CHICAGO, July 22, 2013 — A trade that has been talked about for about a week involving one of the best pitchers on the market was finally consummated and within five minutes virtually nobody was talking about it due to other news.
The Chicago Cubs have traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for a package of prospects that includes AAA 3B Mike Olt, Class A RHP C.J. Edwards, Rangers RHP Justin Grimm, and at least one player to be named later. This move appears to be a win for both sides as they are each doing exactly what teams in their circumstances should be doing.
The Texas Rangers have added a reliable starter, when healthy, to a rotation that has been ravaged by injuries. Garza has made 11 starts this year after missing the first month and a half with a strained left lat muscle. He has been very effective in those starts though, posting a 3.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 7.86 K/9 and 3.10 K/BB ratio.
If he can repeat these results for the Rangers, he would provide about 1.5 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) meaning that he could add a little over two wins over the man he replaces in the rotation Justin Grimm which could be vital as the Rangers trail the A’s by three games in the AL West and Baltimore by a game and a half for the final AL Wild Card spot.
The Chicago Cubs continued their rebuilding efforts by getting back at least four prospects for a two month rental of Matt Garza, who is in the final year of his contract. Mike Olt is the headliner. Olt has not been particularly impressive this year with a .213/.317/.422 slash line at AAA Round Rock, but entered the year as Baseball America’s 22nd ranked prospect in the minors and the Rangers 2nd ranked prospect entering the year.
Olt profiles as a 1B/3B, but will need to succeed at 3B for the Cubs who have locked up Rizzo at 1B for the foreseeable future. This is a good gamble for the Cubs who recently parted ways with another one time 3B prospect, Ian Stewart, that didn’t work out but can afford to be patient with the young Olt.
Justin Grimm entered the year as Baseball America’s 5th ranked Rangers prospect, but has had a rough full first season thus far while pitching for the Rangers, putting up a 6.37 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 6.88 K/9 and 2.19 K/BB. The Cubs can afford to be patient with Grimm and see what they have by putting him into Garza’s vacated rotation spot.
If Grimm continues to struggle, it may help the Cubs get a better Rule Four draft pick in 2014, but if he can turn it around then they have gained 5 more years over a starting pitcher slot.
C.J. Edwards entered the year far less heralded than the people he was traded with, but has posted solid numbers posting a 1.83 ERA, 11.76 K/9, and 3.59 K/BB at Class A Hickory. Numbers at this level should be approached with caution as it is still a long way to the majors but this adds a young pitcher to the hitting talent that the Cubs already possess in the minors.
Finally, the Cubs will be able to choose one, or potentially two, prospects from a list that the Rangers and Cubs have agreed to.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.