The Chicago Cubs traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers today, first reported by Ken Rosenthal. The initial deal from Rosenthal looked big.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 22, 2013
Jess Passan added the third piece going to Chicago, and said there’s also a player to be named later.
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
The end result is that the Cubs will get Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, and a PTBNL for two months of Garza. Let’s take a look at where each of those players stood this year to get an idea how big the return was.
Mike Olt, 3B - He was the number 44 prospect in Baseball America’s mid-season top 50 that was released a few weeks ago. A similar value from the Pirates would be Alen Hanson, who was the #39 prospect on the same list.
C.J. Edwards, RHP - John Sickels graded him a Grade C+ pitcher prior to the year. He has been dominating in low-A this year, with a 1.83 ERA and a 122:34 K/BB ratio in 93.1 innings. He can sit 94-96 MPH at times, and has touched as high as 98, but is usually 90-94. I wouldn’t say he’s equal to Tyler Glasnow, but I think he can safely be upgraded to a Grade B pitching prospect.
Justin Grimm, RHP - He was a Grade B pitcher at the start of the year and is close to the majors. Baseball America had him as the fifth best prospect in the Rangers system at the start of the year. He made 17 starts in the majors this year, with a 6.37 ERA in 89 innings, along with a 6.9 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9 ratio. He’s 24 this year, and could be a potential middle of the rotation starter. I don’t know if he’d still be a Grade B pitcher with his struggles this year in the majors.
Yesterday I was joking at how some Cubs fans were saying a deal would have to include Tyler Glasnow, Nick Kingham, and Luis Heredia to get Garza. It turns out the Pirates might have needed more than that trio of pitchers to beat the Rangers. They probably would have needed to deal Hanson, and two of those pitchers, plus whatever value comes from the PTBNL. I estimate the return for Garza to be anywhere from $27 M to $33 M, depending on whether you view Grimm as a Grade B or C prospect.
By comparison, I estimated that Garza only had $2.8 M in surplus value for the rest of the year. That value is what he brings beyond his salary. Even if you don’t care about the money and just look at his value, he’s worth about 1.5 wins, or about $7 M over the rest of the season. So just giving Mike Olt is a big return for a rental pitcher.
I wrote the other day that MLB should move back the trade deadline, as you’ve got very few teams who are currently sellers. I also wrote over the weekend about how the trade market looks weak. Garza was definitely the top name on the market. That weak market, plus the lack of teams selling and the increase in teams that are buying means we’re probably looking at a huge seller’s market. It definitely appears that way when two months of Garza lands a top 50 prospect, plus two more talented pitching prospects.
Keep that in mind for any past or future trade values. If the Pirates — or any other team trading this year — want a player, they’re probably going to have to pay more than what his value is worth to get him.