Matt Garza to Rangers: Cubs Reportedly Trade Star SP to Texas

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2013

In a hardly surprising move, the Chicago Cubs have traded starting pitcher Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers. 

Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan tweeted the details of the trade: 

Garza's trade had been expected, as he's pitched quite well this year for the Cubs, who are in fourth place in the NL Central. Several contenders were thought to be inquiring for the starter, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants in addition to the Rangers.

Garza has gone 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 71 innings this season. 

With the playoffs all but out of the question and the Cubs in a full rebuild mode with a young roster, moving Garza for assets made plenty of sense. 

In return, the Cubs received two of the Rangers' top-five prospects (Olt and Grimm), as rated by J.J. Cooper of Baseball America prior to the 2013 season. Olt is the biggest prize, as he was ranked as Baseball America's 22nd-best prospect in the sport before the start of the season.

Garza has pitched well for the Cubs since joining the club in 2011, going 21-18 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 355 strikeouts the past three seasons. His best season was 2011, when he finished 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 197 strikeouts in 198 innings.

In his career, he's pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays and the Cubs. He was a key member of the Rays team that reached the World Series but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in 2008.  

While Garza is far from an ace, he's a solid middle-of-the-rotation pitcher who should really improve the Rangers pitching. Still, he's likely a rental player, as he's in his final year of salary arbitration. 

But if he helps Texas win a World Series, most will forget how much the Rangers gave up to get him. 

 

 

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