Will the Cubs deal Garza?

595066.png

Will the Cubs deal Garza?

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein let word leak last week at the GM meetings in Milwaukee they would be interested in hearing offers on any player currently on the Cubs' roster. It was assumed Matt Garza and Starlin Castro would be the top two untouchables from the group, but maybe not any longer, as Ken Rosenthal tweets:

embedly_twitter_98322576background:url(http:a2.twimg.comprofile_background_images54604124Foxsports_background.png) C0DEED; padding:20px; embedly_twitter_98322576 pbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_98322576 .embedly_tweet_contentbackground:fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px embedly_twitter_98322576 p span.metadatadisplay:block;width:100;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px; embedly_twitter_98322576 p span.metadata span.authorline-height:15px;color:999;font-size:14px embedly_twitter_98322576 p span.metadata span.author aline-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle embedly_twitter_98322576 p span.metadata span.author imgfloat:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px embedly_twitter_98322576 p a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_98322576 p a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_98322576 .embedly_timestampfont-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .components-above span.embedly_timestampfont-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_98322576 a color: 0084B4; text-decoration:none; embedly_twitter_98322576 a:hovertext-decoration:underline embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-screen-name font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-full-name padding-left: 4px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actionsmargin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px embedly_twitter_98322576 .components-above span.tweet-actionsfont-size:10px embedly_twitter_98322576 .controlsline-height:12px!important embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions a margin-left:5px embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions a bfont-weight:normal embedly_twitter_98322576 .components-above span.tweet-actions a bvertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px embedly_twitter_98322576 .components-above .tweet-textfont-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-image float: left; width: 40px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-user-block-image float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-row margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-user-block margin-left: -40px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .stream-item padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .simple-tweet-image img margin-top: 4px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .simple-tweet-content margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .in-reply-to-border border-color: EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0; embedly_twitter_98322576 .in-reply-to-text margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: 999; font-size: 12px; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions i background: transparent url(http:a2.twimg.coma1306889658phoeniximgsprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i background-position:-192px 0; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i background-position:0 0; embedly_twitter_98322576 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i background-position:-32px 0; @Ken_Rosenthal
Ken RosenthalRangers can't be ruled out on starters. Have shown strong interest in Garza in past. Cubs' new regime willing to move him. CubsMLB
Nov 22 via Twitter for MacFavoriteRetweetReply

Don't get carried away just yet. Rosenthal may be one of the best in the business, but he can't possibly have his hand on the pulse of Cubs beat completely while spending all his time nationally. In saying the new Cubs regime is willing to move Garza, that might be getting a bit ahead of himself.

I wouldn't put it past Jed and Theo to listen to offers on Garza, but to say they're willing to move him seems to be jumping the gun. It would likely take a small army of prospects or high-upside players to get the Cubs to move Garza, especially considering the old regime gave up three top prospects (Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer) from a shallow farm system to get the energetic pitcher to Chicago.

That being said, it was the old administration. Hoyer and Epstein don't have the same attachment to any players like Jim Hendry or anybody else would. And why would they? All they care about is getting the Cubs back to the World Series.

With regards to what the Cubs gave up to Tampa Bay for Garza, what's done is done and that's the way Theo and Jed are looking at it. They can't go back and re-do that trade. They can't turn the "force trades" option on like a video game. So why would they not at least entertain the option of trading Garza?

A team like Texas may be a perfect fit. After losing two straight World Series, they could be anxious to do anything they can to get over the hump in 2012. Maybe they give up too much for Garza because the pressure gets to them. It doesn't hurt Jed and Theo to listen to the offers.

But at the same time, both men have preached the Cubs' need for run prevention, namely pitching. How can they say that's the area with the biggest need for improvement for the team in 2012 and then trade away the team's best pitcher?

If Garza is traded, that would likely assume 2012 will be a rebuilding year. Hard to make the playoffs when you trade your ace.

Garza won't be 28 for another couple of days and is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He boasts four straight seasons with an ERA under 4.00 and a WHIP under 1.27. You can't give a guy like that up and hope to contend next year.

Then again, if Rosenthal is right, maybe Jed and Theo don't intend to contend in 2012.
That's kind of a scary thought.

Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to have the best rotation in baseball

Jake Arrieta expects Cubs to have the best rotation in baseball

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Jake Arrieta is a Cy Young Award winner who won't get the Opening Night assignment. John Lackey is a No. 3 starter already fitted for his third World Series ring. Kyle Hendricks led the majors with a 2.13 ERA last year and won't start until the fifth game of this season.  

Do you feel like this is the best rotation in baseball?

"We're up there, yeah," Arrieta said after homering off Zack Greinke during Thursday afternoon's 5-5 tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. "I think on paper – and with what we've actually done on the field – it's tough to not say that.

"We like the guys we have. People can rank them, but time will tell. Once we get out there the first four or five times through the rotation, I think you can probably put a stamp on it then, more so than now. 

"But, yeah, we stack up just as well as anybody out there, for sure."  

Arrieta made it through five innings against the Diamondbacks, giving up three runs and eight hits in what figures to be his second-to-last Cactus League tune-up before facing the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 4. 

The New York Mets blew away Cubs hitters with their power pitching and game-planning during that 2015 National League Championship Series sweep. The Washington Nationals are trying to keep Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg healthy and already watched Tanner Roark deliver for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. 

The Cubs dreaded the idea of facing Johnny Cueto in a possible elimination game at Wrigley Field last October. The Los Angeles Dodgers almost became a matchup nightmare for the Cubs with lefties Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill during the 2016 NLCS.

But slotting Hendricks at No. 5 – five months after he started a World Series Game 7 – is a luxury few contenders can afford. 

"That just speaks to our length in the rotation," Arrieta said, "and being able to keep relievers out of the game, longer than most teams. That's a big deal, especially when you get into July and August. 

"Obviously, Kyle could be a 1 or 2 just about anywhere. Not that he's not here. We've got several of those, which is a good problem to have. It's going to be favorable for us when there's a No. 4 or No. 5 guy in our rotation going up against somebody else's. Our chances are really good, especially with our lineup." 

Arrieta talked up No. 4 starter Brett Anderson as "a little bit like Hendricks from the left side" in terms of his preparation, cerebral nature and spin rate, a combination that makes him an X-factor for this rotation and an organization starved for pitching beyond 2017. 

The if-healthy disclaimer always comes with Anderson, who played with Arrieta on the 2008 Olympic team and has been on the disabled list nine times since then. Coming out of high school, Arrieta initially signed to play for Anderson's father, Frank, the Oklahoma State University coach at the time, before going in a different direction in a career that wouldn't truly take off until he got to Chicago. 

"We're all looking forward to seeing how we pick up where we left off," Arrieta said. "Judging by what we've done this spring and the shape guys are in and the health – I don't see any reason we can't jump out to an early lead like we did last year and sustain it throughout the entire season."
 

Cubs Talk Podcast: The making of Reign Men

cubscelebrate.jpg

Cubs Talk Podcast: The making of Reign Men

In the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull sits down with CSN executive producers Ryan McGuffey and Sarah Lauch, the creators of 'Reign Men: The Story Behind Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, which premieres March 27 at 9:30 p.m. on CSN.

McGuffey and Lauch share their experience making the 52-minute documentary as they sifted through hours of sound from the likes of Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and more recapping one of the greatest baseball games ever played.

Plus, hear a sneak peak of 'Reign Men’ as Heyward and Epstein describe their perspective of the Rajai Davis game-tying homer and that brief rain delay that led to Heyward’s epic speech.

Check out the latest Cubs Talk Podcast right here: