Rays deal with Cubs is official
UPDATE, 6:49: Garza spoke very highly of Rays officials in his conference call with the Chicago media. "They're a great bunch of guys and they stuck by me through good and bad. There's not enough I can say,'' he said. As for the breakup of the Rays team, he said: "It's a shame it's got to be like that but it's the nature of the beast, it's the way this game works.''
UPDATE, 5:49: Friedman said that even after the trade he feels Rays can remain competitive and are still "in good position" to defend their AL East title. ... He said he will look to re-allocate Garza's money to add 1-2 relievers and 1-2 hitters. ... It's not automatic that Jeremy Hellickson will replace Garza in the rotation, but they expect him to help them win games at some point. And related, there is still some discussion on whether Jake McGee should be a starter or reliever. ... It ended up being an 8-player deal as the Rays included minor-leaguer lefty Zach Rosscup. ... Friedman called it a "perfect win-win trade for both sides.'' ... Team president Matt Silverman said that while money "didn't drive this trade" and that it was about getting better for the future.
DEVELOPING: The Rays made official their deal to trade Matt Garza with the Cubs. Executive VP Andrew Friedman is discussing the deal in a conference call right now.
Here is the team release:
ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, outfielder Sam Fuld, outfielder Brandon Guyer and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Matt Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and left-handed pitcher Zach Rosscup. Three of the five players the Rays acquired were ranked among the Top 10 Prospects in the Cubs minor league system by Baseball America.
Archer, 22, split the season between Daytona (A) and Tennessee (AA) and posted a combined 15-3 record and 2.34 ERA (142.1-IP, 37-ER) in 28 games (27 starts). The Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year was recently rated as the No. 1 prospect and the Best Slider in the Cubs organization by Baseball America. He ranked third among all minor league pitchers in victories and opponents’ batting average (.200) and ranked seventh in ERA. With 149 strikeouts, he averaged more than one strikeout per inning. He was originally selected by the Cleveland Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 June Draft and was one of three players traded to Chicago on December 31, 2008 in exchange for outfielder Mark DeRosa.
Chirinos, 26, split the 2010 season between Tennessee and Iowa (AAA) and hit a combined .326 (104-for-319) with 18 home runs, 74 RBI, .416 on-base percentage and .583 slugging percentage in 92 games. The former infielder converted to catcher prior to the 2009 season and was named the Best Defensive Catcher in the Cubs organization by Baseball America heading into the 2011 season. The Punto Fijo, Venezuela native was the starting catcher in the 2010 Southern League (AA) All-Star Game.
Fuld, 29, played in 19 games over two stints with Chicago last season and spent the remainder of the year at Iowa, where he hit .272 (100-for-368) with a .383 on-base percentage in 112 games. The left-handed hitter has spent parts of three seasons (2007, 2009-10) in the majors, and in 2009 hit .299 (29-for-97) with a .409 on-base percentage in 65 games. He graduated from Stanford University and was selected by Chicago in the 10th round of the 2004 June Draft.
Guyer, who turns 25 this month, was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .344 (127-for-369) with 13 home runs, 58 RBI, 30 stolen bases and .588 slugging percentage in 102 games for Tennessee. Following the 2010 season, he was named the No. 10 prospect and Best Defensive Outfielder in the Cubs organization by Baseball America, a Topps Double-A All-Star and a Southern League All-Star. The University of Virginia graduate was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 June Draft. The right-handed hitter has a .292 batting average and 93 steals over four professional seasons.
Lee, 20, spent the 2010 season at Peoria (A) and hit .282 (137-for-485) with 85 runs scored and 32 stolen bases. He was recently rated the No. 4 prospect in the Cubs system by Baseball America and last season was selected to the Midwest League All-Star Team and the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game. The left-handed hitter signed with Chicago in 2009 as an international free agent out of Seoul, South Korea.
Garza, 27, went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA (204.2-IP, 89-ER) in 33 games (32 starts) in 2010. He threw the first no-hitter in Rays history on July 26 vs. the Detroit Tigers. His 15 victories marked a career high and the second-highest total in club history behind David Price’s 19, also in 2010. He owns a career 42-44 record and a 3.97 ERA over five major league seasons, including three (2008-10) with the Rays. He was named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 American League Championship Series.
Perez, 27, spent the 2010 season with Durham (AAA), batting .223 (86-for-385) with 24 stolen bases while playing all three outfield positions. He appeared in a total of 41 major league games for the Rays in 2008 and 2009. He was a member of the active roster throughout the entire 2008 postseason, playing in five games, and scored the game-winning run in the 11th inning in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.
Rosscup, 22, split the 2010 season between the Gulf Coast League Rays (Rookie) and Hudson Valley (Short-Season A). He went a combined 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA (44.1-IP, 13-ER) in 12 appearances (eight starts). The southpaw was selected by the Rays in the 28th round of the 2009 June Draft.