As reported by Bruce Levine at ESPN Chicago, the Cubs have acquired Matt Garza from the Rays in an eight player swap:
The deal, which has been agreed to pending physicals, sends right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and outfielder Sam Fuld to Tampa for Garza, a minor-league pitcher and a minor-league outfielder.
On the surface, I like this deal. Some thing Garza isn't worth that package -- but remember, Chirinos and Guyer are older and likely backups. Essentially, it boils down to Lee and Archer for Garza. Garza is 27, has playoff and World Series experience and has remained healthy throughout his career.
Archer and Lee may become good major league players, but they aren't yet. And Fuld will likely make the Rays, where he might not have made the Cubs' roster.
There's some information on the Cubs' new spring training complex that I had in this post originally; it's now after the jump.
It was reported this morning that the city of Phoenix is working on a deal to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in the spring training complex in Maryvale (a western area of the city of Phoenix) that they have inhabited since 1998.
So I thought this would be a good time to give an update on what's going on with the Cubs' new spring complex, for which funding was approved by voters in Mesa in November.
The timeline lays out something like this: the Cubs are currently accepting proposals from various architects and should choose one in the next couple of months for the complex that will be built near the intersection of Loop 101 and Loop 202 in Mesa. Ground will be broken later this year. One thing the Cubs do not want to do is to rush things; this is what happened with Camelback Ranch for the White Sox and Dodgers, resulting in a decided lack of access roads and a mess getting out of the parking lot, or what's happening with the new Diamondbacks and Rockies complex on tribal land near Scottsdale -- they are literally working 24/7 to get that complex finished in the next six weeks so it can open on time.
So, the Cubs will spread out construction through 2012 and the first part of 2013. Then, they will open their offices and rehab and workout facilities during the 2013 season, and play the AZ Rookie League season and some Arizona Fall League games there during 2013 to work out any problems that may exist.
And then the first spring training games will be played there in March, 2014, so the Cubs will remain in Ho Ho Kam Park for this year and two more seasons.
After that, the city of Mesa will negotiate to have another team move into Ho Ho Kam (with Fitch Park as their minor league base). Since the Brewers are likely to be staying in Maryvale, speculation has centered around bringing one more team west from a Florida training base -- something officials in both Arizona and Florida wouldn't mind, because that would give them an even number of teams in both states (16 in Arizona, 14 in Florida). Possible candidates for a move West include the Blue Jays -- there are many thousands of Canadians who live in or winter in Arizona -- and the Twins, who would have essentially the same length flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix or to Ft. Myers. Both teams have contracts that expire around the time Ho Ho Kam would be available. Even the Washington Nationals have been rumored to be considering a move to Arizona for spring training; they'd be the first East Coast based team to train there since the Red Sox left after 1965.
The Cubs have not yet announced pitcher and catcher reporting dates but according to this page, it will be somewhere between Feb. 14 and Feb. 19 -- around 40 days from now. Can't come soon enough.