If there ever was an indication that the Chicago Cubs plan to trade Matt Garza at some point in the near future, then their recent signing of Edwin Jackson is a pretty good one. And it could happen as soon as this spring.
With Jackson now in the fold, the Cubs have seven starters on the roster. And unless they plan to send Scott Feldman to the bullpen, they won’t have room for all of them, especially when Scott Baker returns from his recover from Tommy John surgery.
Which means that somebody will be traded. And in the immediate future, that somebody is going to be Matt Garza. Of course, in order to maximize his value, he’ll have to prove that he is healthy and completely recovered from an elbow injury that ended his season over a month early.
A trade during spring training is very possible and downright likely at this point. If the Cubs are going to go through with it and trade Garza, the team they should sell him to the hardest is the Texas Rangers.
The two clubs are familiar with each other, with the Cubs having sent Ryan Dempster and Geovany Soto to Texas in two separate deals prior to the trade deadline last season. This trade would be quite a bit larger, or at least has the potential to be.
The reason that the Cubs should shop Garza to the Rangers, rather than to other clubs, is the fact that the Rangers have demonstrated a willingness this off-season to trade third base super prospect Mike Olt, who there is little room for from a positional standpoint on the Rangers.
The Cubs happen to have a gaping hole at the hot corner, and with the exception of Christian Villanueva, none of their top offensive prospects are natural third basemen, even though folks like Javier Baez are attempting to make the transition. Josh Vitters could be done with the organization very soon, and we don’t know what position Junior Lake could play when he reaches the top level.
Olt has the potential to give the Cubs a mainstay at that spot and give them one of the best young infields in all of baseball. He could be a nice bopper to add to the middle of that lineup for several years to come.
Of course, there would have to be other pieces involved, from both ends. Perhaps the Cubs could coax the Rangers into trading for Alfonso Soriano in a deal as well? Not at all out of the realm of possibility. They need another bat. The possibilities for a trade seem larger with the Rangers than with almost any other club.
As the trade deadline and off-season have come and gone, the Cubs have seen suitors for Matt Garza drop like flies, mainly because they’ve managed to fill the spot in the rotation they were hoping to. But they appear committed to dealing him. And if that’s their objective, then Jon Daniels should be the first call that Jed Hoyer makes this spring.