Chicago Cubs: Evaluating recent trades and how the Cubs fared

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 17: Anthony Rizzo
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 17: Anthony Rizzo /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Building for the future

Many may remember the haul that the Cubs gave up to get Matt Garza. Several years later, the Cubs traded him to the Rangers and got four prospects in return. Let’s look at this deal and see if the Cubs won the trade or not.

In July 2013, the Cubs traded pitcher Matt Garza to the Rangers for Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards and Neil Ramirez. At the time, Mike Olt was the prized prospect the Cubs were receiving.  However, that did not turn out so well.

At the time of the trade, Garza was having an excellent year. In 11 starts, Garza was 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA, his best numbers as a Cub. 2013 was an abysmal year for the Cubs. In the midst of a rebuild, they traded him away, and it’s looking like the right decision.

Since leaving the Cubs, Garza, 33, has never been able to find his footing. He was just so-so with the Rangers that year before Brewers signed him to a four-year deal. As a Brewer, Garza has dealt with a lot of injuries and ineffectiveness. He is having a better season this year, despite more injuries, but the Cubs are better off without him.

In the end, Grimm and Edwards ended up being the prizes of that trade. It’s no secret what Edwards has been able to do for the Cubs and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He just needs to cut down on his walks. Grimm has had an up and down career with the Cubs. Currently, at Triple-A, he has shown flashes of brilliance. But hasn’t been able to fully regroup after a posting a 1.99 ERA in 2015.

Neil Ramirez showed a lot promise, sporting a 100mph fastball. His first season with the Cubs was near perfect, as he posted a 1.44 ERA in 43 2/3 innings. However, his career was also derailed by injuries. At just 28, he can still salvage his career, but he needs to remain healthy and prove he can be effective again.

Mike Olt, 28, was never able to get it going. He had a ton of power (12 home runs in 225 at-bats) in his first season with the Cubs but has a career .168 batting average. He spent one season on the South Side after leaving the Cubs and wasn’t able to do much. He’s been out of baseball since 2015.

Verdict: Slightly Cubs.

The Rangers didn’t win this trade as they let Garza go the next year and never won the World Series. While all four pieces didn’t work out for the Cubs, Edwards and Grimm helped the team to a championship, thus making this trade a win for the Cubs.