Skip to content

Cubs make out well in trading Matt Garza to Rangers

Jul 22, 2013, 6:54 PM EDT

Matt Garza AP

The new rules that took effect last year made trading quality free-agents-to-be to be trickier than ever. That’s because the deal itself makes a supplemental first-round pick just disappear into the ether. The acquiring team is forced to offer extra compensation for something it’s not going to get back in return, while the seller knows it will get something in return if things fall through.

The Cubs, though, had too much to gain to let Matt Garza walk away for only a draft pick this winter. Since there’s been little hint of Cliff Lee or Chris Sale being available, Garza was clearly the top pitcher up for grabs in trade talks at the moment. The Rangers had to stay ahead of the A’s, Dodgers and others in trade talks.

In the end, the Rangers pulled off the deal without having to part with Jurickson Profar. Surrendered instead were three prospects ranked second (Mike Olt), fifth (Justin Grimm) and 14th (C.J. Edwards) in their system by Baseball America at the beginning of the season, plus two players to be named.

Olt, 24, was always the obvious piece to be included in a Rangers-Cubs trade. Texas, of course, has Adrian Beltre at third base, while the Cubs never have anyone there. Luis Valbuena is their current stopgap. Olt could have been a long-term answer at first or in an outfield spot for Texas, but he projects best at the hot corner. A disappointment earlier this year after battling vision problems, he was hitting .213/.317/.422 with 11 homers in 230 at-bats for Triple-A Round Rock. Throw out his April and that improves to .253/.352/.524 in 170 at-bats. Last year, he came in at .288/.398/.579 with 28 homers in Double-A. If he remains hot in Triple-A, the Cubs will likely give him a shot to replace Valbuena next month.

Grimm, a 24-year-old right-hander, had spent most of the season in the Texas rotation, going 7-7 with a 6.37 ERA. That he’s allowed 15 homers in 89 innings has taken quite a toll, but his 68/31 K/BB ratio is pretty good and the jump to the NL should help. He has the solid three-pitch arsenal to be a No. 3 starter going forward. He should step right into the Cubs’ rotation in Garza’s place.

Edwards, a 48th-round find for the Rangers in 2011, had seen his stock jump this year after an 8-2 start with low Single-A Hickory. The 21-year-old has a 1.83 ERA and a 122/34 K/BB ratio in 93 1/3 innings. In a Cubs system much stronger offensively than from the mound, he may well rate as the team’s top pitching prospect.

Even without factoring in the PTBNs, that’s an ample return for a guy who was going to make about 12 more starts as a Cub. They don’t get a sure star in the bunch, but Olt and Grimm are both nice assets and Edwards brings a lot of upside to the table. The Rangers can get away with it since they have a star locked up at Olt’s position, but it still hurts a bit to bleed that much talent for a guy who could depart this winter.

Latest Posts
  1. Giants release Dontrelle Willis from AAA Fresno

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    dontrelle willis getty Getty Images

    Dontrelle Willis signed a minor league contract with the Giants in January and was officially added to the roster at Triple-A Fresno on April 12. But the veteran left-hander didn’t even last a week there.

  2. VIDEO: George Springer’s first major league hit

    Apr 16, 2014, 9:39 PM EDT

    george springer getty Getty Images

    Astros outfield prospect George Springer grounded out sharply to shortstop in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday night. In his second trip to the plate, he made it to first base …

  3. Kole Calhoun out 4-6 weeks with ligament sprain in ankle

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:54 PM EDT

    kole calhoun getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton is likely to be sidelined through most of May with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and now beat writer Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register reports that Kole Calhoun will miss the next 4-6 weeks with what Angels manager Mike Scioscia called a “bad ligament sprain” in his right ankle.

  4. Taijuan Walker diagnosed with shoulder impingement

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

    taijuan walker mariners getty Getty Images

    Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker had to be scratched from what was supposed to be his final minor league rehab start Tuesday at Triple-A Tacoma and he headed to Seattle on Wednesday for tests. The MRI results are in.

  5. Craig Kimbrel throws, says his shoulder feels “great”

    Apr 16, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    craig kimbrel getty Getty Images

    Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable to pitch on Monday because of soreness in his right shoulder. But it’s apparently only a minor issue and he expects to be fine going forward.

  6. Bryce Harper scratched Wednesday with quad tightness

    Apr 16, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    harper getty Getty Images

    From James Wagner of the Washington Post comes word that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been scratched from the club’s starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Marlins because of tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.

  7. Dustin Pedroia returns to Red Sox starting lineup

    Apr 16, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    pedroia getty Getty Images

    Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is back in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox after getting a cortisone shot Monday for the inflammation in his left wrist.

  8. George Springer to hit second in his major league debut

    Apr 16, 2014, 5:04 PM EDT

    George Springer Getty Images

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  9. Joe Kelly leaves start with hamstring injury

    Apr 16, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Joe Kelly Getty Getty Images

    Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly left today’s start against the Brewers after tweaking his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.

  10. Masahiro Tanaka dominates the Cubs

    Apr 16, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    That’s 28 strikeouts in his first three big league starts.

  11. Johnny Cueto dominates the Pirates

    Apr 16, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT

    Johnny Cueto AP

    Cueto set a career high for strikeouts as he tossed his third career shutout

  12. Jose Tabata leaves game with concussion-like symptoms

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

    Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata just made a great catch to rob Brayan Pena of an extra-base hit, but unfortunately he slammed into an unpadded portion of the wall in Cincinnati and had to leave the game.

  13. Teams have less money to spend on international signings than ever

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    stack of money

    You can spend all you want on a 30 year-old free agent, but be careful how much you spend on an 16-year-old prospect.

  14. HBT Daily: Darvish vs. Hernandez — a great rivalry enters year three

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    The two most dominant pitchers in the AL face off tonight. Given their ages, their contract status and their presence in the same division, expect this to grow into a wonderful rivalry over the coming years.

  15. The Dodgers have four outfielders. A fifth is raking at Triple-A

    Apr 16, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 1.28.46 PM Getty Images

    The Dodgers have an embarrassment of outfield riches.

  16. Photo of the Day: Brian Wilson being Brian Wilson

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    Camera

    I don’t know the real Brian Wilson, but even if this isn’t it, remember: we are what we pretend to be.

  17. Mariners set to call up Nick Franklin from Triple-A

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Nick Franklin Getty Getty Images

    Nick Franklin lost his job to Robinson Cano, but now he’s headed back to Seattle.

  18. There is still a racial divide in baseball

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

    jose reyes getty Getty Images

    Kicked off by an anecdote you probably won’t believe.

  19. Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Keith Hernandez Jerry Seinfeld

    To celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Seinfeld” starting on NBC the Mets’ Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League, are hosting a “Seinfeld Night” at the ballpark on July 5.

Featured video

Jackie Robinson Day is bittersweet
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Wood (6653)
  2. J. Kubel (5912)
  3. I. Nova (5029)
  4. S. Kazmir (4726)
  5. K. Uehara (4050)
  1. M. Moore (3907)
  2. Z. Britton (3569)
  3. J. Johnson (3548)
  4. T. Walker (3522)
  5. J. Chavez (3222)