Matt Garza: Trade Implications for Cubs and Rangers

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Matt Garza Trade

Jul 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza (22) sits in the dugout during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the Chicago Cubs finally freeing themselves of Matt Garza by shipping him off to the Texas Rangers, the Cubs were able to flip the big name starting pitcher to add more depth to their farm system. We now take a look at the prospects the Cubs acquired from the Rangers.

JUSTIN GRIMM

  • 2013 OUTLOOK: Above-average fastball; improved command; potential number three starter
  • 2010, fifth round pick out of Georgia
  • Only 23 years-old
  • Grimm was 7-7 with an ERA of 6.37 and equally high WHIP of 1.65. Here’s what he’s compiled in 17 starts with the Rangers:

K/BB

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

2.19

6.9

3.1

11.7

1.5

 

  • In 2012, between Double and Triple-A, he compiled a record of 11-6, 2.81 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.14. Here’s how the rest of his 2012 minor league numbers:

K/BB

K/9

BB/9

H/9

HR/9

3.43

6.9

2.0

8.2

0.3

 

MIKE OLT

  • 2013 Outlook: Might finally get big league playing time this season, but he’s currently blocked by veterans. Already 24, but power is intriguing. Plays good defense. Has decent approach at the plate.
  • 2010 first round pick, 49th overall out of UCONN.
  • Had struggled in 2012 call-up, but finished the minor league season in Double-A with 28 homers, 82 RBI, and a slash line of .288/.398/.579/.977 while maintaining a BB/K of 0.6.
  • Versatile defender, has experience playing both corner infield positions, especially third base.
  • Has struggled at Triple-A Round Rock for majority of the 2013 season.
  • Was struggling with vision problems that may have been caused by concussion suffered at Winter Ball .

C.J. EDWARDS

  • Has dominated A-ball with an 8-2 record, ERA of 1.83, WHIP of 1.03 and a K/9 of 11.8. His BB/9 is a tad high at 3.3, but has yet to give up a home run in his young pro career.
  • Only 21 years of age, was drafted in 48th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of South Carolina’s Mid-Carolina High School.
  • He is 6-2, 155 lbs. Skinny kid, but Phil Rogers thinks he has “Cy Young potential.” And then there’s this video that has the Cub fan in me more excited than a high school tween at a Justin Timberland (sic) concert.

And of course, we know what kind of starting pitcher the Rangers acquired in Matt Garza. He’s a winner, with a track record of pitching in big games, most notably the game-clinching Game 7 start against in the Boston Red Sox in the 2008 American League Championship Series. He wound up winning the ALCS MVP of that series, helping his former team, the Tampa Rays, reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history. ‘

Matt Garza does come with a history of injury problems, but his stuff, smooth delivery, production, and presence on the mound make him a player that the Rangers needed if they were to be a legit threat for the playoffs and possibly contend for a championship in October.

Overall it was a good trade for both teams, but for a club that’s constantly looking towards the future and attempting to expand their farm system depth, I have to say that the Cubs fleecing the Rangers to give up a few of their top prospects for what amounts to be a short-term mercenary is a tremendous victory for Chicago. It’s sad to see Garza go, but this move helps the Chicago Cubs collect more building blocks for their contending team of the future.

Felipe Melecio was the managing editor for the blog Pathological Hate. When not watching sports, he's listening to music--or listening to music while watching sports. Keep tabs on all his knee-jerk reactions on Twitter:
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