Let’s Make A Deal

GarzaAs has been the case pretty much all season, last night was a good news, bad news night for the Cubs.  The good news needs more attention, because it was the most important development last night in terms of the big picture.

Matt Garza returned to action for the first time in 10 months and was terrific.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Matt after such a long layoff, but his stuff was electric, his command was very good and the results were great:  5 innings, 1 hit, zero runs.  The pitch count got him, but that was only because it was his first start.

Garza’s performance will be arguably the most important topic of conversation the next 6-8 weeks as the Cubs try to sort out what to do with a guy in the prime of his career who is due to become a free agent (and turn 30 in the off-season).  The conventional wisdom is that the Cubs will look to deal him for prospects, but the mitigating factor here is the Cubs’ lack of high-end pitching in the upper levels of the minors.  So, unless they can bring a huge return on a deal for him, you may see the Cubs at least kick the tires with Garza on a multi-year deal.

Would he be willing to take 3 years and not go for 4 or 5 on the open market?  That’s a question only he can answer.

The bad news was obvious.  The bullpen’s rollercoaster season hit a big dip once again as Shawn Camp gave up the game-winning grand slam on a hanging changeup.  The Cubs could (should?) be 4 games under, but haven’t been able to hold leads the last 2 games because of 2 bad change-ups.  To say it’s frustrating is a big understatement.  This team is so close, yet keeps coming up just a little bit short.

len

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3 comments

  • Travis L

    Although I think trading Garza would really ruffle the feathers of fairweather Cubs fans (if there is such a thing) The lack of minor league pitching depth is really concerning. Garza, Feldman, and Villanueva are all injury risks, and it's scary to think that we're that close to having another season like 2012 with 12 different starting pitchers and 30 different pitchers overall. — OK, so this is a risk for any major league rotation/bullpen. Injuries happen, but it would be nice to have quality pitching waiting in the wings.

  • Barry

    Sveum manages by payroll, not by merit. Bowden was pitching much better than Camp, but because Camp was given a contract with more money, the Cubs get him over Bowden. Also, Bourbon and Sweeney look to be promising players. Yet the Cubs continue to play Soriano despite his poor RBI total, and low average with men in scoring position. Plus, he sees an average of only 3 balls per at bat. Once you get two strikes on Soriano, he is dead meat as a hitter.

    Also, Hairston continues to play against lefties despite having only 4 hits all year against them. The Cubs would be better served letting DeJesus play every day, but again a big contract commitment mandates the Cubs play Hairston. Lastly, Jackson has been a disappointment, and he should have been the pitcher moved to the bullpen instead of Villanueva, who has only had 1 bad start. But, Jackson has the big contract.

    As a long-time suffering Cub fan, I honestly don't mind them losing. What I do mind is that they are losing without using their best line-ups, and with players who do not play the game the right way. If we get maximum effort and fundamental soundness is the way they play, we can accept the Cubs not contending for the playoffs due to a talent shortage. However, bad baseball, with with wrong approach and the wrong type of players is the reason this team is faltering.

    Someone tell me I am wrong, but explain why.

    Barry

  • Nick

    I don't like how the Cubs keep gettinf rid of Good players in favor if prospects. Prospects are exactly what the word says. Some pan out, some don't. Epstein really needs to get it together here! I mean we had 2 MVP's in Pujols and Hamilton sitting there for the taking and the Cubs balked. Esptein needs to stop relying on could bes and maybes and get some good players in here. Garza needs to stay, he is one of our best pitchers. He only have really 2 good pitchers Samarja and Garza. And get RID of Marmol. He is terrible! Tired of seeing him cost us games. And WGN needs to have A LOT more games! I grew up an hour from Wrigley, been to many Cubs games, but moved to Dallas, TX in 2003. Can't watch Cubs games when they are on CSN and WCIU junk!

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