Epstein On Pitching, Sean Marshall, Matt Garza

The Cubs completed the Sean Marshall trade today, sending the lefty to the Reds for three young players. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke to reporters after the deal was finalized, discussing a few different topics. Let's recap…

  • "I don't think we are done," said Epstein according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. "I do think we still need to build more depth on the starting pitching front, both in the big leagues and minor leagues."
  • "[The Marshall trade] fits our general direction," said Epstein while citing the new collective bargaining agreement as one reason behind the deal, according to Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). The Cubs could have lost Marshall to free agency after next season without getting draft pick compensation under the new agreement.
  • "[Matt Garza is] exactly type of pitcher we want to build around" said Epstein according to Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun-Times (on Twitter). He added that his current mode is "to listen on everybody."
  • "We're not rushing into anything with [Garza]," added Epstein according to Wittenmyer (on Twitter). They're still weighing the right-hander's trade value against a possible contract extension.
  • Yesterday we heard that the Cubs were planning a "complete and total rebuild" and will attempt to trade "most of their valuable assets" before Spring Training.

85 Responses to Epstein On Pitching, Sean Marshall, Matt Garza Leave a Reply

  1. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Not that I don’t think that AJax is awesome, but I kind of wish that the Granderson for Castro deal would have gone through a couple of years ago.

  2. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    While Garza is the type of pitcher you want to build around, by the time the Cubs have a team built properly, he’ll be at the back-end of his prime years, nor do you know if he’ll fall apart.

    He had the best year of his career in 2011 by far. His value has never been this high; trade him now.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      Cubs send garza, soriano, and 20 million

      Jays send Cecil, David Cooper, Hutchinson and Eric Thames..

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago


        Cubs send Garza, Marmol, Soriano, and $17MM

        Jays send Cecil, Syndergaard, David Cooper, Thames and Teahan.

        It’s not even, but hey, it’s fun.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          Don’t under estimate how valuable it would be for the cubs to unload soriano , should be worth a prospect or two less for garza

          I would love marmol though.. Change Cooper to one of our young catchers not named Travis and that would be pretty fair I think… Syndergaard is a really good prospect

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            I would agree that getting rid of Soriano would be worth a pretty decent prospect.  But, we both know that Theo wouldn’t be intererested in that.  He’s ready for a full re-build and the prospects mean a lot more to him now than the $$.  Especially with the new CBA

      • Hawkguy 4 years ago


      • rikersbeard 4 years ago

        Not sure how much that really helps the cubs rebuild. they have money, so even though they would love to unload soriano, it doesn’t make sense to lose out on a top-shelf prospect (thus slowing the rebuild) just to get rid of Soriano. 

        If they are going to move garza, it has to be for some close to sure fire prospects, otherwise, what’s the point? 

        As a Jays fan, I can tell you that the only “special” piece in that deal is Hutchinson. The cubs could do better (if the Gio or Latos trades are any indication).

    • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

      I agree, IF Theo can get a deal like the A’s got for Gio or the Padres got for Latos.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        Gio and latos both have 4 years left and garza is more expensive..

        Cubs shouldn’t get near those packages.

        • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

          I see your point, but Garza does have 2 years left and he may be a little better, as of today, than Gio or Latos.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            debatable really..

            In the last 2 years both Gio and Latos were worth more than Garza..

            difference is gio and latos we’re both good for 2 years where as Garza was crappy in 2010 and amazing in 2011.

            I don’t thin Garza’s a 5 WAR pitcher, but I don’t think he’s a 2 WAR pitcher either

        • slider32 4 years ago

          Your right on their Lunchbox, Garza is almost like David Wright he might not be worth trading. Thats what happened with Danks, the Sox found it wasn’t worth it to trade him.

    • Hawkguy 4 years ago

      Not if you’re still in for Fielder and then you can get another top starter next offseason. Most are  against this because they see it as needless spending. I see it as piece by piece rebuilding. Fielder would get an opt-out clause after year 4 or 5–that’s when the Cubs are supposed to be competitive, aren’t they? The Cubs aren’t trading Garza unless they get a projected top of the rotation starter. I’d say “Good luck.” Cashman has made it know he doesn’t want to give up prospects, BoSox don’t have that guy, and Tigers–not thinking they’d part with Turner.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        Signing Fielder is counter productive.. even with Fielder and a top end starter, the cubs still aren’t a play off team..

        its a tough pill to swallow, be the best decision is to strip it near to the bone and add young talent.

        • nictonjr 4 years ago

           Aren’t you for the Jays signing Fielder?? 

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            jays and the cubs are 2 diff teams.

          • nictonjr 4 years ago

            I know.  I was wondering. Not comparing….

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            jays are at a different aspect.. Fielder + a pitcher makes them a competitive team. Cubs are too far back

        • GaryLeeT 4 years ago

          No, they won’t be a playoff team with those guys. The point is to have them in place when they are. Who’s to say there will be a Fielder available 3 years from now? Left handed 40 HR 100+ RBI guys are not a dime a dozen.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Who’s to say that the Cubs can’t acquire a young 1B to fill that role.. and in 3 years when they are ready to compete he’s a lot cheaper than Fielder and going in to his prime as opposed to Fielder beginning to decline

          • GaryLeeT 4 years ago

            Why do the Cubs have to go cheaper?  Ricketts is not giving out rebate checks to fans, for money saved on players. You can’t compare your mythical player to a real player who is a known quantity. Fielder might be in decline at 33, but not at 30. Plus, if Theo is the magic man everybody claims, 6 years from now should be when that farm system starts yielding it’s crops, which could include a new 1st baseman.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            so to you, Fielder for 25 million over the next 3 years.. 75 million in total for those 3 years, is a sound investment, even when you won’t be competitive? 

            In what way does that make sense??

          • GaryLeeT 4 years ago

            Again. The Cubs are not the Pirates, and have the budget to carry that contract. They will have to sign high priced free agents at some point. All big market teams do. Besides, they could catch lightening in a bottle in 2013 if Cashner, and Samardzija live up to their potential as starters, they sign Matt Cain, Castro developes more power, and B.Jackson becomes the player we hope. If not, Fielder will be there for the team for 6 years. They won’t have to worry about finding that very hard to find, big, left handed bat, when the time comes to need one.  In review, Fielder would not block any player currently in the system, and the Cubs can afford to carry his contract, along with many others in the future, when their payroll should expand to 160-170 mil. over the next 3 years.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            just because you can afford something doesn’t mean its a good investment.

            fielder to the cubs is not a good investment, no way around it.

          • Hawkguy 4 years ago

            I can’t agree with you. Gary’s point is reasonable. I just see Fielder going to the Nationals because he’ll get more yrs on the contract, something that the Cubs won’t want to do.

  3. Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

    Some sort of 3 way deal with the Red Sox and Padres where the Cubs manage to get Rizzo and Middlebrooks is my dream (and probably an unrealistic one at that) haha

    • bglaszcz 4 years ago

      Do the Sox end up with Castro? :) I’m in.

      • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

        Hey the Nationals gave up 3 of their top 10 prospects for Gio Gonzalez, so its not that far fetched

        • imachainsaw 4 years ago

          castro isn’t a prospect. he’s their AS 21 year old SS. Yes, it is far fetched.

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            What does Castro have to do with anything???? I was saying that if the Nationals gave up 3 of their top 10 prospects for Gio Gonzalez that it’s not far fetched to think the Red Sox would trade a top prospect for Garza

          • imachainsaw 4 years ago

            read what you replied to, which I replied to, that you in turn replied to, which I’m replying to now.

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            Right, I never said anything about Castro, a different poster did as a joke

          • imachainsaw 4 years ago

            I know you didn’t bring it up, but when you replied saying it’s not far fetched, I was like ‘wut?’

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            I was just referring to the idea of getting a top prospect for Garza is not far fetched, didn’t have anything to do with Castro (I just ignored that haha)

    • Hawkguy 4 years ago

      I’d say Tigers, Padres, and Cubs. Tigers get Headley and Garza. We get Turner and Rizzo. I’m dreaming as well.

    • sox get garza, cubs get middlebrooks and rizzo, pads get iglesias and szczur

      • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

        I would never trade Szczur AND Garza for only Middlebrooks and Rizzo.  Szczur is the future center fielder and lead off hitter for the Cubs

        • cubs still owe compensation for 2 gm’s, so they need to offer more value that can be calculated into this deal.  szczur is far from a known commodity, and the cubs would be getting a potential 3 and 4 hitter for the foreseeable future. there’s pretty even value here on all ends.

          • i’m pretty sure theo and cherington have come to the conclusion that the compensation isn’t going to be much

          • is that what your intel gave you?

          • bacboris 4 years ago

            Thats what even the lapdog boston media has come to. Why you guys thought you were getting something better than one top 20ish prospect is beyond me.

          • scott brecht 4 years ago

            I think it is “future trade considerations” and the no staff hirings for 3 years.  

          • who’s “you guys”?

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            I’m just saying if I’m including Szczur and Garza in a deal, I would want Rizzo, Middlebrooks, and a good pitching prospect in return.  While Szczur isn’t a known commodity, Garza definitely is.  While Middlebrooks and Rizzo are top prospects, they are not sure things by any means

        • Szczur is way too slappy.  Pretty even odds he ends up a 4th OF with the exact opposite skill set of the Cubs last 4th OFer prospect, Tyler Colvin.

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            Szczur’s skill set is NOTHING like Colvin.  Colvin was a power hitter who played average defense and had average speed.  Szczur is a top of the lineup top player with great speed and plays great defense.  Tyler Colvin’s skill set is much closer to Alfonso Soriano that Szczur haha

          • imachainsaw 4 years ago

            szczur’s best comparison since being drafted has been brett jackson, as far as skills and ‘tools set’ goes. good obp, good of power, good speed, good fielding.

          • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

            Ya I’d liken him to sort of an in between of Tony Campana and Brett Jackson.  Doesn’t have the power of Jackson but is definitely a burner and great on defense

    • Thats wierd that you say that because there has been a rumor about a 3 way trade that involves the Braves, Red Sox and Royals. Royals get Jair Jurrjens, Red Sox get Joakim Soria and the Braves get Lorenzo Cain, Marco Scutaro and other prospects. Hopefully Middlebrooks and/or Iglesias.

      • Tommy Meyers 4 years ago

        If I’m the Royals, I want A LOT more than just Jurrjens in return for Soria and Cain

      • Tko11 4 years ago

        Red Sox give up Middlebrooks, Scutaro and Iglesias for Soria?? I doubt they give up even one of Middlebrooks or Iglesias in a trade for Soria. His value is low as its been.

  4. Garza’s performance speaks for itself and it doesn’t matter what Theo says about his status with the team, other GMs already know the type of pitcher he is and know it will take multiple top prospects to get him.  I think we’ll end up extending him if someone doesn’t blow us away with an offer and thats perfectly fine. Garza isn’t old and would still be in his prime years in the 3-5 year rebuilding plan.  You’ve gotta have starting pitching and Garza is the ace as the rotation currently stands. Extend him now!

  5. Andrew Ng 4 years ago

    Why is Theo always being quoted when it’s normally the GM, not the President of the club?

    • sharapovasthigh 4 years ago

      Because Theo -is- for all intents and purposes the general manager.

  6. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Just for the hell of it….

    what do Cubs fan think a reasonable return for Dempster and his $14 mil contract would be?

    • Hawkguy 4 years ago

      I would have swapped Swisher with you guys…but then Theo signed DeJesus.

      • radnom 4 years ago

        Also, thats not a reasonable return for Dempster, but nice try.

    • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

      a couple of mid range prospects, at the most.
      Theo would be happy to just to unload the contract.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      Romine and Santana?

      Can’t be much more

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Who the heck is Santana? Ravel?

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          Ya, I know he got injured this year, but he should be fine by now..

          seems like a young upside guy the cubs would like 

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

        If I’m running the Cubs, Dempster for Romine is a steal.  I’m losing close to 100 games with him.  As long as the Yank take all $14 mil.   Then I’d check in with Edwin Jackson.   If I can get him for 3/30 ish, I’m in.  The final outcome would be Jackson for 3/16, minusing out Dempsters contract, and Romine.  Cubs get another tick better.  Small steps.  There’s a long way to go…

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          Now that Danks got that 5 year deal.. Jackson has been every bit as good and Boras is going to use that as a comparable..

          With the big arms coming up, I’m sure the Yankees don’t want that kind of commitment, they want a 1 year patch so they can go full out next year.

          • nictonjr 4 years ago

            I’d look into Jackson if I’m the Cubs and just traded Dempster, and his entire $14 mil salary, to the Yanks.

            Pencil, very lightly, Travis Wood in the 5th slot.  Edwin Jackson in the 4th slot. Right now Garza in the 2 slot.  Better than the last 2 seasons.

            And Boras is looking for 10/255 for Prince Fielder. Even if the Cubs have to go 4/44, shedding all of Dempster’s deal is like getting a $14 mil rebate.  Jackson at a net cost of 4/30??  If Theo could find another  deal like that, the near future would look a little brighter…

  7. I think Garza & Barney to Toronto for Henderson Alvarez, Brett Cecil, Marcus Thames, Johnson.  Toronto needs Garza now that the trades have started happening.

    Would the Sox take Soriano for Dunn?  Play Dunn at 1B?  Sox play Soriano at DH?  Might be worth a shot for both teams.

    Dempster might have to be a deadline deal to get any decent value out of him.  He’s just not that attractive a piece right now.  And Zambrano?  Those two might be a part of the rotation like it or not.

    Soto, Marmol & Byrd need to go as well, but these will be smaller deals for a prospect or two.  That can get done.  I’m thinking we don’t get Rizzo unless we cut loose with some combination of Jackson, Sczuzur, McNutt.  If we could get Cory Luebke & Rizzo for those three I would do that in a heartbeat.  If Rizzo comes then of course Soriano ain’t going to the Sox.  We should look toward Seattle.  They have unbelievably bad hitting.  Soriano would like Lou Gehrig over there. We should pay his whole salary if we have to. 

    I love this Marshall deal, the two minor leaguers are way better than anyone had been mentioning.  No wild relief pitchers!  Yay!  Sappelt might be in CF opening day.

    • cubfan4life 4 years ago

      Ill just go in the same order you did. I dont see why Barney would be included in a Garza deal. He is cheap and under long-term team control. So that would essentially make it Garza for Alvarez, Cecil and Thames which i dont think would be enough for Theo considering the return of the other pitchers who have been dealt so far. I think that there are some other trade partners out there who can offer a better package. Boston, Miami, and Detroit to name a couple.

      If they can move Soriano I dont see them bringing back another big contract guy. I think that it would be more of a dump even though they would be kicking in a large portion of the contract.

      As far as Demp and Z go. They both almost have to be deadline deals. Z has to show that he can be effective and keep his head on straight for half a season before anyone might take a chance on him. Demp i see as a guy who can help a contender as a 3 or 4 starter for the stretch run. Kind of a Ted Lilly type deal come the end of July.

      Like you i think Soto should be moved. Byrd and Marmol likely would be deadline deals also. I like the idea of bringing in Rizzo but not at the price of those 3 guys. I wonder if SD would send Orlando Hudson and Rizzo over for Barney and a prospect with us picking up Hudsons contract.

      I was pleasantly surprised at the 3 guys we got for Marshall. Who knows maybe we get lucky and he resigns after the season?

      • This is a combination answer to the two responses I got.  I just don’t think Barney is going to much better than he was last year, and actually, probably worse, though he had a decent rookie season, but I think the Jays might be willing to gamble cause Johnson ain’t so great.  I see Barney not doing so great this year, I see .254, and about 400 at bats to find out he doesn’t do much good for the team.  Alvarez & Cecil are young & have had a little bit of success in the bigs.  I know it’s Eric, my bad, but I think his ceiling is considerably higher than Marcus.  He’s a regular, and again, he’s young & has hit in the majors.  If you use to length of control as the argument for trades then why did the Reds just do the Marshall deal?  The Jays need that kind of starter, he’s more a sure thing than the two I would trade him for. 

        I don’t think the Cubs & Sox would do that deal, I think Rizzo is more likely, Luebke is essential to that deal.  I wouldn’t do those three for Rizzo either.  I think Luebke, a big lefty, is going to get better.  I just don’t have my Cubs prosepcts are so good goggles on anymore.  I think they fell off around the time of Gary Scott.  The three I mentioned are typical Cubs tweener prosepcts.  They all have some issues that will probably keep them from becoming significant players.  Jackson: whiffs, Matt Sz is lacking in baseball experience, McNutt: injuries, blisters.  Typical.  They can’t just be solid prospects, they gotta have major flaws that would keep them out of most teams Top 20.  Look at the overall rankings of prospects, recent Cubs prospects if they have made the Top 100 are down there near the lower portion.  I bet none of the three does much finally.  Like Rizzo, he bombed in the bigs last year, but gambling is the way this stuff works.

        I don’t think the Cubs should wait to move Marmol, he might be worth almost nothing at the deadline. 

        • cubfan4life 4 years ago

          Yes Jackson strikes out more than you would like. but look at the other numbers last year. .379 OBP. .869 OPS. And they actually got better with his promotion to AAA. Szczur is raw. But still cruised through the 3 levels of A ball and will likely start this yr in AA. I dont think anyone is untouchable but Jackson is close to it. Szczur has tools but isnt an irreplaceable prospect and McNutt ive never been high on. One flukey year and all of a sudden hes a top prospect?

          Rizzo from what ive seen has a very long swing and will have to cut down on that in the majors. Would love to see what he could do especially working with Rudy, but not in any deal involving Jackson.

          Finally Marmol had a little bit of a rough year. But i think that has to do with him kind of being shoved into the closer role when he is really a shutdown 8th inning guy. Too many walks for the 9th inning. If teams are looking for closers there are better options out there. Madson, Cordero, Bailey. However teams with marginal closers that have playoff aspirations could use him in the 8th and then try him as the closer if the current guy falters.

          One team that i see that fits that mold is Anaheim. Marmol and cash for Trumbo and a prospect perhaps?

          But i do think that his highest value may come as a deadline deal for a contender that need help in the late innings.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

       How does giving up 5 years of Henderson Alvarez and 4 years of Brett Cecil for 2 Years of Matt Garza make the Jays pitching staff stronger.. now or in the future?

      Also, its Eric Thames not Marcus, Although their skill set is similar.

  8. jammin502 4 years ago

    I would like a 3 team trade with Toronto and San Diego, with the Cubs getting Lawrie, Rizzo, and McGuire.

    • cubs would HAVE to be ready to trade castro then, they don’y have enough to get a deal like that done w/o him

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      The Cubs have literally nothing to entice the Jays to move Lawrie.

    • I would like this too.  In other news, I also want 100 tons of solid gold and Rachel McAdams to arrive at my door on Christmas.

    • kubphan82 4 years ago

      Skip 3 team trades because they never give enough value to at least two of the teams… With the Cubs providing the big name, the Cubs would be one of the two.. Do separate trades with SD/Toronto…

      Meaning, as Levine suggests Rizzo could be had for Mcnutt, or Lake and a pitcher, why not give Lake/Mcnutt for Rizzo/Darnell, throw in Maine if we have to…

      Then we still have Garza for a Toronto trade…

    • kubphan82 4 years ago

      Skip 3 team trades because they never give enough value to at least two of the teams… With the Cubs providing the big name, the Cubs would be one of the two.. Do separate trades with SD/Toronto…

      Meaning, as Levine suggests Rizzo could be had for Mcnutt, or Lake and a pitcher, why not give Lake/Mcnutt for Rizzo/Darnell, throw in Maine if we have to…

      Then we still have Garza for a Toronto trade…

  9. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Yes it was. The Cubs were reluctant though and the Yankees came in a grabbed him.

  10. BlueCatuli 4 years ago

    Umm yes it was. Detroit asked for Castro and the Cubs politely walked away.

  11. laffingrass 4 years ago

    You wouldn’t sell a car and say “this thing is a piece of junk”, would you?

  12. nictonjr 4 years ago

    A’s are in ‘fire sale’ mode with their SPs.  They did ok in the Cahill and Gonzalez trades…

  13. mondaymorninggm 4 years ago

    i agree. fire sale or not, if EVERY team lowballed you this would be relevant, so while your team is playing hardball some other team like the nats will give up 4 good prospects for 1 guy. epstein isnt competing against 1 other gm.. all the other gm’s are competing against each other to get garza. you only have to play games when your selling a swamp, not prime real estate

  14. slider32 4 years ago

    One thing you can say about Beane is he knows how to trade good players for prospects. He is the best at that. The problem is the A’s are in another rebuilding mode.

  15. Bones 4 years ago

    Don’t think Garza is junk. Right now, Garza is more like a Benz of what is available. A package similar to Geo to Wash could get Tex one hell of a SP.

  16. “Theo, Jed and Jason don’t seem enamored with Brett Jackson.”

    i’m curious as to what is giving you this idea

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