Matt Garza Trade Rumors: Rangers Entering Mix for Coveted Ace?

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IDecember 28, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 21: Matt Garza #17 of the Chicago Cubs and Geovany Soto #18 celebrate the Cubs victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on September 21, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Brewers 7-1  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

UPDATE (6:01 PM ET): The Red Sox acquired closer Andrew Bailey and the Rangers are left searching for pitching help. This could lead them to moving Neftali Feliz back to  the closer role and stepping up pursuits for Matt Garza.

Garza is certainly available, and the Cubs front office are doing all they can to get the best value in return for him. You could make the argument that there isn't a team with better pitching prospects than the Rangers. Yet, the Blue Jays and Yankees both have impressive young pitchers that could entice Theo and Co. 

The Blue Jays, Yankees, Padres, and Mets have all expressed interest at some point this offseason.

It appears the Cubs have moved past the idea of signing Garza to an extension and have set their sights on the market. You can't really blame them as the prospects coming back will certainly be exciting.

It is also a cost cutting measure that could give the Cubs another reason to make a run at Prince Fielder. As much as they say they are not going to go long-term with him, there is no action on the Prince Fielder front and it could lead to change in strategy for him. I could see Fielder landing a four year deal in the range of 100 million dollars, but even that would mean a team went overboard. 

(1:00 PM ET)'s Bruce Levine is reporting that trade talks for Cubs ace Matt Garza are heating up. The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees are all reportedly involved, meaning that any of them could be the leading candidate.

Cubs president Theo Epstein knows all three systems very well, and he could likely pull off a deal that is advantageous for the Cubs. Garza is still under control for two seasons, further increasing his value.

Stay tuned for further details.