Cubs, Rays Working On Garza Trade

Cubs GM Jim Hendry is working feverishly to acquire Matt Garza from the Rays, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald. The Cubs are getting set to send Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer and Robinson Chirinos to Tampa Bay, according to Miles. There may be additional parts to the deal for each team, Miles reports.

Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago reports that the sides are close to a deal.

Garza, 27, posted a 3.91 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 35.8% ground ball rate in 204 2/3 innings for the Rays last year. He heads to arbitration for the second time this winter and is set to receive a raise from the $3.35MM salary he earned in 2010.

Garza would join Ryan Dempster, Tom Gorzelanny, Randy Wells, Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva in a crowded Chicago rotation. If the Rays-Cubs deal goes through, it wouldn't be surprising to see Cubs starters appear in trade rumors before long.

If any team can afford to part with a starting pitcher, it might be the Rays, who still have David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson. The return from the Cubs probably won't impact Tampa's Opening Day roster, but it will add depth to the Rays' already impressive farm system.

Baseball America ranked Archer first among Cubs prospects this offseason while Lee placed fourth and Guyer placed tenth. Archer, a 22-year-old right-hander, made it as high as Double-A last year. The starting pitcher posted a 2.34 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9, limiting opponents to 6.4 H/9. The Cubs acquired him from the Indians just over two years ago in the Mark DeRosa trade. Jim Callis of Baseball America notes that Archer is a year away from the majors and could be a closer in the future (Twitter link).

It's not a great time to be an up-and-coming shortstop in the Cubs organization, as Starlin Castro figures to be the team's shortstop for years. Lee, who was born seven months after Castro, is also a highly-regarded shortstop. The native of Korea has a .299/.370/.375 line with 57 stolen bases in two pro seasons. When Baseball America ranked Lee sixth among Cubs prospects before the season, the publication described him as a gifted hitter with the tools to make difficult defensive plays.

Guyer, who turns 25 this month, posted a .344/.398/.588 line in 410 plate apperances at Double-A last year. He has played all three outfield positions in his four-year minor league career.

Chirinos is the oldest of the four prospects, as he turns 27 this month. The infielder hit .326/.416/.583 with 18 home runs in the upper minors last year.

This post was first published January 7th, 2010.


Leave a Reply

97 Comments on "Cubs, Rays Working On Garza Trade"


Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Its probably in Tampa’s best interest to trade him mid season rather than now. I mean selling him now would obviously lower their 2011 expectations.. with their rotation you never know where they will sit at the deadline in terms of standings.. Its not like Garza is an FA after this year, so even if they don’t end up trading him its not the end of the world.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

Trading him now free’s up money to address 1B/DH needs.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Yes, but you’re losing your second best starter, so any 1b/dh needs would be counter productive.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

That’s an awfully good package to pass up on, though. There’s no guarantee that they’ll get that good of one in July.

Otherwise, I might be inclined to agree with you.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Garza is a really good pitcher, relatively cheap, established, no long injury list and under team control… the packages will always be there.

Muggi
4 years 7 months ago

True, but the package is arguably close to what MIL gave up for Greinke. Not AS good, but close.

Good deal for both sides really, but that’s a tad bit higher than I expected the Rays to get.

rayking
4 years 7 months ago

I agree – TB is getting a pretty good haul on the deal.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

They have better internal options at pitcher than 1B/DH

jayrig5
4 years 7 months ago

Teams always think mid-season trades will be better, and often, it doesn’t pan out. Teams reason that there will be more buyers at the deadline, but they fail to take into account that there will also be far more sellers in June/July than there are in December, which throws the calculations off.

Also, I like this deal from a Cubs perspective. It seems like the change in timing means that Hendry finally included Archer. I don’t mind including one top-line pitcher, since it’s not like Archer’s ceiling is that far higher than Garza’s current abilities. They have plenty of catching, so Chirinos doesn’t bother me. Lee doesn’t bother me since the Cubs have Castro. And Guyer isn’t exactly a massive prospect. So this seems like a quality deal to me, for both sides.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

yes far less teams involved, but the teams who are involved are for more desperate as they have a chance to make the playoffs.. Adding a top of the rotation starter is not an easy thing to do these days… It essentially throws in the white towel for 2011

jayrig5
4 years 7 months ago

For the Rays? They still have a really good 5-man rotation.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

yes they do, but just because you have depth doesn’t mean its easy to lose top end talent

dizzle4
4 years 7 months ago

That seems like a pretty nice package for Tampa. Hak-Ju Lee seems like a really exciting prospect to me. Between him and Tim Beckham, the Rays would have two young shortstops that are risky, but if either one of them can put everything together, could turn into a star.

NorthSideIrish
4 years 7 months ago

Would like to be able to hold on to Archer, but you have to give up talent to get talent. Cubs have lots of pitching prospects, so at least this would allow them to keep Brett Jackson. Not sure why they’re looking to add right now…even with Garza, they still would have trouble winning the Central. I think this allows them to be more competitive in 2011 and would hopefully prevent the half full crowds we saw at the end of last season.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

“Would like to be able to hold on to Archer, but you have to give up talent to get talent.”

“Not sure why they’re looking to add right now…even with Garza, they still would have trouble winning the Central.”

True, you have to give to get. No sense for the Cubs doing this deal though…not for next year. Clearly, Hendry is trying to counter the Brewers and try to contend with the Reds and Cards. I don’t think this does that and I don’t like this deal.

4 years 7 months ago

That’s not necessarily true. It is not like Garza is a one year contract guy. This is a guy that can lead the rotation for 3 years. If the Cubs were to wait another year to try and get better who is to say the same type pitcher will be available for a similar package. Also keep in mind that 2 of the prospects the Cubs gave up are aging in terms of a prospect.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

I know Garza is not a one year guy. Archer looked like the real thing. Lee looks to have a high ceiling. The other two I am not so worried about. I was hoping both Archer and Lee would come up to contribute for the Cubs. I know you have to ‘give to get’, but I question this move and the timing. Garza is under team control and will get an arbitration raise from his 3+MM last year. They had a potential guy in Archer with high potential AND under team control for a longer period of time. Obviously, management needs to contend and not call it ‘rebuild’ to keep fans coming. I’m not sure this places the Cubs in contention next year though.

Bob George
4 years 7 months ago

A rundown on the prospects named…

Archer is considered the Cubs top prospect by most scouting reports. He’s a power SP obtained from Cleveland in the Mark DeRosa trade. He’s really upped his game and is a legitimate projected 1/2 at this point. Doesn’t turn 22 until next September.

Hak Ju Lee is a young Korean shortstop with great speed and is projected as a plus defender (although his defense is behind his reputation at this point). Offensively he’s similar to Kaz Matsui but has the tall body to add strength. He turned 20 in November.

OF Brandon Guyer has gobs of power but it hasn’t translated to hr’s yet. He’s 25 in January. Good speed, steals 20-30 bases per year. Can play all 3 OF spots but has mostly played CF.

Robinson Chirinos is a curious cat. He started as a 2b/3b/ss but started spending time at catcher in 2008. 2010 was his first season as only a catcher. He turns 27 next summer. But he’s become highly regarded around the league and the subject of many trade rumors this Winter. RH hitter with 15-20 hr power who is extremely tough to strikeout. Keith Olney has raved about him. Texas is one of the teams trying to trade for him.

Chiburgh
4 years 7 months ago

Seems like a lot to give up for an end of the rotation guy.

4 years 7 months ago

End of the rotation guy? In the NL? Really?

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

end of the rotation?? More like instantly the best starter on the team

baseball52
4 years 7 months ago

This may have ruined my day. This package is huge.

4 years 7 months ago

Not really… Guyer and Chirinos are filler, Archer has talent but so does Garza and Garza’s already put it together, and Lee also has talent but he has a long way to go as evidenced by that .375 SLG in the low minors.

muskyfish
4 years 7 months ago

Good deal for both sides. The Cubs walk with a good pitcher, who should see his career really jump in the NL AND out of the AL East. Meanwhile, they did it without giving up Jackson. The Rays get two darn-near blue chippers, and all four of the guys could very well become useful big-leaguers for them. All for pretty much nothing, since there was no guarantee that Garza would outpitch the other five studs in the rotation. I’m just a little surprised the Rays couldn’t peel a RP out of the Cubbies….. even if it was an older minor league starter or something.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

Hendry is trying to win next year, build for the future, keep fannies in the seats for ownership and extend his and Quade’s job beyond two years. The Cubs are in rebuild mode and have no buisness making this deal. Garza is good, not a stud, ace. Hendry is in panic mode to the Brewers and trying to contend with the Reds and Cards. Clearly, trading your young talent for a good, not great pitcher is not setting up the future very well. Then again, Hendry is trying to save his and Quade’s future. I do not like it.

Bob George
4 years 7 months ago

This is another reason Hendry should have been replaced. If you’re trying to build with youth, why keep a lame duck G.M. who is likely going to package much of that youth for vets in an effort to save his job?

The one plus from this is Garza is a solid pitcher who is just now entering his prime. He should get better. But this team is so far away from being a true contender that dealing away 4 talented and inexpensive players right now doesn’t make sense. In 3 years a deal like this would make more sense.

melonis_rex
4 years 7 months ago

Umm, is this the first offseason trade where inflation is actually happening? If this is the package, Hendry needs to back out NOW.

Seriously, go trade a bucket of balls for Joe Blanton, who’s like 90% of the pitcher Garza is.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I agree. I’m not nearly as high on Blanton as you seem to be. But if Hendry really sends them those four players, I think this is big a mistake.

I do think Garza will do really well there. But this seems really unnecessary, at this point in time.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

The Cubs would not take on Blanton’s money though. I’m not high on Blanton and Garza is better, though he is not great. Also, the Cubs have plenty back end options. If the Cubs are going to give up young talent when the Cubs are rebuilding, I would rather look at other options. Your Blanton idea is not that bad.

JLBCUBS
4 years 7 months ago

Bad Deal for the Cubs
The cubs should not be trading this many prospects for another 3rd starer they already have at least two of those If they are going to give up top prospects in a rebuilding year for pitching they need to get someone better . I like Garza just not this deal.
This is once again Hendry trying to make an impact deal to save his job and just another bad move
Fire Hendry !

yazpik
4 years 7 months ago

Garza is preety overrated, maybe sign Francis would be a better idea, this package is too much for him, the Rays are smart, and the Cubs are idiots so far…

ophaq2
4 years 7 months ago

Matt Garza is 27 years old…..I’d say that’s young.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

Garza being 27 is young. Archer being 22 is younger and longer team controlled. The question is does Archer live up to the high ceiling potential. Garza is proven and good, but not great yet. We’ll see.

Beacher20
4 years 7 months ago

If the Cubs are willing to give up four of their better prospects, why didn’t they try for Adrian Gonzalez? I normally don’t entertain thoughts of fantasy trades, but Boston gave up a lot less to San Deigo than what the Cubs are about to give up for Matt Garza.

Sounds like another case of Hendry singling out a player and deciding that he has to have him under any and all circumstances. I understand shipping off Chirinos (Cubs have Soto/Castillo) and maybe Guyer (Brett Jackson), but all of these guys are so young, I would wait to see how they develop a little more. High price tag for a #2 pitcher. Why not Gorzellanny or Wells instead of Archer, and Brad Snyder instead of Guyer? Ricketts has done a great job building up the farm from scratch, I would hate to see half of it shipped off for one pitcher.

bbxxj
4 years 7 months ago

“but Boston gave up a lot less to San Deigo than what the Cubs are about to give up for Matt Garza.”

I don’t think you would find too many prospect gurus who would agree with you on that one. Plus the Cubs are getting three years of team control and the Red Sox only got one.

4 years 7 months ago

I would have to disagree, Casey Kelly is a ranked B+ Rizzo a B and Fuentes a B- and they got one of the most elite hitters in the game just entering his prime in a park that will allow him to hit 40+ HRs at least. Archer is a ranked B+ Lee a B Guyer a B- and Chirinos a C+ for a pitcher who isn’t an ace. Also, the Red Sox wouldn’t have done the deal if there wasn’t a prelim agreement in place with A-Gon, the only reason it hasn’t been announced is because they are avoiding additional Lux tax.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I completely agree that Boston’s deal for Adrian is FAR better than Chicago’s deal for Garza. And I mean by A LOT, considering we all know that he’ll get a long extension. But where are you getting all these letter grades at?

4 years 7 months ago

A man named John Sickels, one of the best prospect raters there is. if you want got to google and search top 20 baseball prospects 2011 and then the team you want to search, it will show you the grades for each teams top 20 prospects

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

“If the Cubs are willing to give up four of their better prospects, why didn’t they try for Adrian Gonzalez?”

As reported, the Cubs did try and came close. The Padres chose the Red Sox package.

Beacher20
4 years 7 months ago

If the Cubs are willing to give up four of their better prospects, why didn’t they try for Adrian Gonzalez? I normally don’t entertain thoughts of fantasy trades, but Boston gave up a lot less to San Deigo than what the Cubs are about to give up for Matt Garza.

Sounds like another case of Hendry singling out a player and deciding that he has to have him under any and all circumstances. I understand shipping off Chirinos (Cubs have Soto/Castillo) and maybe Guyer (Brett Jackson), but all of these guys are so young, I would wait to see how they develop a little more. High price tag for a #2 pitcher. Why not Gorzellanny or Wells instead of Archer, and Brad Snyder instead of Guyer? Ricketts has done a great job building up the farm from scratch, I would hate to see half of it shipped off for one pitcher.

Bob George
4 years 7 months ago

If the rumored prospects involved is correct, Hendry is throwing away a chunk of the future in a gamble to save his job.

As much as I like Matt Garza, he’s a number 3 middle of the rotation guy at best. He’s not the ace the Cubs need, or the guy to give up Archer for. The other 3 I can easily part with, each is either blocked at the majors with the Cubs or have their own issues to overcome.

I know it takes something to get something of value, but Archer has become one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

But the bottom line is the Cubs with Matt Garza will still have a very hard time winning 80 games. They are a long way from contending. This team plays horrible defense and is full of no-contact strikeout machines on offense. Sacrificing Archer to go from something like 73 to 77 wins makes little sense. It’s a better gamble to either keep Archer or trade for a more talented pitcher (as much as I like Garza).

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

He was a #2 in the AL, he’s coming in to his prime, but he’s magically going to turn in to a #3 starter in the NL.

makes sense.

4 years 7 months ago

You really think Archer is going to be worth more than 3+ years of Garza? That’s a pretty risky bet… “top” prospects like Archer come and go all the time and particularly with pitchers you never quite know how they’re going to turn out.

drodd
4 years 7 months ago

Bruce Levine from ESPN1000 in Chicago is saying it could be a 7-8 player deal.

Beacher20
4 years 7 months ago

Bruce Levine says a lot of things, it’s like he’s auditioning to write for the New York Post…

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

If these names are true. I can’t wait to hear the reasoning Hendry has to give up 3 top 10 prospects (including #1, #4 & #10) and another top 15 prospect for a good but not great pitcher.

Bad idea.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Don’t believe the hype, that was just one ranking system

realistically Archer is #3 Behind Jackson and Mcnutt

So it becomes your #3, #4 and #10 prospect… which really isn’t all that much to give up, especially considering the cubs farm system isn’t all that deep.. If the royals gave up 3 top 10s thats a different story.

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

The rankings are just that. We can dispute which is ‘THEE’ correct ranking. I’m not so worried about Guyer and Chirinos for Garza. The other two, Archer and Lee I did. Not that I fall in love with prospects or even players, those two have high ceilings. Oh well…

The Cubs do have a deep system. They have many good players, just not a lot of impact types.

4 years 7 months ago

for this to be true, I think the rays need to be sending more than just Garza

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

maybe longoria?

studio179
4 years 7 months ago

The other Bruce…Bruce Miles is on this and he is pretty good.

jammin502
4 years 7 months ago

It is good that Cashner and Jackson aren’t involved in this, but I still think that the Cubs are giving up way too much. Supposedly there might be 2 or 3 players more in this deal, so maybe I will be happier when they are named… I was really looking forward to seeing how Archer and Guyer looked in Spring Training, and also a future middle infield of Castro and Lee. Garza is a fiery guy like Big Z, so Soto and Quade may have their hands full!