When the Cubs completed their long speculated trade of Matt Garza with the Texas Rangers it marked the single biggest move the organization has made since the arrival of front office executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer in October of 2011. Garza, the best available starting pitcher on the market, was in high demand from a number of teams and Texas had to pay a steep price to acquire him.
In speaking with multiple baseball executives with knowledge of the deal and scouting experience of the prospects the Cubs received, the common belief is the Cubs did extremely well in landing the package of prospects they got. The centerpiece of the deal is Mike Olt and if he is over the concussion issues that have plagued him over the past several months, then the Cubs were able to address a huge hole at third base and that makes the trade a huge win.
[WATCH: Kap, Holly break down Garza trade]
However, another common theme that I heard tonight from scouts who were evaluating the trade is the Cubs took a chance on hitting a home run in the deal rather than settling for lower ceiling players who are more of a sure thing.
"Last year the Cubs took a shot in the Maholm deal by taking back Arodys Vizcaino who still hasn't taken the mound for them. However, he has a huge ceiling and with the Cubs not anywhere close to contending why not invest the time in seeing if you can land a star. Theo and Jed obviously had the same mentality in the Graza trade. Why not swing for the fences and see if you can come up with a potential building block. Texas needed Garza and they had a deep system. This deal works for both teams. Now, we have to see how it all plays out. It's not like the Cubs gave up a future Hall of Famer. Garza is a nice pitcher but he is a solid No. 3 and nothing more and from the Cubs perspective he is a solid No. 3 for 2 1/2 more months. There is no way Theo was signing him to a massive contract with his injury history," a former GM told me.
Another longtime baseball executive put the trade in perspective.
"The Cubs landed three nice pieces in the trade but all of those pieces have question marks. Olt has a great package of skills but is he healthy and will he get back to the level he was at a year ago when the Rangers wouldn't put him in a deal for Zack Greinke, that's the big question that cannot be answered for a while. Edwards has an electric arm, but if he was 6'4, 215 lbs. instead of 6'1, 165 then there is no way Texas trades him. His durability has to be a question and that is why he slipped so far in the draft. Only time will tell if he can hold up to be a legitimate candidate for a rotation spot. As for Grimm, he has good stuff but he doesn't have a deep mix of pitches and that will keep him from becoming a solid starter. If he can add an off-speed pitch to his repertoire then he has a chance, but that is going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of time. Pitching coach Chris Bosio has a lot of work ahead of him," an AL scout who was involved in the Garza talks told me.