Kaplan: Cubs agree to deal with Rays for Garza


Kaplan: Cubs agree to deal with Rays for Garza

Friday, Jan. 7, 2011
10:14 AM Updated 11:12 AM

By David Kaplan

The Cubs made a move to shore up their rotation by trading five prospects for Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Garza. The 27-year-old Garza comes at a very high price as the Cubs will send four of their better prospects to acquire a pitcher that many in baseball believe will be one of the game's elite over the next few years.

Sources tell CSN that the Cubs and Rays have consummated an eight-player deal that will send pitcher Chris Archer, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, and minor league outfielder Sam Fuld to to the Rays for Garza and two prospects.

Two major league scouts I just spoke with believes that the Cubs made a very astute deal because none of the prospects are superstar level guys. "Sure the Cubs gave up a lot to land Garza who is not yet a star. However, he is on the path to being a dominant starter plus he is under the Cubs control for three more seasons Those types of guys come at a very high price. None of the players that the Cubs gave up are elite. Good players yes. Elite? No."

Jim Kallis, a Minor League expert from Baseball America agrees.

"Chris Archer is a very good prospect with excellent upside. Lee, Guyer, Chirinos are all nice players. Sam Fuld is ajourneyman. Garza has a chance to be a No. 1 starter. I like the dealfrom a Chicago perspective a lot."

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospect also likes the deal and told me, "The Cubs gave up some good players and depth, but did not give up any elite stars. Garza is 27-years-old, is injury free and has the potential to be a No. 1 starter. Plus, you have him under cost control for three years. That's a very impressive trade by Jim Hendry."

Stayed tuned for more on this developing story and watch Chicago Tribune Live tonight at 5:30 p.m. for the latest.

David Kaplan is the host of Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet. Follow him on Twitter @thekapman.

A step forward for Kyle Hendricks and Cubs rotation

A step forward for Kyle Hendricks and Cubs rotation

MIAMI – Kyle Hendricks got as excited as his buttoned-up personality would allow after finishing Saturday’s pain-free throwing session and feeling no lingering effects on Sunday in his right hand.  

“Effervescent, bubbly,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said at Marlins Park. “It sounds like he is encouraged by the whole thing. Again, I told him I just want you to feel the baseball when you throw it. So we’ll just play it along and continue to stay on this program.

“Of course, it’s probably aggressive right now to think prior to the All-Star break. But you never know. I don’t want to rule anything out. Just let him go throw.”

Hendricks – who has been sidelined since early June with inflammation in a tendon on the back of his right middle finger – played catch from 60 feet and will need several more days of throwing before moving to the mound.

Hendricks – a Cy Young Award finalist and major-league ERA leader last season – has been staying on top of his shoulder exercises and overall conditioning. But he would still probably need to work up to at least one start in the minors, leaving the details on any rehab plan fuzzy.  

“It’s kind of on me,” Hendricks said. “That’s why we’re taking it slow here in the beginning, so hopefully nothing creeps back up, because it was kind of a weird injury in the first place. We didn’t know exactly what it was. It took us a little while to figure it out.

“Obviously, it could get sore again or something could happen. I just got to go day-to-day here these first few days, take it easy and make sure that doesn’t creep back up. Hopefully, we can just go from there.”

Even while missing a World Series Game 7 starter, the rotation has been trending in the right direction, posting a 2.51 ERA in the previous 11 games to reverse a 5.28 ERA in the 11 games before that. But to pull away from .500 and make a second-half push, the Cubs will absolutely need Hendricks. 

“They’ve just really fallen into a groove,” Hendricks said. “They’re really taking the workload better. Just from the top, what (Jon) Lester’s been able to do, he’s carrying the rotation with the way he’s pitched. But right behind him, (Jake) Arrieta’s thrown the ball much better lately. Even ‘Lack’ (John Lackey) his last few starts, so they’ve been carrying the load.

“I feel that on me a little bit. I want to come back, obviously, and be part of it and help them out with that.”

Preview: Cubs-Marlins Sunday on CSN

Preview: Cubs-Marlins Sunday on CSN

The Cubs take on the Miami Marlins on Sunday, and you can catch all the action on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m., followed by first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies on the call. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Mike Montgomery (1-3, 2.26 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (3-8, 4.19 ERA)

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