Over the last couple of days it has been reported by the likes of Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that the Texas Rangers have been involved the most in trade talks with the Cubs for Matt Garza. Leading up to today, there had also been jockeying for leverage by both teams. There was talk of the Cubs discussing an extension with Garza’s agent to show that the Cubs would consider standing pat with the right hander if no suitable offer was put on the table by any of the interested teams. On Thursday news came out that the Rangers would turn their attention to Bud Norris of the Astros as an alternative option.
The Cubs also put it out there for interested ball clubs to make their best and final offers. That could be interpreted as one last push by the Cubs front office to see if there is a team out there that can beat an existing proposed deal that is already on the table. Such a proposal may be that of the Rangers since they have been reported to have the most serious interest in recent days. The pressure appears to be on Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to maximize the return on their top of the rotation asset. Not only does the new front office regime have to deal with erasing what Jim Hendry and Company did to obtain Garza, but the Cubs organization also has deals like the Zack Greinke move from Milwuakee to the Angels in July 2012 to compare and try to match up to. Unfortunately for the Cubs, with Garza set to become a free agent this off season, getting close to recovering the package they sent to the Rays will not happen and the teams interested in Garza right now only needs to look at All Star short stop Jean Segura to strike some concern of overpaying for a second half rent-a-player.
Now things seemed to have picked up steam overnight and into the morning Friday. Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs and Rangers are close to an agreement. The Rangers prospect names that are being tossed about include third baseman Mike Olt and right handed pitchers C.J. Edwards and Neil Ramirez. Texas appears ready to end discussions if the Cubs insist on top pitching prospects Martin Perez or Luke Jackson. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com is saying that Texas would like to wheel and deal today so that they can have their pitching addition ready to make a start for them against the Orioles on Saturday night. Speculation around the Cubs was that Garza would be dealt by this weekend anyway, and that was heightened when the scheduled starters for the North Siders for the series in Colorado skipped from Jeff Samardzija to Carlos Villanueva and Edwin Jackson.
ESPN ScoreCenter is now reporting that Garza has mentioned that his agent was informed by the Cubs that he will in fact be traded. No confirmation of a finalized deal yet, but all signs above appear to be pointing to the Lone Star state.