The Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays appear to be closing in on deal that will send right handed starting pitcher Matt Garza to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for three prospects. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times was the first to report that a deal is close between the two teams.
According to Wittenmyer the Cubs have leapfrogged the Texas Rangers for the favorites to land Garza, and as of last night the Cubs and the Rays are close on a deal. The Rangers are no longer interested in Garza due to their recent signing of Adrian Beltre, and the pursuit of Rafael Soriano.
As we have stated numerous times on Cubbies Crib, adding Garza would put the Cubs right back into contention for the National League Central crown. Garza would give the Cubs a rotation that features Ryan Dempster, Garza, and Carlos Zambrano as the top three pitchers. Then Randy Wells would probably be the fourth starters, followed by either Jeff Samardzija, Andrew Cashner, or Casey Coleman as the fifth starter.
David Kaplan essentially confirms the report by Wittenmyer, when he tweeted that a deal is “seriously being discussed” and includes three top prospects from the Chicago Cubs. More than likely two of those prospects will be shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, and Catcher Robinson Chirinos. Those two players that the Rays have liked throughout all their conversations with the Cubs. As for the third prospect, I would imagine that it is a pitching prospect. The only pitching prospects that are untouchable are Chris Archer, and Andrew Cashner. Meaning Jay Jackson, Trey McNutt, and Chris Carpenter are all candidates to be the third prospect going to Tampa Bay.
In the report, Wittenmyer mentions that the Garza deal would create another deal for the Chicago Cubs. As with the addition of Garza, the Cubs would have a wealth of starting pitchers. Signaling that the Cubs will probably intensify trade discussion regarding pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. There also is Carlos Silva, who the Cubs view as a non entity for the 2011 season, and the Cubs may look to release him during spring training.
Acquiring Garza would be a very good move for the Chicago Cubs. He is expected to make around $6 million this year after he goes through arbitration. Garza is also under team control through the 2013 season. Garza would put the Cubs back into contention for a postseason spot. Because any time you have a rotation that features Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, and Carlos Zambrano the chances are good that you will be in contention for the entire season.
We will have more on the Garza deal as more information becomes available.
No deal between the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays involving pitcher Matt Garza is believed to be close. The Cubs remain interested in Garza, but have begun looking at other teams for their Starting Pitching needs. The Rays appear to be inclined to hold onto Garza until July of the coming season.
Topics: Adrian Beltre, Andrew Cashner, Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano, Casey Coleman, Chicago Cubs, Chris Archer, Chris Carpenter, Hak Ju Lee, Jay Jackson, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Rafael Soriano, Randy Wells, Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Dempster, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Tom Gorzelanny, Trey McNutt