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Cubs and Dodgers talking Matt Garza-for-Zach Lee swap

Jul 23, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Matt Garza AP

Last week reports had the Dodgers talking to the Cubs about starting pitching while being more interested in Matt Garza than Ryan Dempster.

Now that Dempster has been traded to the Braves, this report from Jim Bowden of ESPN.com makes sense: He says the Cubs and Dodgers “continue trade discussions” on a deal that would swap Garza for a “package including Zach Lee.”

Lee was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2010 and posted excellent strikeout and strikeout-to-walk numbers in the low minors, but has struggled since a midseason promotion to Double-A. Of course, he’s 20 years old and has all of 184 pro innings under his belt, so that’s no big deal.

  1. baseballisboring - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Shouldn’t the Dodgers be looking for a bat? Or perhaps three?

    • beavertonsteve - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      I’m hoping for both at this point.

  2. dodger88 - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    While the Dodgers do need a bat or 2, I don’t see any impacts bats that could be had for Zach Lee. Flippping him for Garza would be a good trade. Garza solidifies the rotation for the balance of the year and belongs to the Dodgers next year. If they are both inclined, there is no question the Dodgers can him enough money to sign long-term.

    As for Lee, he only made it to AA this year and is thus far struggling. Unless something suddenly clicks the next month or so, you have to figure he spends all of next year at AA and then starts 2014 at AAA (unless the Dodgers avoid the bandbox that is the PCL). The earliest I see him get a call to the bigs is 2014, which means 2015 before he makes the rotation for a full season.

    Lee may prove to be a good pitcher but if good means mid-rotation, he is worth trading for someone like Garza. Even if he turns out to be an ace, the Dodgers need to take some risks by moving prospects for a good return (i.e. not a 2 month rental).

  3. highlander24 - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Don’t do it boys. This prospect pitcher is great. Don’t do it.

    • Eberwizzle - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:44 PM

      so was scott kashmir or whatever his name was

  4. jkaflagg - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I believe that when the Dodgers gave Lee a huge bonus to buy him out of an LSU football scholarship a few years ago, some of the bonus money was deferred ( remember this was the McCourt era, when all bonus payments were spread out over several years). Assume the Dodgers would still be responsible for those payments (if they have not completed them anyway) ? Just curious….

  5. paperlions - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    As a Cardinal fan, if the Cubs get both Delgado and Lee for Dempter and Garza….I’ll start the clock ticking on being officially worried about the Cubs. I am a firm believer that the Red Sox continued to deviate from their original plan of building from within due to outside and ownership pressures. The moves the Cubs have made with Theo and Hoyer at the helm have looked scary from the perspective of an NL central rival.

  6. foreverlsu - Jul 23, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    @jkaflagg is correct. The signing bonus was spread out to ensure Zach Lee would not return to LSU shortly after he signed with the Dodgers. Zach Lee actually turned down $4 million before ultimately signing with the Dodgers for $5 million. Come on back Zach!

  7. willsolo - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Dear Ned,
    Keep making one of the worst farm systems in baseball even worse. You know, all that “money” can buy any player or players. Maybe the Dodgers can become the Yankees of the west coast!

    Pissed off,
    Will

  8. fatcatt - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Dodgers aren’t going to win the World Series this yr with Garza. I don’t know why they want to deplete an already thin minor league corp. Lee is the future. In a couple yrs when the rest of the team is ready to win it bring him up and go from there

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