed that Soriano doesn’t draw more interest.
Phil Rogers reported the Cubs and Rangers are discussing a deal for Matt Garza that could be expanded to include Alfonso Soriano.
Kevin Gregg’s stock is plummeting. While the Cubs decision to wait on trading Matt Garza has increased his value, the Cubs have likely held onto Kevin Gregg a little too long. Gregg is 0-1 in his last six games with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP (six runs on seven hits with two home runs, five walks and six strikeouts in six innings). Many question if the Cubs could have received anything of value in return for Gregg to begin with, but the way he has pitched of late has reduced him to a possible setup man for a contending team.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
According to a report from Jesse Sanchez, Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez received his unblocking license (OFAC) from the U.S. Government and is free to sign with a Major League Baseball team.
The Cubs have sent scouts to watch Gonzalez and are thought to have heavy interest in the 26-year old right hander. Gonzalez consistently sits in the mid-90s with his fastball and has touched 96 mph on the gun. Gonzalez also throws a cutter, change-up and a curveball.
Reports have suggested Gonzalez could sign a free-agent contract worth anywhere from four years and $40 million to five years and $60 million, if not more.
The Cubs are expected to be in the bidding for Gonzalez until the end but the Dodgers are considered the favorite to outbid everyone for his services.
- Cubs Watch Gonzalez
- Report: Cubs One of Seven Teams to Express Heavy Interest in Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
Jesse Sanchez thinks Gonzalez could sign with a team in the very near future (this week or next week).
Minor League News
The Boise Hawks announced 12 roster moves on Monday. Lance Rymel, Trey Masek, Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert were added back to the roster after missing the series in Vancouver due to visa and passport issues. The Hawks added RHP Michael Wagner, the Cubs 15th round pick in the recent draft. Eddie Orozco was assigned to Boise from Kane County. To make room on the roster, Orbandy Rodriguez, Ethan Elias, Jesse Hodges and Kevin Brown have been reassigned to the Arizona Cubs.
The most notable addition to the Boise Hawks roster was that of RHP Dillon Maples. Baseball America ranked Maples as the 18th best prospect in the system in their pre-season rankings and after an injury plagued 2012 season, Maples really struggled at Kane County this season. Maples was 0-2 in 11 games, seven starts, with an 8.31 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP. In 34 2/3 innings at Kane County, Maples walked 31 batters and gave up 33 hits with only 34 strikeouts. The Cubs need to get him pointed in the right direction and maybe the demotion is exactly what he needs.
Arismendy Alcantara has created quite the buzz this season and his performance in the Futures Game on Sunday created even more attention. Alcantara is hitting .280/.354/.475/.829 in 91 games for the Smokies this season with 23 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs. Alcantara leads the Southern League in extra basehits.
Jason Parks tweeted Sunday that Alcantara is the Cubs’ future second baseman while Baseball Prospectus had this to say about the 21-year old switch-hitting middle infielder.
Baseball Prospectus: This is real: Alcantara has real ability with the bat. He has plus bat speed and will hit for power. He showed a lot of us something today and is worthy of a spot on all prospect radars.
News and Notes
Brian Bogusevic re-aggravated his left hamstring during Sunday’s game and left in the eighth inning. The Cubs will have a better idea of the severity of his injury and status before the Rockies series begins on Friday.
Signs of life for the Cubs are still a couple of years away according to the Tribune.
And lastly … For those that thought the Cubs have signed some bad contracts over the years, more details about Bobby Bonilla’s infamous contract surfaced and as it turns out, Bret Saberhagen also remains on the Mets’ payroll. Bonilla is not only receiving deferred payments on a $29.8 million contract but there is a second deferred deal that pays Bonilla an additional $500,000 per year for 25 years that began in 2004. Bonilla’s two additional contracts are worth $42 million. As for Saberhagen, the Mets began paying him $250,000 a year for 25 years in 2004.