The on-again, off-again saga of Matt Garza to Texas seems to have finally reached one inevitable conclusion. Friday, the deal was almost done. By Saturday morning, the deal was considered all but off, leaving many to wonder how much of the trade talk had been real and how much had been fluff from one side or the other. After days of a deal reportedly being imminent and then completely off, word came down this afternoon from Ken Rosenthal that the deal could be back in talks.
A little before 4 PM Central time, Twitter began blowing up with the news of the trade. Before the news of Ryan Braun's suspension took the lead, speculation began on Garza's status for this evening with this news from Ken Rosenthal:
Less than 20 minutes later, Rosenthal followed up with more information.
Now, as of a few minutes ago, Jeff Passan has confirmed the final details of the trade with a tweet of his own.
Final deal: Cubs trade Matt Garza to the Rangers for Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and PTBNL.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2013
Now, a 4-for-1 player swap is something I'm not normally too fond of, especially when the player the Rangers are getting in return is basically a rental for the rest of the 2013 season. The benefit here could be that the Rangers will have an exclusive negotiating window with which to potentially sign Garza to a longer-term deal that would keep him with the club beyond this season.
Garza is the type of pitcher that the Rangers can use right now, and with uncertain health in the rotation going forward, Jon Daniels is sending a clear message to his club that he doesn't treat this season as a rebuilding project. Any time you trade this many pieces away for a pitcher, you have every intent of making a run, which is why it won't surprise me if we see another move to add a bat to the mix, although the fact that so much was given up for Garza will make my stomach turn just a bit to see even more given up for a bat.
Nonetheless, I guess this is what you build strong farm systems for, and with such a deep and strong system in place, there was never going to be room for every prospect to play at the Major League level, so in a sense, I get it.
Mike Olt was blocked from the Major League level by the Rangers due the fact that Adrian Beltre is a mainstay at third base, so it only made sense for him to be included in a trade at some point, and perhaps the line of thinking was that his value had already reached its peak as far as tradeability, and so now was the time to make him a big piece of a midseason deal. Justin Grimm is a pitcher with some Major League innings already under his belt that perhaps the Cubs will be able to use as an innings-eater in the hopes that he'll turn into something more down the line. While still some time away from contributing at the Major League level, you get the sense that C.J. Edwards was the real centerpiece of this deal, and a piece Theo Epstein feels will help his club in the future.
At the end of the day, you like to see prospects and players that you trade away contribute in a positive manner. It builds goodwill and allows you to deal in the future.
For now, the Rangers rotation suddenly looks a lot better than it did 24 hours ago, as a healthy rotation will feature Darvish, Holland, Garza, Ogando, Lewis, Perez, Harrison, and Tepesch as possibilities to fill those roles, which could have a trickle-down effect of making the bullpen even better going forward.
This is a risk, no doubt, as Garza could take his check and dart at the end of the season, but then again, maybe he could decide to stick around and give the Rangers that enviable problem of having too many starters and not enough spots to pitch them in. If that's a problem the Rangers have going forward, sign me up, because I'm all in. Today, Jon Daniels proved that he's all in as well, and as Rangers fans, whether you agree with the trade or not, that should at least make you feel proud of where the franchise is today as compared to as recently as 4-5 years ago.