The Cubs and Rays agreed today on an eight-player swap headlined by right-hander Matt Garza. Here's some early reaction and analysis of the big deal, including news of another team that had an offer for Garza on the table…
- ESPN's Keith Law (Insider subscription required) loves the trade for the Rays: "they got more for Garza than Kansas City did for Zack Greinke although their package of players is, collectively, further away than what the Royals got." Law had Hak-Ju Lee ranked as the top prospect in Chicago's system and calls the 20-year-old shortstop "the star of the deal" for Tampa Bay.
- The trade is a "slight overpay" for the Cubs, writes Fangraphs' Joe Pawlikowski, but overall he likes the deal. Pawlikowski also cites concerns about how Garza will fare at Wrigley Field given Garza's propensity for giving up fly balls.
- Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo Sports has no problem with the trade itself, but calls Garza just a "Band-Aid" on the Cubs' problems since he doesn't think Chicago is close to contending.
- Tampa Bay fans won't be pleased to see Garza go, but Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog notes that Andrew Friedman has had success with past unpopular trades.
- Mike Bauman of MLB.com writes that the Rays organization is strong enough to recover from the losses of Garza, Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Jason Bartlett this winter.
- The Rangers made Tampa Bay an offer for Garza that offered "more 2011 impact," tweets Peter Gammons. The Cubs' prospect package, however, has a "higher longterm ceiling."
- A high-profile trade naturally invites some questions from fans wondering why their clubs didn't make a move for the star player in question. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that neither the Yankees or Mets contacted the Rays about Garza. Meanwhile, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears from Baseball America's Jim Callis that the Nationals simply didn't have the minor league depth to match Chicago's package.