Matt Garza Rumors
Inspired by the O.co Coliseum's sewage problems, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports introduced the "Toilet Scale" to rate some postseason contenders "based on just how badly they're flushing their season." Within the colorful piece, Passan also shared a few hot stove rumors...
- Marlins team president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill could all be fired in the club's latest shakeup. Assistant GM Dan Jennings would take over as Miami's new general manager, and sources tell Passan that Jennings already has permission to begin assembling a staff. Beinfest has been rumored to be danger, though Samson's job was previously thought to be safe. As Passan notes, however, owner Jeffrey Loria was prepared to fire Beinfest and Hill last year before changing his mind. Given how much influence Loria has over the team's decisions, "Who the hell would want to work there?" one Passan source rhetorically asked.
- The Rangers front office was "pressured by ownership" into making the midseason deal for Matt Garza that hasn't worked out for the club. Garza has a 4.56 ERA in 12 starts for Texas and can depart as a free agent this winter without any compensation coming back to the Rangers in return. Of the prospects Texas sent to the Cubs in the Garza deal, "evaluators absolutely love" right-hander C.J. Edwards, who just recently turned 22 years old and posted a 1.86 ERA over 24 starts at both levels of A-ball this season.
- It's been a tumultuous season for Joe Girardi, who Passan praises for keeping the Yankees in contention despite multiple major injuries, declining veterans and the Alex Rodriguez controversy. This is the final year of Girardi's contract with the Yankees and one executive suggested to Passan that Girardi could find a lot less stress managing elsewhere in 2014. We heard over the weekend that one Yankees official pegs Girardi's chances of staying in the Bronx at 70 percent.
In an attempt to compensate for the looming loss of Nelson Cruz to his 50-game suspension, the Rangers tried to swing a big trade for Justin Upton at the July trade deadline, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The Braves refused a package of Matt Garza, Joe Nathan and David Murphy. If those are the only three players the Rangers offered, it's not a surprise that the Braves passed -- Garza and Murphy are eligible for free agency after the season, while Upton is a good young player who is under contract through 2015. Eventually, of course, the Rangers acquired Alex Rios in August. Here are more notes from around the Majors.
- The Athletics clinched their second AL West title in a row with an 11-7 win over the Twins on Sunday, and GM Billy Beane says the team's depth has been the key to their smooth season, John Hickey of InsideBayArea.com reports. "We knew going in this was the deepest roster we’d ever had here," says Beane. "We needed that depth, and it paid for itself." As Hickey points out, the Athletics hardly missed a beat all season, even though Brett Anderson, Josh Reddick, John Jaso and Derek Norris all missed significant time. Here are more notes from around the Majors. A quietly brilliant season from Josh Donaldson surely helped, but the A's got solid offensive and defensive performances from most of their hitters, and other than Anderson, their starting rotation mostly stayed healthy.
- After taking in the ceremony for Mariano Rivera and the applause for Andy Pettitte on Sunday, it dawned on injured Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter that he had played his final game with his two retiring teammates, Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger reports. "I’m going to miss them a lot," says Jeter. "These guys have been brothers to me. We’ve been through quite a bit together. Pretty much everything you can experience on a field. In my whole professional career, I’ve been playing with at least one of them." The three had their rookie seasons together with the 1995 Yankees, and Jeter and Pettitte also played on many of the same minor-league teams, including Class A Greensboro in 1992 and and Triple-A Columbus in 1994 and 1995.
- Pitcher Dan Haren thinks the Nationals should aim to keep their team together, writes MLB.com's Andrew Simon. "Last year they had a great year and this year we’ve shown a lot of fight here the last few months. I think as close as things could stay to the guys in this room, I think the better," Haren says. He also appears to support bench coach Randy Knorr for the Nationals' managerial position, which will be open when Davey Johnson retires after the season. Haren himself is a free agent, of course, and he seems aware that he might not be part of the 2014 Nationals, even if they ultimately go with a similar roster: "I know there’ll be some subtle changes, me probably being one of them."
- Now that the Phillies have settled on Ryne Sandberg as their manager, they'll now turn their attention to their coaching staff, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports. With a new manager, it's typical to have at least some change in the rest of the coaching staff. Zolecki mentions that one potential change might be re-hiring former manager Larry Bowa in some capacity.
- A "winter of discontent" is on the way for Phillies fans, writes Bob Ford of the Inquirer. After a recent streak of successful seasons, Ford says, a team elsewhere might "get a standing ovation and then be allowed to attempt its rebuilding with patient if not fervent support. That might be the case here as well, if only the team would get on with the rebuilding." Instead, the Phils will head into the offseason expecting to keep aging veterans Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Cliff Lee. They might also go into 2014 with Carlos Ruiz still at catcher, and perhaps also with Roy Halladay in the rotation. Ford compares the Phillies to a rock band who are still touring long past the point where they've lost relevance, "dyeing their hair and wearing hearing aids."
The Padres have promoted former star closer Trevor Hoffman to upper level pitching coordinator and special assistant to GM Josh Byrnes, according to a team release. His duties will include coordinating and evaluating pitchers in the high minors and at the big-league level. Hoffman has worked in the Padres front office since he retired as a player in 2011 after racking up 552 of his career 601 saves as a Padre. Here are more notes from the West divisions.
- Giants general manager Brian Sabean and former manager Felipe Alou are currently in the Dominican Republic, scouting Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com tweets. In late August, the Giants were reported to be interested in Abreu. Abreu, who defected from Cuba earlier this summer, appears likely to receive a contract even larger than that of Yasiel Puig, who got seven years and $42MM from the Dodgers.
- Matt Garza has been a disappointment for the Rangers since they traded for him, but that's consistent with the rest of his career, ESPN's Jayson Stark says on ESPN Dallas' Fitzsimmons and Durrett podcast. "If you look at his body of work, you think that the performance has ever totally matched the stuff?" Stark asks. Garza's peripherals with Texas (8.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9) remain above average, but it's likely a 4.46 ERA isn't what the Rangers were hoping for when they acquired him. Stark also adds that the Cubs "sold high" on Garza, dealing him after a string of good starts against bad teams.
The Rangers have been the most active buyer in baseball this season, trading prospects Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and Leury Garcia to bring in Matt Garza and Alex Rios. In his latest Rangers Inbox, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan tackles a host of issues regarding the future of the team's roster...
- Jurickson Profar could stay in his utility role for another season and ultimately transition to third base as Adrian Beltre moves into a DH role in two years, writes Sullivan. It's also possible that GM Jon Daniels discusses trades of Kinsler this offseason, as the four years and $57MM remaining on his contract will look like a bargain with the rising price of second basemen (Sullivan points to Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano as comparisons).
- Sullivan guesses the Rangers will make Nelson Cruz a qualifying offer at season's end. If Cruz accepts the offer or expresses interest in working out a new contract, they're prepared to move forward with him as their designated hitter in 2014.
- The club's interest in re-signing Matt Garza will be linked to the health of Matt Harrison. The team could also re-sign Colby Lewis. Nick Tepesch and Josh Lindblom are currently the leading candidates to be the fifth starter, as Neftali Feliz looks to be headed back to a bullpen role.
- The Rangers aren't likely to pursue Jarrod Saltalamacchia as a free agent despite their needs at catcher. As Sullivan writes, "That bridge appears quite charred in both directions."
Earlier today, the Mariners released Jason Bay after the outfielder hit .204/.298/.393 in 68 games for the club. Meanwhile, the Rangers announced that Colby Lewis will undergo hip surgery that will end his 2013 season. Here's more out of the AL West...
- The Mariners recently demoted struggling closer Tom Wilhelmsen to Triple-A Tacoma, and MLB.com's Greg Johns tweets that the team is going to experiment with him as a starter. Seattle isn't officially announcing that Wilhelmsen will convert to a starting role at this time, but he did start for Tacoma today with unsuccessful results. Wilhelmsen allowed three runs on three hits (two homers) with four strikeouts in two innings.
- Justin Smoak's turnaround has transformed him from one of the Mariners' problems to part of the solution, writes Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. The Mariners still have plenty of decisions on their hands this offseason to produce a winning season, however, he adds.
- The Angels have called up infielder Grant Green in place of Daniel Stange and inserted him into the lineup, tweets Angels director of communications Eric Kay. Green, a former first-round pick, was acquired from the Athletics for Alberto Callaspo last week in a rare intra-division trade.
- In an appearance with Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio, Rangers GM Jon Daniels shot down previous reports that the team was willing to trade Matt Garza for a bat. He also said reports that the team wouldn't welcome Nelson Cruz back in 2014 after accepting his 50-game suspension were inaccurate (Twitter links).
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has his latest edition of Full Count up. Let's run through some of the highlights...
- Some teams considering a trade for the White Sox's Alex Rios might consider the remainder of his contract - $13MM in 2014 and a $13.5MM club option for 2015 - to be a benefit. According to Rosenthal, Rios ranks fifth in wins above replacement among all right fielders since the start of the 2012 season. That's ahead of both Nick Swisher and Shane Victorino, who were able to sign large free agent deals last offseason. Rosenthal says Rios could still be traded this month or after the season.
- Rangers officials told Rosenthal that they had more conversations about major leaguer-for-major-leaguer trades leading up to the deadline than ever before in their push to acquire a bat for their struggling lineup, but nothing came to fruition. Texas made almost every player on their roster available in trade talks, including the newly acquired Matt Garza.
- The Dodgers opted not to bid on Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez because they were unsure of whether he profiled as anything more than a back-end starter or reliever. They also want to create opportunities for prospects such as Zach Lee and Chris Reed.
- The A's decision this weekend to send Tommy Milone - the owner of a 4.39 ERA in 133.1 innings this year - to Triple A was aimed at adding another arm to the bullpen, as they don't need a fifth starter until Aug. 13. However, that Aug. 13 starter could end up being prospect Sonny Gray. The A's were originally considering putting Gray in the bullpen, but they could get left-hander Brett Anderson back within two weeks as a reliever, Rosenthal says.
WEDNESDAY: Even the newly-acquired Matt Garza could be in play for the Rangers, tweets Rosenthal. He notes that as they aggressively seek offense, it's not unusual for the Rangers to make creative proposals.
TUESDAY: The Rangers are willing to listen on anyone, report Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, including shortstop Elvis Andrus. The Rangers have not have any substantive trade conversations involving Andrus, however, cautions Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. The team is known to be aggressively seeking a bat, especially given the possibility of Nelson Cruz being suspended. Bowden says they're focused more on outfielders than DH types.
At .250/.310/.289 in 458 plate appearances, the 24-year-old Andrus has not done much offensively this year. In theory, the Rangers could trade him and replace him with 20-year-old rookie Jurickson Profar. Andrus signed an eight-year, $120MM extension with the Rangers in April, which includes opt-out clauses after the 2018 and '19 seasons as well as a 2023 vesting option that becomes a player option upon a trade. The Cardinals would seem to be a logical fit for Andrus.
Jake Peavy returned from the DL to throw a quality start against the Braves on Saturday, which helped to quell fears about his health and also reignited speculation that Peavy could be a trade candidate. Here's the latest on the White Sox right-hander...
- The Indians aren't a trade match for Peavy, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman tweets.
- The Cardinals and Red Sox "appear to be emerging as two of the potential players" for Peavy's services, Jon Heyman reports. We recently heard that Boston was preparing to scout Peavy, though the team's interest in him or any starter is likely dependent on Clay Buchholz's injury status. Heyman speculates that the Diamondbacks could be interested in Peavy given his relationship with GM Kevin Towers dating back to their days in the Padres organization. It was reported last week that the D'Backs had at least discussed Peavy as a possible target.
- Peavy told reporters (including Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago) that he kept an eye on the Matt Garza trade rumors since once Garza was moved, he could quite possibly be the next biggest pitcher available. “Just thinking about leverage and stuff, you think Garza is probably the biggest name out there so to speak,” Peavy said. “You would think other teams would wait until that to set the market and kind of happen before. That’s my mind, my general manager mind....We’ll see how the next few days plays out.”
- In comparing a possible Peavy trade to what the Rangers gave up to acquire Garza, Hayes hears from one source that "the Rangers were desperate and overpaid," while another source felt the Cubs got good prospects but no "slam dunk" future stars like Jurickson Profar. If you want to weigh in on the respective trade values of Garza and Peavy, vote now in yesterday's MLBTR Poll.
- Both Hayes and Paul Konerko note that White Sox GM Rick Hahn isn't pressured to deal Peavy or Alex Rios by the deadline as both players are under contract for 2014. “If you don’t like what you’re getting and you know there’s no rush, then you can just wait and maybe down the road you get something else,” Konerko said. “I think everybody thinks it has to happen...But when you look at it from really what it is, it really doesn’t. It could still, but it might not be the urgency that some people think.”
9:05pm: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports (via Twitter) that the Cubs can select right-hander Neil Ramirez as the PTBNL in the deal. However, if the Cubs select Ramirez, they will not receive a second PTBNL. Otherwise, they can select two other pitchers from the agreed upon list of names.
6:20pm: The Rangers aren't afraid to make splashes and add pitching help if they feel they have a shot at the World Series. In 2010, it was Cliff Lee. In 2011, it was Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. In 2012, it was Ryan Dempster. This season, it's Matt Garza. The Rangers and Cubs have officially announced a trade that will send Garza to Texas for third baseman Mike Olt, right-hander Justin Grimm, right-hander C.J. Edwards and at least one player to be named later, although Rangers GM Jon Daniels noted that the Cubs can also receive a second PTBNL depending on who they select as the first. The Cubs will be choosing the PTBNL(s) from a list entirely composed of pitchers, GM Jed Hoyer said Monday.
Garza, 29, has been tremendous for the Cubs in limited action this season. Though he began the year on the disabled list, he's shown little signs of rust since being activated on May 21. In 71 innings, Garza has pitched to a 3.17 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. He will join the front of a loaded Rangers rotation that also features Derek Holland and Yu Darvish, who is set to return from the DL tonight. Garza is a free agent at season's end and therefore cannot be tied to draft pick compensation, meaning that he is strictly a rental for the Rangers, barring a long-term extension. He currently ranks fifth on Tim Dierkes' Free Agent Power Rankings.
Olt, 24, entered the season as the No. 22 prospect in baseball according to both Baseball America and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, while ESPN's Keith Law ranked him 71st. Olt batted .288/.398/.579 at Double-A Frisco last season and made his Major League debut with the Rangers. He's battled vision problems in 2013, however, which could be the reason his production has tumbled to .218/.318/.438 at Triple-A Round Rock. Prior to the season, BA praised his plus raw power and advanced hitting approach, calling him "a threat to go deep anytime he steps to the plate." BA, Law and Mayo all agree that he's a plus defender at third though Law questions whether or not he will make enough contact to hit at the big league level with any consistency.
Grimm, also 24, has made 17 starts for the Rangers this season but posted an ugly 6.37 ERA in 17 starts. However, Grimm posted a 3.93 ERA through his first nine starts, and advanced metrics like FIP (4.79), xFIP (4.25) and SIERA (4.34) all suggest that his ERA should be substantially lower. Prior to the season, BA ranked Grimm fifth among Rangers prospects, calling him a potential mid-rotation starter. He's averaged 91.4 mph on his heater this season, also mixing in a 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup.
Edwards, 21, ranked as Texas' No. 14 prospect prior to the season, according to BA, whose scouting report notes that the South Carolina native fell to the 48th round of the draft and signed for just $50K because he didn't pitch in any high-profile showcases prior to the 2011 draft. Edwards' stock has skyrocketed in 2013, as he's pitched to a pristine 1.83 ERA with 11.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 93 1/3 innings for Class A Hickory.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the two sides were nearing a new deal for Garza (Twitter link). Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports was the first to break that a deal had been reached, and he also was the first to report Olt's inclusion (Twitter links). Rosenthal tweeted that Edwards and a third player would be going to the Cubs, and Passan reported that the package included Grimm and a PTBNL (on Twitter). Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reported that the Cubs could receive one or two PTBNLs, depending on who they selected as the first (on Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Earlier this afternoon, the Rangers acquired Matt Garza from the Cubs in exchange for Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and at least one player to be named later (the Cubs could also receive two PTBNLs, depending on who they select as the first from a list of pitchers). Here are some quotes from both general managers, reactions from scouts and media members, as well as some more details surrounding the initial trade that fell apart last Friday...
- The Athletics made a late push for Garza, which is what caused the Rangers to up their offer at the last minute, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
- For Cubs fans who would like more info on what they received for Garza, Baseball America's Matt Eddy provides scouting info on Olt, Edwards and Grimm.
- The Cubs had to accept Grimm instead of second baseman Rougned Odor when the Rangers raised questions about Garza's elbow, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- The Cubs tried to acquire Olt at the deadline last year, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters (including the Daily Herald's Bruce Miles).
- The Rangers felt that Garza was the best pitcher available on the market, GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Miller's piece is loaded with quotes from Daniels, who feels that the addition of Garza may give the Rangers as strong of a pitching staff they've ever had.
- The Rangers overpaid to get Garza, but all teams do so in order to acquire the top rental on the market, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com. Durrett adds that the Rangers needed to make this move and it's a worthwhile gamble given their minor league depth.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN's Keith Law writes that both sides did well in the trade, as Garza could represent a two WAR upgrade over Grimm through the end of the season, and the Cubs received a nice package of players in return. Olt and Edwards alone would've been a good return, in Law's opinion, making the addition of Grimm and at least one PTBNL even better.
- Garza never should have been a Cub, opines Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com. He writes that the acquisition of Garza was a poorly timed win-now move by former GM Jim Hendry that was made when the team wasn't in a position to win. Dealing Garza for a strong package from Texas was the right move, adds Greenberg, who notes that better days are ahead for Cubs fans.
- With Garza off the market, trade talks for Bud Norris will likely now heat up, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told McTaggart that the Garza trade may "start a series of different types of talks."