Cubs, Dodgers Discussing Garza For Zach Lee Swap

The Cubs agreed to trade Ryan Dempster to Atlanta earlier today, and they aren't done dealing yet. The Cubs and Dodgers are discussing a trade that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Los Angeles for a package of players including highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Lee, Jim Bowden of and MLB Network reports (on Twitter).

Garza, 28, has a 3.91 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 103 2/3 innings this year. He earns $9.5MM and will go to arbitration one last time this offseason, when his salary can be expected to climb past $12MM. If the Dodgers acquire Garza this summer, they'd be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for him should he depart as a free agent following the 2013 season.

Lee, 20, entered the season as the Dodgers' best prospect and the 62nd-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a 5.85 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 17 starts at Class A and Double-A so far this year. The Dodgers signed the 2010 first round selection to a $5.25MM bonus after selecting him 28th overall two years ago.

106 Responses to Cubs, Dodgers Discussing Garza For Zach Lee Swap Leave a Reply

  1. Dylan 3 years ago

    Theo can do better..

  2. baseball52 3 years ago

    Oh boy, this is turning into an awesome day

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      Ehh, Zach Lee has yet to do anything. 3.68 Single-A FIP, 4.03 high-A FIP, 5.50 AA FIP. Yeah, he’s not yet 21 (turning 21 in August), but there had better be a good deal more to justify investing heavily in a possible 3-year project prospect who hasn’t even shown an ability to handle A-ball hitters.

      • those numbers @ Rancho Cucamonga are in a very high offensive league. a little skewed imo

      • Daniel Han 3 years ago

        Do not look at prospect numbers and judge off of just those. It’s not about what a guy is, it’s about what a guy can be.

        • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

          While true there is very little projection when it comes to lee.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            You mean little as in project as a 2/3 starter?

          • sdsuphilip 3 years ago

            Lee is who he is now, average to slightly above average stuff with good control and ok command. His body is already “filled out” so he isn’t going to add more on his velocity. If everything goes perfectly he is a three, he never was going to be a front of the rotation guy, the stuff isn’t there.

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          The problem is that he’s pretty much ALL potential and no production. He’s going up levels without even managing to be average at the previous ones. Lee might be able to fit in as a #2 or #3, but he currently looks more like a #4 or #5 in AAA. I wouldn’t support trading Garza for someone who is doing absolutely nothing impressive in the minors.

          • Lookouts400 3 years ago

            That’s what a prospect is, ya know? You have no idea what he’s working on down there, what kind of umpires, his teammates, anything. Anyone who pays attention to a top prospect’s numbers in the minors, especially the lower minors, doesn’t really have a grasp.

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            You think that a prospect should be someone completely incapable of beating minor league players? No umpire should lead to results THAT terrible.
            And we’re not just talking about the lower minors. We’re talking about consistently failing to produce over 3 levels now.

        • Lee is more of a solid #3 at this point. His command isnt good. Cant get his fastball over consistently so hitters are sitting on his breaking stuff and hitting him around pretty good. Still very young, but not the lynch pin of this trade if its gonna happen. I think Gordon and Gould will have to also be part of package.

          • thegrayrace 3 years ago

            Gordon won’t be dealt now. He’s injured and the Dodgers would be selling low. Gould, sure.

    • JakeD 3 years ago

      Every time I get an alert, I have physically and emotionally broken down with joy.

    • Daniel Han 3 years ago


  3. nycub 3 years ago

    Yes, let’s hope the Dempster trade sets off a flurry of trades now, yeah? It’s been rather boring so far

  4. Jimmy Bloomfield 3 years ago

    delgado AND zach lee????

  5. Do they know that the trade deadline isn’t until next Tuesday?

  6. donjuandemarco 3 years ago

    Zach Lee is a top pitching prospect…..that return would be nice but my bet is, if Dempster returned Delgado, then more than Lee is coming with Garza.

  7. Chris Lattier 3 years ago

    Try for some of the Rangers prospects. I don’t think Lee is even the talent that Randall Delgado is.

    Dodgers better throw in more than just Lee.

    • baseball52 3 years ago

      I don’t think you know anything about Zach Lee.

      • Chris Lattier 3 years ago

        What about my post do you think is inaccurate? That Lee isn’t the prospect that Randall Delgado is? Baseball America and numerous scouts would agree w/ me. Delgado was rated higher than Lee just at the beginning of the year. Delgado has seen some success in the bigs already this year while Lee has an ERA close to 6 in high A and double A this year. His stock has to have fallen since the beginning of the year…

        Or do you have a problem w/ the second part of my statement? I think Garza’s value has to be higher than Dempster’s — Dempster netted Delgado — why should Cubs get a lesser prospect for him than Garza?

        • Because the braves overpayed to get the guy they wanted.I agree Garza should be worth more the Demspter but dont expect another top 50 spec.

          • Chris Lattier 3 years ago

            I agree w/ that. Braves did overpay for a rental. I just think Lee’s value has had to take a hit after the kind of year he’s had. Dodgers farm system is kind of void of top level talent. You don’t think the Cubs would find a better package from a different team?

          • From a fan standpoint i agree they probably could find a better deal. But i dont really think theirs a big market out there for Garza.Rangers are said to only be interested in trading top specs if its for Hamels or Grienke.

          • i dont think theirs a huge market for Garza .Rangers have said they will only want to trade top specs for Greike or Hamels only

  8. nm344 3 years ago

    Zach Lee has been horrible lately.

    • CAD_Monkey 3 years ago

      Isn’t it just because he was recently promoted to AA? Although honestly I don’t know how much of a jump in skill level there is from A to AA.

      • asovermann 3 years ago

        Bad in A too

        • Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

          Bad in A? He has a 1.2 WHIP, 7.5/2.5 K/BB and 3.47 ERA as a 19 year old. That is pretty damn good.

          He’s 20 in AA, he’s gonna take his lumps.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            Honestly, in his case, numbers are pretty much the last thing to base any kinda opinion on him with

      • Dylan 3 years ago

        The jump from A to AA is arguably the hardest in the minors.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      5 game span!? cut him! just release him.

  9. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    I’d much rather get Perez from the Rangers, but I obviously wouldn’t object if we could get Lee and Eovaldi for Garza.

    EDIT: or even Lee/Eovaldi and John Ely

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      Why? Perez has seen his K/9 drop at every stop in the minors, and his walks have gone up at the same time. A 4.37 FIP isn’t exactly worth bragging about. I’d rather get any of the top-3, maybe even top-5, pitching prospects from the Blue Jays.

      • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

        True. Maybe Perez isn’t the answer. I don’t see the Jays dealing for Garza though – the 10-player trade from the other day seems like the Jays are waiting until next year.

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          Garza’s under team control for next year.

          • Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

            Point made – maybe it’ll happen. I definitely like the Demp trade too – good move by Theo & Co. to set the market. I’m very interested to see what they can get for Garza.

        • Why would that trade make you think that they are waiting until next year? Fact is, that is a trade made solely for this year.

    • I would most certainly give you Eovaldi and Ely for Garza, just not Lee.

  10. dieharddodgerfan 3 years ago

    Definitely DO NOT like this trade! Zach Lee for Garza?! Would rather trade Lee in a package for a bat, not a pitcher!

    Heck, I would do Zach Lee and Eovaldi for Headley over Garza. At least the Dodgers improve the hitting at 3B (by a large margin).

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      I agree. Don’t trade for Garza. I want a pitching prospect who knows how to pitch, haha.

    • Nick Sossamon 3 years ago

      Headley is under control for two more seasons after this and is one of the better third basemen in the game. Gonna take a major haul with many chips to get him out of San Diego.

      • dieharddodgerfan 3 years ago

        Dude, if the Dodgers offer Lee and Eovaldi, believe me, the Padres would at least listen. That’s 2 legit pitching prospects. Zach Lee is struggling a bit, but he’s young for AA and, honestly, probably is suffering from a little dead arm. The Dodgers should probably shut him down for a while and let his arm rest.

        Not saying the Padres would do the trade, but an offer like the one I mentioned would definitely be considered.

        • Chase Headley is overrated in my opinion, he is only hitting like .260, which average to below average.

  11. Shawn Young 3 years ago

    seriously? Keep Garza if thats all you can get right now. The rangers system has more talented pitching in it than zach lee. Heck Delgado is better than Lee. I say move on from the dodgers

    • rainyperez 3 years ago

      Yeah if I’m the Cubs I’ll try to get maximum value for Garza. Not sure if the Dodgers have enough value in their minor league system to warrant a trade. Maybe if they got Lee plus another top tier arm in their system it makes sense.

    • burtonbball88 3 years ago

      Agreed. I want some proven success in the Minors. The Dodgers just don’t have anything to offer in that department to get Garza.

      • paylly 3 years ago

        Heck, I actually wouldn’t give you Lee for Garza, as a Dodger fan!
        We don’t even trally need pitching as much as we need a bat!

  12. TyMxx 3 years ago

    With the Cubs receiving Delgado for a Dempster, the bar for starting pitchers is now set on what Lariano, Shields, and Garza can fetch. If the Dodgers were smart, they’d get this deal done ASAP before another team decides to go all in.

    As a Cubs fan, this has the potential to be a very good day.

    And just a side note here for the rest of Cubs faithful out there or those that are genuinely interested, here’s a link to Soler’s first homerun. Even with a crappy cell phone, you can really hear what the scouts were talking about.

  13. slyfox1908 3 years ago

    Why the rush? You’ve moved Dempster, sit back, let Hamels and Greinke get extended, and let the market develop for Garza.

    • CubbieBlueHoosier 3 years ago

      And if Hamels and/or Greinke get traded? That’s one less buyer on the market, driving Garza’s price down. It’s a gamble either way.

      • slyfox1908 3 years ago

        One less buyer, but also one less player available. I could see a team growing desperate after failing to land two of their targets.

  14. Bill W. 3 years ago

    Remember that the Cubs gave up Hak-Ju Lee (now the no. 12 overall prospect in MLB according to ESPN) & Chris Archer (now no. 63 overall) to get Garza… Hopefully we get more than just Zach Lee in return.

    • elbeisbol 3 years ago

      Garza was under contract for a lot longer at the time, so any return might pale in comparison.

      Theo knows what he’s doing though, I wouldn’t sweat it.

      • jwsox 3 years ago

        Theo isnt the GM, Jed is

        • scott brecht 3 years ago

          Theo is Jed’s boss and in charge of the organization. Most teams have a GM who is the highest executive in the front office. The Cubs are different now. Stop being a jackass. Theo is running the show.

  15. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Dodgers should probably add a bat before an arm.

    • dieharddodgerfan 3 years ago

      Agree. Dodgers need offense more than pitching, especially from the corner infield spots.

      Billingsley comes back today and Ted Lilly is likely only a couple weeks away. Why are they trading for pitching when their starters’ ERA has been one of the best in all of baseball?!

      • BlueSkyLA
        BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

        With all the irrelevant debating over who overpaid for what, this question remains the elephant in the room. The only answer I come up with is that Lilly is not close to returning. Seems like he’s been “a couple weeks away” for like a month now. Not a good sign, and the only answer I can figure for wanting Garza (or Dempster).

    • redlake 3 years ago

      I strongly agree! We really continue to need a middle of the order bat. I’m thinking 20 plus HRs,80 plus RBIs, clutch type hitter .280 plus average….I’m not hearing much about earlier discussions of Ramirez???? He fits that profile plus he would be more about money than prospects.

  16. WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

    Dont know to much about Lee but after reading ppl’s comments he has potential, But can anyone else tell me what else could be shipped with Lee for Garza?

  17. Frank Richard 3 years ago

    Honestly if I’m the Tigers I would overpay a little for Garza a pitcher that could be part of my plans for years and maybe get Darwin Bareny included in the deal. The Tigers can win now and for a couple years if they can get some pitching and a little up the middle D. Turner and Castellanos plus some lesser prospects could get that done that would give the Cibs why they want and Castellanos is blocked anyways.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      If the Tigers gave us Turner and Castellanos they wouldn’t need to throw anybody else in, somebody would be driving Garza and Barney to the airport already.

      • Frank Richard 3 years ago

        The asking price for Garza all year has been 2 top 10 prospect plus one low upside prospect why would that change I you added Barney to the mix.

        • jb226 3 years ago

          The asking price only matters if the Cubs are really going to hang on to the player if they don’t get it (highly unlikely) or if another team is offering more. The real question is would anybody offer a better package and I doubt it. Plus those two fill needs for the Cubs’ farm system extremely well.

          I’m sure you’ve seen that Turner got dealt to the Marlins, though, so it is all rather moot.

  18. Being in the rather unusual position of being both a Dodger fan (where I grew up) and a Cubs fan (where I’ve lived for fifteen years) I can say that, given the objectives of both teams right now, this makes sense. I like Garza over Dempster, just because Dempster’s career numbers in no way support what he’s done this year. He’ll be a 4,00 ERA the rest of the way. Garza is MUCH younger, and I like him better for the Dodgers. True, Lee has done nothing, but he IS young. Ryan stunk as a youngster, I will remind everyone. This guy will be good-probably not a #1-but likely at least a #3. If he ends up a #2, than it’s a dead even swap-with many years ahead of him!

  19. slider32 3 years ago

    Lee and another pitching prospect for Garza makes good sense for both teams. If Dempster gets you Delgado than Garza should get you more than just Lee.

  20. jwsox 3 years ago

    I seriously dont understand why Jed(THE GM NOT THEO) isnt calling AA, the Jays need pitching, And they have a stacked system. Garza had a ton of success in the AL East he could help them like crazy. I know it wouldnt happen but he could ask for D’Arnud…again I know that wouldnt be likely at all but they do still have a great farm system Jed could have his way with

  21. Dodgerzz 3 years ago

    Garza isn’t even that good. For trading Lee away I would expect a better starter than that. Yet the Dodgers are sending a “package” in addition to Lee. I see Ned is looking to get raped again. You’d think he would have learned after he sent McDonald to Pittsburgh.

  22. JakeD 3 years ago

    GOD I WANT TURNER SOOO BAD! Why can’t they just trade Garza and Barney to the Tigers already!!!!

  23. gillyking 3 years ago

    Rediculous.. overpaying for Garza!

  24. Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

    Lee is a weak pitching prospect.
    The Dodgers do not have the prospects to get Garza.
    I agree with looking to the Rangers. Garza could push them over the top and make them clear WS favorites. A package built around 3B Mike Olt would be good for both sides as he is blocked in Texas.

  25. Robert McCuaig 3 years ago

    Clearly, the Cubs wanted Turner and Castellanos for Garza from Detroit. I don’t think the Cubs were very high on Turner and Detroit didn’t want to move Castellanos.
    Hopefully Texas is willing to move Olt and the Cubs and Rangers can find some common ground on a pitching prospect or two, maybe expand the deal some. We have a red tag sale going on in Chicago!

  26. Don’t believe every rumor you read.

    Going into 2012 Randall Delgado graded out higher than Lee and the Braves gave him up for a rental of a 35 year old Dempster.
    Dodgers simply don’t have enough to get back 28 yr old Garza who is under team control for 2013 without giving up a major league player. So maybe Dee Gordon, Zach Lee, Garret Gould and another mid range prospect would get it done.

  27. Cubstein 3 years ago

    Lee would have been an OK deal for dempster. Noway for Garza, unless Kemp along with a Sori are included with no money changing hands (Except maybe in the cubs direction)

  28. Capoman 3 years ago

    Maybe they should dump Billingsley as a part of the package. He threw TEN pitches retiring the PITCHER last night.

  29. cubs223425 3 years ago

    The new CBS doesn’t hurt Garza’s value. He can still net a draft pick as a FA.

  30. Oilcanoworms 3 years ago

    Isn’t that what everybody does on here????

  31. Jason_F 3 years ago

    Kevin Goldstein, pre-2012, had Lee at #70 and Delgado at #41. I’d say Goldstein is pretty well-informed.

  32. Steve Keasling 3 years ago

    that isn’t completely true. Under the old CBA, the old team got the signing team’s first rd pick. With the new CBA, the old team gets a supplemental first rd sandwich pick, and while the signing team loses their first rd pick, the old team doesn’t get the pick….it simply just disappears….

    So yes, it does, to some degree, affect Garza’s value compared to old CBA rules.

  33. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    Nothing to add, just thought I’d let you know that you got +1 from me.

  34. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    no some people are actually informed.

  35. cubs223425 3 years ago

    That’s honestly a stupid rule. And if Garza ends up a Type B free agent, his value wouldn’t be affected by the CBA, would it?

  36. FrnchDp 3 years ago

    it says “discussing” in the headline.. so it’s not a done deal yet.

  37. Oilcanoworms 3 years ago

    And you know he’s not, how?…..

  38. Braves overpayed. An we all know it.Dempster wasnt even worth a top100 spec let alone a top 50.I dont think this means Garza lands you another top 50 spec. Just means Braves overpayed to get who they wanted

  39. Interesting. But as a Ranger fan i am not sure if that would be enough to get a deal done.

  40. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    stop being a stalker.

  41. Casor_Greener 3 years ago


  42. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    uhh maybe based on his comment?

  43. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    k seriously, get a life. I don’t care

  44. Jason_F 3 years ago

    The comment I responded to is gone now, but I’m pretty sure all I was responding to was the fact that he called someone who had claimed Delgado was a better prospect than Lee “uninformed.” My point is that one of the better informed people in the baseball prospect blogosphere said as much prior to the season.

    I agree that the Braves overpaid. However, this could be a case of the Braves selling high on Delgado. Maybe they are not impressed with what he has shown thus far this year and find him expendable. Also, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the Cubs are paying the freight on Dempster. That is quite valuable as well.

  45. MaineSox 3 years ago

    I’m admittedly less familiar with the Cubs farm system than I am with the Red Sox system (for obvious reasons), but what do they have for OFers? I know they have Jackson who projects as an average regular in CF, but he’s not exactly tearing up AAA right now, and what do they have beyond him? Szczur, but he’s 23 and in A ball, and there are legitimate questions about him.

    Not trying to be contradictory, just wondering if there’s something you know about their system that I don’t.

  46. From everything that i am hearing (radio/tv interviews) i do not get the feeling that the Rangers are as high on Greinke as some other clubs are. It sounds like the “Wish List” is Hamels, maybe Liriano, and then some guys that are veiwed as not available (King Felix, Josh Johnson, and etc). But you are correct Buckel and Sadinas have really made a name for themselves in this deep system.

  47. slider32 3 years ago

    I can see the Rangers and Angels going after Greinke or Hamels. In fact one could get Greinke and the other Hamels.

  48. jwsox 3 years ago

    to get Zack the rangers are more than likely going to have to give either olt or profar

  49. Jeff 3 years ago

    Theo already addressed the outfield with Cuban prospect Jorge Soler and also 1st round pick Albert Almora. Both are top tier outfield prospects.

  50. jwsox 3 years ago

    THANK YOU finally someone who realizes that Jackson projects as nothing more than a league average CF

  51. MaineSox 3 years ago

    Oh right, I forgot they added Soler and Almora this year.

  52. BlueSkyLA
    BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

    The Brave paid the market. They had to outbid multiple teams for Dempster, including the Dodgers.

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