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:
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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.