Fox-TV's Ken Rosenthal got the ball rolling before the game even started, profiling the Garza trade talks in this video and including some pretty eye-opening snippets. In it, Rosenthal says,"The Cubs have been willing to act sooner rather than later: take a slightly lesser package, in return for slightly greater savings on the remainder of the $4.5 million on his contract."
Before we move forward, it's a little unclear on what Rosenthal means here. In my opinion, Rosenthal implies that the Cubs are trying to move quickly in order to get out from under a few hundred thousand bucks on Garza's contract and they're willing to take a decreased package in order to do so. To me, that makes no sense. Garza should command a bigger package the earlier this deal gets done. The important thing here is the number of starts, not a small amount of incremental savings/expense due to having him on the payroll. The Cubs front office isn't stupid; they know this.
Rosenthal could also have meant that they just prefer a deal sooner and that the Cubs aren't interested in throwing in money in to sweeten the package, instead just choosing to take the salary relief and prospects. If that was the case, it'd be concerning, unless they planned to do something else with the savings (international spending, free agents next year, etc). Rosenthal goes on to mention the Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox and Rangers as teams involved and while he says other teams may be involved, he says the Cardinals are an unlikely suitor because they won't give up prospects for a rental.
Later, Rosenthal tweeted:
... to let us know some of the scouts on hand that may have been watching Garza.
Now, while you're thinking Rosenthal's comments might create a stir, Buster Olney bumped it up a notch with this tweet:
This may well be Matt Garza's last start with CHC, who are said to be making progress with at least 2 teams. Deal over break appears likely.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 14, 2013
and then later followed it up with this one:
Unless there is a dramatic change, the Orioles are out of the Garza trade talks. Too much cost in prospects and money to them.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 14, 2013
Then, local sports reporter Bruce Levine apparently decided that he didn't want to be outdone by the national guys and talked about the trade candidates in this article.
In it, Levine says:
The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays remain the front runners for a trade with Chicago, according to industry sources. The Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants have also expressed strong interest in the pitcher.
Remain?!? Since when have the Blue Jays been considered a front runner for Garza in the last two months? Did I miss a previous Bruce Levine article where he divulged that information? No? Hmmmm... kind of makes you wonder if this guy knows what he's talking about, huh? (And, yes, that's the nicest way I can put my thoughts on Levine.)
So, what do we have here? The Rangers, Jays, Orioles, Tigers and Pirates might have have been watching Matt Garza tonight... unless they were just watching other Cubs players. The Cubs might be trading Matt Garza before his next start (stop me if you've heard that one). The Cubs might be focusing on two teams and those teams may be the Rangers and Blue Jays, but it doesn't look like the Orioles are one of them. Lastly, the Cubs might be trying to trade Garza sooner for a lesser package in order to get salary relief quicker (again, maybe I read this differently than everyone else, but this makes no sense).
Or none of this might happen at all. That's why they call these "rumors."