While the Chicago Cubs try to work out a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers involving Ryan Dempster, there is still the question of Matt Garza and whether or not the Cubs will be able to trade the starting pitcher.
Garza, who was scratched from his original scheduled start on Friday against the St Louis Cardinals due to right triceps cramping that surfaced in his start against the Cardinals one week ago, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday. The original plan was for Garza to make the start Monday against the Pirates, however, it was revealed today that Garza will not pitch until some time later in the week. A decision that likely resulted from Garza and his healing process, as well as the fact that Garza’s wife is expected to deliver their fourth child on Tuesday.
Tuesday, no surprise, is also the trading deadline in Major League baseball. Of course, teams can make trades throughout the month of the August, albeit, the trades become more difficult to complete. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer likely are having a difficult time trying to advance into the next step of their rebuilding process of the Cubs’ organization. The goal for the Cubs this season was to rebuild, but also acquire prospects from various Major League teams by trading away their short-term assets.
The team’s most valuable short-term assets were Dempster and Garza. With Dempster all but indicating that the only destination he’ll approve a trade to is the Los Angeles Dodgers, it has essentially taken away any and all leverage that the Cubs had in trade discussions with the Dodgers. The Cubs have swung and missed in their efforts to acquire Zach Lee or Allen Webster in a package from the Dodgers for Dempster. With the Dodgers now holding all of the cards in the Dempster trade discussions, it does not seem likely that the Cubs will receive fair value for the 35 year old starting pitcher.
Meanwhile, with Garza not pitching before the trade deadline, that would lessen the chances that the Cubs will be able to trade the 28 year old starting pitcher. But, that does not mean that the team will not make an effort to trade Garza. With the Texas Rangers losing out on Zack Greinke, the team will likely turn their attention to other available starting pitchers on the trade market. The Miami Marlins have been shopping starting pitcher Josh Johnson, but at this point in time, it does not seem like the Rangers are that interested in Johnson.
The Rangers have had an interest in Garza dating back to this past off-season. It would stand to reason that the Rangers would still have an interest in Garza, especially after the Angels were the team that acquired Greinke. Unlike Dempster, Garza still has a considerable amount of trade value considering the pitcher is under contract for the 2013 season. Though, it is likely that Rangers would want to make sure that Garza is indeed healthy and ready to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a handful of scouts that watch Garza’s bullpen session on Monday in an attempt to discover whether he is healthy or not. If Garza has a successful bullpen session, that may just entice a contending team to the pull the trigger on a trade for the starting pitcher.