With so many suitors for the services of Ryan Dempster, stretching coasts from the L.A. Dodgers to the Washington Nationals, interest in Garza has not yet spiked. One possible reason is that Garza's move will most likely come after the Ryan Dempster trade saga concludes, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Friday morning’s edition of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning radio show, a report Jayson Stark concurred during a phone interview on SportsCenter Saturday morning.
Nevertheless, the trade market for Matt Garza has been growing as Ryan Dempster’s has somewhat declined.
On July 17 CBSSports.com baseball insider Danny Knobler listed the Royals as a possible landing spot for Matt Garza as part of their continuous “look towards the future” strategy.
Also, earlier this month there had been reports the Detroit Tigers had interest in acquiring Garza as well, along with the Cubs having heavily scouted the Tigers’ Double-A Erie affiliate, but they have not held official talks with the Cubs.
There was the Evil Empire…err…the Yankees also being interested in gaining the services of the AL East veteran last month. On June 1, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported Matt Garza was the Yankees’ top trade target if they do indeed decide to shore up their rotation; but little has materialized since.
On July 19, Jayson Stark sent out a tweet stating:
#Cubs still working on to trade Ryan Dempster ASAP. One source says Red Sox are officially out on Dempster, still in on Garza.
In the same interview mentioned earlier on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning show, Buster Olney listed the Red Sox as the current favorites in the Matt Garza sweepstakes. Yet on July 20 Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo tweeted:
Source: Red Sox lagging behind a few teams in matt garza hunt. Not all sox personnel feel garza would be an upgrade over what they have.
With an uncertain market for Garza, especially now since he was removed from his last start with a triceps issue, what exactly can the Cubs demand in return for Garza and which team can offer the best deal?
First thing’s first: What positions are the Cubs looking to acquire prospects for? The Cubs want pitching—young pitching—and a third baseman.
They do not need to get everything they need or want in a deal for Garza since they are also in the process of trading Ryan Dempster.
But one thing is for sure: The Cubs can expect to get more in return for Garza than what they can for Dempster, regardless of their stats this season. Unlike Dempster, who is a free agent after this season, Matt Garza is under contract through the 2013 season and is seven years younger.
The Cubs, however, should not expect to receive a team’s highest-caliber prospect in return for either player. Unless a bidding war between the Yanks, Sawks and\or Tigers occurs, high-caliber prospects such as Dellin Betances, Matt Barnes or Nick Castellanos will most likely not be mentioned.
However, if the Cubs are looking for a trade partner who, even after taking the crème de la crème of its prospects out of trade consideration, is still able to offer prospects other teams would consider some of the best of their organization, the Cubbies needn’t look outside of the Midwest.
If the Cubs’ plans include acquiring as many talented prospects they can, that could leave the Royals as be the best potential trade partner for the Cubs.
Acquiring Matt Garza benefits the Royals in two ways. First, the Royals can control Garza after this season, so he is not a “rental.” This will allow them to shore up their starting rotation for another run in 2013. Secondly, he is a proven quality starter who is not afraid to go up against the opposition’s best.
Dealing with the Royals can also be more beneficial to the Cubs due to Kansas City’s deep pool of minor league prospects. K.C. will be more willing to part with talented prospects than other teams, since it knows whoever is traded can easily be replaced by another from its endless stream of gifted up-and-comers.
Most Cubs fans would rather see the Cubs acquire multiple “B or B+” prospects than one “A or A+” prospect, which is what the Royals can bring to the table.
Kansas City can offer the quality of pieces the Cubs want at both pitcher and third and the quantity they so desire that other teams cannot match. If the Cubs want to get what they want, there does not appear to be a better trade partner.