NL Central Notes: Garza, Cubs, Cespedes, Astros

Today, we learned that even though there's mutual interest between the Cardinals and free agent Roy Oswalt, it seems that the club might be looking at the veteran in a relief role.  The Cards already have five starters in the fold, but it's unknown whether Oswalt would open to pitching out of the bullpen.  Here's more from the NL Central..

  • A contending team can land Cubs right-hander Matt Garza if they're willing to part with three prospects from a team's "A" list, a Major League source tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  The Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays are among the teams known to be interested, but none have upped their offers to this point.
  • The Pirates have been tracking Yoenis Cespedes for a number of years, GM Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  The Bucs are expected to be among the bidders for the outfielder but are not considered to be a frontrunner.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is "open for business" when it comes to trades, but it appears that Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, and Carlos Lee will remain with the club when Spring Training starts, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
  • The Astros have hired Sig Mejdal as the club’s director of decision sciences, writes Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.  The addition of Mejdal should help the club to apply statistical analysis to all areas of the organization.  Houston has also brought Stephanie Wilka aboard as the coordinator of amateur scouting.  Wilka previously worked for the Dodgers and Red Sox.


29 Responses to NL Central Notes: Garza, Cubs, Cespedes, Astros Leave a Reply

  1. Astros making some nice hires.

    • SadStros fan 4 years ago

      It’s been a long time since anyone said that…

      I hope it’s true though. I love the idea that they’re getting more analytical and seem to really be committing to it. It’s still going to be a long road back to respectability, but if we’ve got the right people driving the bus, we’ll get to stay there for a while.

      • Casor_Greener 4 years ago

        I’m usually not a fan of GMs because I’m convinced that they usually benefit more from luck than skill, but it does appear the Asstro’s are making some smart moves. 

        The Cardinal dude seems like he might know what he’s doing when it comes to evaluating talent.  I think the trade for Lowrie and Weiland was good especially for a reliever. Not saying those guys will be stars but it’s better than Clint Barmes and Bill Hall for 1 yr and $5 million.

        With the weakening of the division we should be ready to compete in no time…..wait….DAMN!!!

  2. MaineSox 4 years ago

    I don’t understand why a team would give three “A-list” prospects for Garza when Oswalt and Kuroda (and to some extent Jackson, but his expected deal is more prohibitive than the other two) can be had for nothing but money.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      i could see it as excusable for an NL club, but the AL east teams? no way. i’d say there’s a real chance all three of the teams named are in negotiations to keep the price high and hope one of the other two makes the mistake of pulling the trigger

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        When you say it could be excusable for an NL club, is that because you see him as more likely to maintain something close to last year than if he came to the AL East?

        If that’s what you mean I guess I somewhat agree (it would be more excusable), but as long as the other two are out there I don’t think it is the most logical move for any team.  Garza would cost 3 top prospects plus something like $10M in arbitration next year, and more the year after; Kuroda and Oswalt would cost no prospects and something like $12-15M for one year, and would provide close enough production (even assuming Garza stays somewhat close to last years numbers) to make it not worth it to pay the additional cost.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          i wasn’t clear. i think trading fair market value for garza would be defensible for an NL club, but not for an AL east team

          trading three A-list prospects is way more than fair market value and isn’t excusable for anybody – even if kuroda and oswalt were not available

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

             OK gotcha. That I can completely agree with.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            It’s so hard to get “Cub fan” to see that. No one is trying to disrespect Garza’s ability or rob them but dang…..Montero, Bans and Bets, regardless of what you, I or others think, are top 75 prospects. No team with comparable players are going to give up that much for Garza. 

    • Devern Hansack 4 years ago

      Agreed. It also makes me wonder why Washington emptied the farm for Gio Gonzalez rather than sign Edwin Jackson.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Gio is still cheaper in $$$$ than Jax and my guess is that they simply have a ridiculous amount of talent left. True, they paid for Gio with their 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th best prospects (according to Sickels) but to boast having Harper, Rendon, Goodwin, Myer, Purke and 4 other B rated prospects and more in the lower levels that are just breaking in is impressive.

    • chico65 4 years ago

      Exactly. But I don’t think Garza is worth 3 A’s anyway.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

         No, but if the other options weren’t out there I think there would be a team willing to overpay to bring in the talent.

        • chico65 4 years ago

          Ture.  Given the deals for Gio and IMO, Latos, teams are willing to overpay even with other options out there.  Certainly can’t blame Theo for trying, given the current environment.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

             Sure, I’d try too, but if I were serious about rebuilding I would also bring the price down a little before people started completely jumping ship.  Also, Gio and Latos both had four years of control versus two for Garza.

          • melonis_rex 4 years ago

            Gio and Latos really weren’t overpays, IMO.

            Top-shelf pitchers with no injury concerns and that much control just don’t get traded except once in a few years. When they do, they command a lot.

            However, trading a similar package for Garza is an overpay.

    • OldStyle_NewCubs 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t trade for Garza for that price either, but I could see a “win-now” club stretching further than they probably should (still not 3 A-list guys) for 2 years of his services at a below-market cost. I think it goes without saying that Garza is the strongest of the three pitchers and a career 23-15 record and 3.34 ERA in 56 games against the AL East is a pretty strong indicator. 

      • Caballo14 4 years ago

        Burnett had a 20-5 record with a 3.29 ERA against the AL East before signing with the Yankees, so just because he had a very good record against a division doesn’t mean a thing. Not saying I wouldn’t love to see Garza on the Yankees, but not anywhere near the price the Cubs want for him 

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

         I think Garza is likely to pitch the most innings out of the three, but unless you completely buy into his ’11 numbers I don’t think it’s so easy to call him the best pitcher of the group.

        Also, If there weren’t the other quality starting pitching options available I think would be a lot more likely that a desperate team would overpay for Garza, but with other quality options still on the market I think teams are more likely to pursue other options unless/until the price for Garza comes down to something more reasonable.

  3. sonofsnake 4 years ago

    If I’m reading this correctly the M’s would need to give up three of: James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen or Nick Franklin for Matt Garza.

    A deal for Garza seems unlikely at the current asking price.

  4. FreshMintt 4 years ago

    Would we seriously relegate Oswalt to the bullpen before Westbrook? Good God.

  5. Caballo14 4 years ago

    No one is gonna give the Cubs 3 “A” prospects for Garza, I think in the end Garza ends up staying with the Cubs while the Yankees end up signing Kuroda, and the Jays and Sox end up staying put

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

       I don’t think the Sox are comfortable enough with their starting pitching options to stay put; I think if the price doesn’t come down on Garza that the Sox will either take a look at Floyd/Wandy or sign one of Kuroda or Oswalt.

  6. thebigdog 4 years ago

    “The Pirates have been tracking Yoenis Cespedes for a number of years..”

    Is that why they are called 17 year Cespedes?

  7. JunKim 4 years ago

    I’m a Cubs fan but that price must have been exaggerated.  One A-~A prospect along with one B prospect, and maybe one or two C+ prospects would get it done.  

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      Then why were you blasting me on the other boards? hahaha. That’s all I was trying to say. :)

      • JunKim 4 years ago

        If somehow Cubs can get package something like Montero, Williams, Warren or Phelps or Noesi that would be fairly good over-the-market value Cubs FO is looking for and I would be happy to send Garza.  If it is centered around with Banuelos plus other prospects little more in quantity than one centered around Montero, that still not bad. If it is centered around with Betances, I would be mad and it’s much better to extend him. I’m not saying this is FAIR value but it would be what Cubs FO is looking for.  But no way all three of them as Cashman ain’t dumb, and it sounds more like Boras strategy that Theo is using.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Yeah, Montero isn’t going in a deal for Garza. But I see your point although I think you and others are truly harping on Bans and Bets control issue a bit, especially Bans. 

          He’s going to be 21 in March and starting the year in AAA after 7 or so starts last year with a respectable 3.90 FIP even with his control issues. The rest of his peripherals were still good and in line with everything else he did throughout his career.

          K/9 near 9. HR/9 around 0.60/9. BaBIP was high @ .333 but his LOB% was his usual 73%. Anyway, at 21 in march I still love his upside.

  8. Jeff Stephan 4 years ago

    Finally I hear the Pirates involved with Cespedes

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