Cubs vs. Angels at Mesa Preview, Saturday 3/23, 3:05 CT

USA TODAY Sports

Jon Garland was once a Cubs prospect. That was a long time ago. They might have a chance to bring him back. Should they?

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Nearly 16 years ago, the Cubs made Jon Garland their No. 1 pick (10th overall pick) in the draft.

A little more than a year later, they sent him to the White Sox for Matt Karchner, in one of the worst trades in recent Cubs history. Karchner was out of baseball less than two years later, while Garland pitched effectively for more than a decade. Not a star player -- made just one All-Star team and had just one year with Cy Young votes (the same year, 2005) -- but he sure would have looked good in the Cubs' rotation all those years.

Garland, whose last outing was against the Cubs Thursday (and he was reasonably effective), had an opt-out clause in his non-roster agreement with the Mariners; he's expected to exercise it and become a free agent, possibly as early as today.

So. Would you repatriate Garland to the organization that never should have let him go in the first place? At Bleacher Nation, Brett says Garland could be a bullpen fit. Maybe, although I think the Cubs are looking toward Hisanori Takahashi for that final spot, to have a second lefty. Also, I suspect Garland wants to go to a team that would use him as a starter.

The Cubs are still somewhat in flux rotation-wise, although the first five spots are somewhat settled -- at least for now. Would Garland accept a deal that sends him to Iowa with a deal that he'd be let go if he got a big-league offer, or by a certain date if he wasn't recalled to the rotation?

I'd definitely do that if he's interested.

One more note, for those of you who thought the Cubs should sign Brennan Boesch, who went to the Yankees -- he can't play because he's injured.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Hairston LF, Schierholtz RF, Navarro C, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Jackson P

For the second day in a row, the regular lineup is starting -- with the two exceptions of Scott Hairston in center field, and Dioner Navarro behind the plate.

Angels lineup:

Shuck CF, Rodriguez 2B, Calhoun RF, Iannetta C, Harris 3B, Cousins LF, Navarro 1B, Romine SS, Blanton P

So there used to be a rule, or at least a gentleman's agreement, that when you had a split-squad game, you'd send at least four of your big-league starters to the away game. That's not the case for the Angels today; the only player in that lineup who even resembles one of their starting players is catcher Chris Iannetta. All the Angels' regulars are playing in their home game in Tempe. (And Albert Pujols is not playing at all today.) Only four of these position players (Iannetta, Scott Cousins, Andrew Romine and Kole Calhoun) are on LA's 40-man roster.

One of the reasons you do this is because... well, people pay to see these games. The Cubs are expecting what is likely going to be their only sellout of the spring.

Pitching-wise this afternoon, Edwin Jackson will start for the Cubs. He'll face the Angels' Joe Blanton. Blanton, at least, is a member of the Angels' rotation. Cubs relievers on today's list: Jaye Chapman, Carlos Marmol, Rafael Dolis and Hisanori Takahashi.

MLB.com Gameday

This afternoon's game is on WGN-TV with Len and JD. And, it can be heard on WGN radio with Pat and Keith..

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 3 p.m. CT and 4:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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