Matt Garza pitched for the Chicago Cubs in 2011, but he should be with the Detroit Tigers by the third or fourth week of 2012. Trade rumors still swirl around the right-handed quasi-ace with the National League's second-best fastball and the filthy, roiling breaking ball, and five (six?) teams remain in play for him, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Pitching is the priority for the Cubs. They have star shortstop Starlin Castro and 2012 rookie Brett Jackson as offensive anchors for the long haul, but need to address a pitching staff that walked more batters than any other in MLB last season—and the year before.
Inherently, of course, that isn't the problem. It matters little what the Cubs did in 2011 or will do in 2012, because their focus is clearly on 2014 and beyond. Unfortunately, the farther down one goes, the more imbalanced the Cubs become. Their best prospects at the lower levels are batsmen. They have at most two pitchers in their system with second-starter upside.
Therefore, it comes down not only to overall talent level, but to addressing a need that should be glaring in the Cubs franchise for some time, unless urgently addressed. The Cubs are going to get a fine price for Garza; the question is who will be paying it. Here are the six teams truly in play, ranked from six to one according to which best fit the Cubs' needs and demands.