I wrote yesterday that I was on pins and needles as I waited to see what would happen with Matt Garza’s start. Last year’s trade deadline has me so gun shy and nervous that the returns needed to continue this rebuild will not come because of some freak thing late in the process. Back when I was a teacher, I used to let me students play a game where we would roll a die. They could add the value of the die to their total for as long as we didn’t roll a 1. They could choose to stop at any time and bank those points or risk losing them all with a roll of a one. Inevitibly, the ones who were too conservative always lost. The ones who were too reckless also always lost. It was the ones who knew balance that won on a consistent basis. The same can be said of the trade market.
Last night we saw another great outing from Garza, hopefully increasing his value even more. We also so a great performance by Alfonso Soriano as well. The trade talk for Soriano has simmered a little over the last few weeks, but my guess is that as he continues to ride a hot streak we’ll continue to see those rumors increase.
NEWS / NOTES
- Bob Nightengale of the USA Today writes that both the Dodgers and the Indians have been scouting Garza pretty hard. My guess is that the Indian’s interest in the deal is more genuine given that the Dodgers scouting may simmer since acquiring Ricky Nolasco in a trade recently. At the same time, they have so much invested this year that it may be low risk to go after a guy that is essentially a rental rather than add tons 0f salary to their already bloted payroll. It’s win or bust for them this year. Nightengale also tweeted that both the Giants and Rangers had scouts in attendance last night.
- With all the rumors being discussed of moving Garza, the Cubs also made it clear that they have also been in discussions with his agent on an extension. You’d think that Garza’s camp is looking for a five or six year deal as this is his big payday, while the Cubs would rather do a three year deal. The reason for the sudden talks has to be an indication that the return offers on Garza have not met the expectations for what the Cubs perceive as his value.
- Apparently both the Cubs and the Nats will also receive a PTBNL in the Scott Hairston deal from Sunday. More on that deal later in the post.
- The international spending is still hot and heavy for the Cubs as they are rumored to be on the verge of signing Jen-Ho Tseng, a Taiwanese 18 yr old pitcher with a good fastball. The rumored signing bonus of over $1.5 million would put them in the penalty for international signing, which would mean a 100% tax on the money spent this year (big deal), and a player signing cap next year of $250K. Theo and Jed have gone on record this year as saying that they don’t like next year’s crop, so this isn’t a big deal.
- We’re inching closer to the signing deadline for players drafted in the Rule 4 draft this season and the Cubs top pick, Kris Bryant, remains unsigned. He’s a Scott Boras client, but the Cubs have had a good relationship with Boras in the past. Preliminary rumors had his camp asking for more money than the top pick, but seeing that Bryant really does not have much to gain by returning to school for his senior season, I don’t see a scenario where a deal fails to get done. Albert Almora, another Boras client last year, signed at the deadline. This year’s deadline is Friday.
- Scott Feldman made his Orioles home debut last night and it didn’t quite go as planned. He allowed seven runs on nine hits and one walk in 5.1 innings of work. It reminds me a lot of the Ryan Dempster deal to the Rangers. You never want a deal to go bad for either party so as to maintain a good relationship. My hope is that Feldman has success in Baltimore.
- John Sickels looked at the Hairston trade and said in his blog “I think picking up a C+/C type prospect for a surplus utility man who didn’t fit into the long-term plan is a good return for the Cubs.” The key to his development will be his secondary pitches. He’s young and now it’s up to the Cubs to polish and smooth him out.
- Finally, this obituary has made headlines. Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder, Scott E. Entsminger, passed away and his obituary read “He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.” That is outstanding. I request that we honor this man with VFTB’s first ever posthumous Lizzie award.