Pirates Are the “Team Du Jour” For Matt Garza

The Pittsburgh Pirates are the “team du jour” for Chicago Cubs starter, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. If you don’t know what that means, perhaps this will help.

Wittenmyer points out that Neal Huntington suggested this afternoon that he has sought pitching, and said he has the flexibility to add payroll within reason. It sounds more like speculation and connecting the dots, but we do know that the Pirates have been interested in Garza. They’ve also been linked to Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

A few days ago it looked like Garza was on the move to the Texas Rangers. However, that deal seems to have cooled, and it looks like anyone is in play for the right-hander. Garza’s next start is tomorrow, and the belief was that he wouldn’t make that start for the Cubs. Now it is looking more likely that he will make that start, although something could change in the next 24 hours.

I’d be surprised if the Pirates added Garza. It’s not impossible, but there are a lot of teams in play, and the Pirates would probably have to give up more than Garza is worth over the final two months to get him. Huntington said they would be willing to stretch on some guys, but no word on whether Garza would be one of those guys. If he was, you’d have to think the Pirates have the talent to land him. It’s just a question of whether they should stretch for another pitcher or focus those resources on a bat.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • csnumber23

    I would prefer they stretch for a bat or Peavy over Garza. First I think Peavy is better and second he isn’t just a rental.

    Also, I wouldn’t stretch for anyone available that included Taillon, Polonco or Glasnow. To include Hanson would need to be for something big.

    • Roberto Calvi

      I love how you set the value of players by their WAR current salary and expectations, It seems that math alone does not calculate a fair trade that is beneficial to both teams. Barmes or Mercer could get a higher rated 1st baseman or RF because SS are more in demand. Also teams realize we need hitting pretty bad, so that drives up the value those players. Maybe this could be done with a combination of players. A RF who hits well against lefties would fill a spot also and a SS to platoon with Mercer. (Tabata is a righty but he still hits right handers much better.) A rf with good splits against lefties would be nice. These type of players would also allow the Pirates better matchups in late innings. This is the type of unexpected trade I expect to see.

  • Chris Hale

    This Pirates team won’t out hit anybody this year. They aren’t built for it. They are poor two strike situation hitters. That won’t change enough with 1 bat and a couple bench guys . It might give us a couple extra runs a week Not a substantial enough impact So they must hope they out pitch everyone. Load up on top end pitching. Garza was a proven track record in the best division in baseball most of the time and in the playoffs

    • csnumber23

      I am fine with that as long as none of the top Farm guys go, although I still prefer Peavy.

      Also what you said about the hitting is true but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t upgrade at a reasonable price.

  • Chris Hale

    Matt Garza would be the #1 starter on this staff. We have won all year on pitching
    1. Garza 2. Liriano 3.Burnett 4. Locke 5 Wandy,Cole,Morton
    Not many staffs in baseball better. This would make us that much better. If they can’t score they can’t beat us

    • csnumber23

      I think you are over rating Garza a little. I do not think he would be our ace but he would fit in nicely. I also don’t trust Morton so I can see upgrading plus is Cole ready for a pennant race yet. Not sure on that yet. If Wandy can come back healthy that will be an added bonus.

    • VikingCoach

      I don’t know about that. He is on the same level as Burnett and Liriano, in my opinion. So he is anywhere from a 1-3. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he would be the clearcut “Ace”.

  • Doug Weinbrenner

    The Giants won the WS with a lot less offense then we currently have. You can never have too much pitching.

    • csnumber23

      I agree completely but we can still upgrade the offense as well without giving up too much.

    • Bryan Graham

      Please explain to me how the Giants offense of last season had a much worse offense last season than we currently have. Last year the Giants averaged 4.43 runs/gm and this season our beloved Buccos are averaging 3.83 runs/gm. Please, I gotta hear this.

  • rburgh

    The Cubs’ blog that broke this story was talking about a deal where Taillon would be the “2nd piece.” If that happens I’m burning my JR.

    This organization has built itself up by making the long-term decision to strengthen the farm system at every opportunity. And people are suggesting we piss away a big part of that for a dozen starts from Matt Garza?


    • csnumber23

      Are you serious?? If we give up Taillon for 2 months of Garza I will throw up!!

      I would not give up any more than say Stolmy P and a lower type hitting prospect like Rojas.

      Taillon should be untouchable!! Same with Polanco and Glasnow!!

      • Thom Kay

        Rojas is a guy I’d definitely be willing to trade. Throw in one of the older prospects like Stolmy, Oliver, Welker or a long shot prospect like Adrian Sampson, and it’d be great.

    • VikingCoach

      Listening to fans on blogs of other teams, is not a very productive exercise. All fans of all teams over value their vets and undervalue other teams prospects. And Vice Versa. For the most part, fans are not as familiar with other teams prospects. They go to Baseball America’s top ten and just look at those prospects and expect that their “Vet” should get a return of those top ten. Not considering that some orgs top ten is much better that another orgs top ten. For example, Tyler Glasnow didn’t even crack the Pirates top ten according to Baseball America’s rankings that came out in January. But he is considered a top 50 prospect in all of baseball now. Most Cubs fans will not pay attention to Pirates Prospect rankings like we do here. So they just don’t know any better. And the Pirates have two top 15 guys right now with Taillon and Polanco. The Cubs top ten prospects are probably nowhere near what the Pirates top ten are. So number 6 or 7 on the Pirates list may be better than the top prospect on the Cubs list, but again, your casual fan won’t know the difference.

  • rob3347

    how about kingham,macdonald and lambo for garza and soriano? is that too much or not enough? cubs pickup salary

    • smurph


    • NickP

      I would do it

  • CalipariFan506

    All this chatter about adding a pitcher just leads me to believe Cole is on an innings limit.

  • jaygray007

    i just have a feeling about hanson being traded for garza.

    but then again, the cubs are already deep with 2b/ss types with Baez, Alcantara, and Castro. but who knows. guys could always move around down the defensive spectrum.

    • Jelme

      Possibility Castro is included? We send Hanson and they plan to move him to 2nd…

    • CalipariFan506

      I think getting Garza comes down to the Pirates willingness to trade Kingham.

  • skooter

    Pimentel as the headliner in this deal would make sense for both sides. For the Cubs – former Epstein signee, Major League ready. For the Pirates – out of options and probably not going to crack the rotation next year, and the Hanrahan deal is already in the books as a win. Add Lambo and a throw-in (let’s say Joely Rodriguez)… does that get a deal done? Or does Lambo need to be upgraded to Barrett Barnes? The more I think about it, that sounds too steep. By the way, Nate Schierholtz – no thanks. Screams Xavier Nady deal in reverse….

  • Michael Caldwell

    I’m a Cubs fan, and I also blog part time for John Arguello’s and Tom Loxas’ Cubs Den, which is where you guys need to be if you want the best scoop on this story.

    It’s pretty much assumed that Taillon, Polanco and Hanson are untouchable, but you all have such a deep system that you can still put a great deal together. You all really need to give Huntington and the rest of the Pirates’ FO some love for that.

    Anyways, Glasnow, and Kingham are probably enough to get this deal done just for Garza. Were they in the Rangers’ system, they’d be their 2nd and 3rd best pitching prospects. Only Martin Perez would be ahead of them. Realistically, you all could use Schierholtz and Valbuena, both of whom are under team control. They up the ante some, but probably not much more than Bell and the 2014 CBLP.

    • Tim Williams

      There are some ridiculous trade proposals on that site. I feel you guys are setting yourselves up for disappointment with Garza, even if the return is good.

    • VikingCoach

      Glasnow AND Kingham for 2 months of Garza? Just one of them for two months of Garza is a huge overpay. Glasnow has the upside of a possible Ace on a winning team. Kingham could be a number 2 on a winning team. You don’t give up 12 years of control of a number 1 and a 2 for two month rental of a number 2 or 3 SP(Garza). I know he has had MLB success, but he has also had some injury concerns. I agree with Tim. Cubs fans will be disappointed by the actual return they get for him.

    • Michael Caldwell

      I think you’re overvaluing your prospects. The Cubs are looking for a package somewhere close to what the Brewers got for Greinke. Garza is easily the best pitcher on the market. You either want to win or you don’t. Jim Hendry doesn’t run the Cubs anymore, and Epstein and Hoyer aren’t taking less than full market value. Also, most of the trade proposals on the site are coming from comments section. If you want to know who is actually being discussed, pay attention to Arguello and Loxas. Anything you see the big boys post or tweet, John and Tom will have already had a hold of hours before any major source repeats it.

      Again, your top 4 prospects aren’t even being discussed. They’re off the table, but then you don’t need them to get it done. Depth does that for you. You can make a deal and still not hurt yourself in the long run. Anyone with any real baseball IQ can see that, and if that deal has you playing in late October, you’ll be most happy.

      Remember, prospects are just prospects. They’re not proven commodities, and none of the prospects actually being discussed in this instance are going to help you win this year and probably not next year either.

      • Brad Walor

        Kingham will probably be up by next June if he continues this track and can be a very solid 3 in the big leagues for many years. Our top 4 prospects IMO are Polanco, Taillon, Glasnow, and Kingham. Then I put Hanson, Bell, Heredia, Meadows, McGuire, etc. whom even though two cannot be traded I’m not willing to give any of them up for Two months of Garza.

      • Kevin_Young

        There’s no way you’d ever get a top 50 and a top 100 pitcher for a 2-month rental, I’m sorry. At least not from the Pirates.

      • moose7195

        NH’s MO at the deadline has always been to avoid deals that trade rentals for high value prospects. The news that we are apparently the team du jour means that he’s either given up on his principles or the Cubs aren’t getting very much in return for Garza. So based on NH’s own words, guys like Bell, Kingham, Hanson, Glasnow should be unavailable.

  • moose7195

    I’m disappointed to hear this. If we are now the “team du jour”, it means that we have probably given the Cubs the 2nd best offer after the Rangers. And if we are giving the 2nd best offer, it probably means some good prospects have been offered. Prospects that could probably serve the team better by going towards a bat to reinforce our pitifully under-performing lineup. Smh at you NH, I know pitching wins titles but unless Garza can bat cleanup, this is a waste of resources.

  • jaygray007

    assuming somebody like K. Morales could be had cheaply, i’m totally fine with them overpaying for Garza a little bit.

    When it comes down to it, I would feel a lot better with Garza taking the hill every 3rd game in the playoffs than i would with Locke, Cole, or Morton.

    I’d consider Wandy over Garza, especially if those games are at PNC, but there are obviously issues with assuming Wandy will be able to pitch in the playoffs.

    *Note: i’m assuming Burnett and Liriano are in the playoff rotation

    • jaygray007

      I also say “assuming” way too much

  • smurph

    As was stated in an earlier post here, fans of a particular club tend to set their hopes way too high. Taillon and Glasnow will NOT be traded, certainly not for a 2-month rental. Both have potential to be a #1 starter. Keep dreaming Cubs fans. Yeah, you guys got Aramis for nothing. Those days are long-gone.

  • smurph

    Garza has been scratched from his start tonight. He is headed to Texas. I am glad NH did not allow the Cubbies to leverage him. Rangers probably traded more than the Pirates wanted to.

    • moose7195

      Thank goodness. Now the Pirates can focus on positions of need.

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