When the Chicago Cubs brought in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer in the offseason, it was expected a house cleaning would begin to take place. From front office positions, to the field, the dugout and the Cubs’ farm system, the new regime wanted to chart the Cubs on a course of a consistent winner.
There has been talk the Epstein-Hoyer tandem may trade Matt Garza, among others, at the deadline to further their re-tooling of the Cubs franchise. However, trading a pitcher such as Garza for prospects may not be necessary to strengthen the future of the Cubs’ playoff hopes.
The Cubs are in a unique position regarding the building of a winning organization. They can see the necessity of building a productive farm system just as Tampa Bay has, but they also have the income to lure free agents that fit their system to the Wrigley Field—players, ironically, such as Garza, who will be a free agent after the season.
Depending on where Epstein and Hoyer wish to begin their reconstruction of the organization, putting a winning team on the North Side may not take as long as what might have been expected.
If Epstein and Hoyer are focused on building up the Cubs’ minor league affiliates, then trading Matt Garza for some talented prospects is logical.
However, if they believe they can put a competitive team on the field in two to four years, then keeping Matt Garza is paramount.
It is on this premise that I believe the Cubs should not trade Matt Garza. Young talent and wise spending can turn the Cubs from a cellar dweller to a playoff contender—not a World Series contender—in a handful of years.
Note: This slideshow is predicated on Matt Garza not having told the Cubs GM he will not return to the team after this season.