Garza-to-Cubs deal appears in works
After weeks of rumors, a deal to send RHP Matt Garza to the Cubs appears to be coming together.
The Rays and Cubs have agreed to a multi-player deal, according to multiple reports out of Chicago, that would send Garza to Chicago and net Tampa Bay four prospects, though additional details are still being worked out and it's not set to be announced.
Rays VP Rick Vaughn said the team would have no comment on the report.
The Daily Herald's Bruce Miles reports that the prospects include SS/2B Hak-Ju Lee, P Chris Archer, OF Brandon Guyer and C Robinson Chirinos. According to ESPNChicago.com, the major leaguer the Rays would get is outfielder Sam Fuld. The Daily Herald reported OF Fernando Perez will be sent from the Rays to Chicago as part of the trade.
The deal is not set to be announced yet due to some of the details.
Garza, 27, is coming off arguably his best season, boasting a 15-10 record with a 3.91 ERA, while throwing the first no-hitter in club history. Opposing hitters batted .248 against Garza in 2010.
Garza made $3.35 million in 2010, but the amount will likely significantly increase in salary arbitration this winter. Even with Garza dealt, the Rays would return a strong rotation that includes LHP David Price, RHP James Shields, RHP Wade Davis, RHP Jeff Niemann, with RHP Jeremy Hellickson likely able to step in.
Here's a skinny on some of the Cubs prospects who would potentially be involved in the deal (Click here to read Double-A Montgomery manager Billy Gardner's scouting report):
P Chris Archer
Archer is likely a big key to this trade, the Cubs top overall prospect, according to Baseball America. He's a right-hander who went 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 142 1/3 innings between Single-A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee last season, earning the Cubs minor league pitcher of the year honors. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Raleigh, NC. native was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 draft, and acquired in the Mark DeRosa trade. He had the best fastball and best slider in the Cubs system.
SS/2B Hak-Ju Lee
The Korean-born Lee is a smooth-fielding shortstop prospect, who hit .282 with 40 RBI and 32 steals for Single-A Peoria last season. Lee, 20, would probably start out in A or AA, but could be a potential shortstop of the future. He was rated the Cubs fourth-best prospect, according to Baseball America.
C Robinson Chirinos
Chirinos, 26, the Cubs top catching prospect, hit a combined .326/.416/.583 between Double-A and Triple-A in 2010 with 18 homers and 74 RBI (and just 43 strikeouts). He was added to the 40-man roster in Chicago and was reported to be potentially competing for the backup job with the Cubs.
OF Brandon Guyer
Guyer, 24, is an athletic outfield prospect who played all three spots in the minors (LF, CF and RF). He hit .344 with 13 homers and 58 RBI, along with 30 steals, for Double-A Tennessee last season. According to Baseball America, he is the Cubs 10th best prospect, and best defensive outfielder in their system.
And here's the big-leaguer the Rays would get in the deal:
OF Sam Fuld
Fuld, a strong defensive outfielder, has played in 98 big-league games spanning three seasons with the Cubs. He’s hit .252 with one homer and five RBI. Fuld hit .272 with four homers and 27 RBI for Triple-A Iowa last season, while playing centerfield.