Friday, July 19, 2013
What Cubs can get for Garza
By Buster Olney
Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein want good return, but the timing of development is also key.
A highly ranked executive marveled the other day at the incredible shift in the trade market over the past 15 years. It used to be, he said, that if you had a good veteran pitcher -- even someone not far from free agency -- you could get three of another team’s top 10 prospects. “And really, it wasn’t hard to get that,” he said.
But as salaries have increased, the perceived value of prospects has skyrocketed, to the point that many officials believe that they are coveted far beyond their actual worth. A top Class A pitching prospect is now worth as much as say, someone such as Matt Garza. Another official said Thursday, “Now, if you get one of a team’s top prospects [for someone like Garza], plus a couple of other middling minor leaguers to round out the deal, you’re doing pretty well,” he said.
The Cubs have been pushing other teams for their last, best offers, sources say, with the Texas Rangers long thought to be the team with the most reason to be aggressive and the team most likely to make the deal (and now probably the closest). Martin Perez is a finished product and in the big leagues, and he is a major league ready pitcher who would probably create the most splash for the Cubs.
But given the realities of the marketplace, the Cubs are more likely to get C.J. Edwards, a former 48th-round pick who has had an excellent season in Class A -- where he has 122 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings, with a 1.83 ERA -- or Luke Jackson, another young pitcher who is more advanced but is also still probably two years away from pitching in the big leagues. These are two players who don’t necessarily have the buzz among casual fans that Perez does.
But they are attracting a lot of conversation among rival evaluators, and given the Cubs’ possible timetable for the promotion of their growing stock of minor league talent -- it probably will be 2015 when Albert Almora, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler become rooted in the big leagues -- it makes sense for Chicago to invest in a high-end pitching prospect still developing.
I’m filling in on "Mike & Mike" today, so I couldn’t get to all the links. Here’s some stuff:
1. The Indians are looking for a left-handed reliever.
2. By calling up Henry Urrutia now, the Orioles give themselves a couple of weeks to evaluate the DH candidate. He is 6-foot-5, 195 pounds and isn’t a plus runner, and isn’t a big power guy either -- but the left-handed hitter smokes line drives to the opposite field. The Orioles are 14th among 15 teams in OPS at DH, and they are looking for some kind of spark at the position, and for their lineup; eventually, somebody behind Chris Davis needs to hit better because he’s going to see fewer and fewer strikes, inevitably.
6.Clay Buchholz had another setback. The Red Sox may have reason to look for a starting pitcher in the next 12 days, because they may well be blocked in the waiver period. Jake Peavy could be a nice fit for them. This won’t cause a trade panic, writes Scott Lauber.