Friday, January 7, 2011

BD Hot Stove: Garza Goatee To Wrigley in 8 Player Swap? | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: Garza Goatee To Wrigley in 8 Player Swap? | Baseball Digest

Matt Garza has been the subject of trade rumors all off-season, but the latest speculation was that he would not be traded prior to spring training. Apparently you can’t go by speculation. Several sources are reporting that Garza and his mini goatee are set to head to the Chicago Cubs. ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine reports the deal as an eight player swap, with two minor leaguers going with Garza to Chicago for five prospects.

Garza had been acquired from the Twins prior to the 2008 season for outfielder Delmon Young. He was 34-31 (including a career high 15 wins last season), 3.86 in three seasons in Tampa and helped the team to its first post-season and World Series appearances in ’08. The Rays continue to lose players to free agency, while moving larger salaried players (Garza’s salary jumped from $433K in ’09 to over $3.3M in ’10) and continuing to build an already strong farm system.

The Cubbies’ prospects are said to be Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee,Brandon Guyer, Sam Fuld, and Robinson Chirinos. Archer is a 22 yr old right-hander that was acquired from the Indians in the Mark DeRosa deal. He was the organization’s pitcher of the year in 2010 after going 15-3, 2.34 between Single- and Double-A.

The 24-yr old Guyer was the org’s player of the year after posting a 344/.398/.588 line at Double-A. The outfielder, a 2007 draft pick, also stole 30 bases.

Lee is 20-yr old Korean shortstop that stole 57 bases over two seasons at two different levels of ‘A’ ball. Thus far he’s strictly been a singles hitter.

Chirinos is a 26-yr old catcher that has been in the Cubs organization since he was plucked out of Venezuela at age 17. He’s yet to play a full season at Triple-A, but has shown some promise with the bat, including 18 home runs in 2010. He was just added to the 40-man roster this past October.

Fuld may be the most interesting story of all the prospects, though he may never make it in the bigs. The 5’10″ outfielder was a stat whiz growing up and has battled diabetes since childhood. The 29-yr old has averaged 22 steals the past two seasons at Triple-A and at this point is projected as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Rumors, News, and Transactions

Andy Pettitte told the NY Post’s Brian Costello that at this point he wants the Yankees to act as if he is not a member of the team. Sounds like Pettitte will either retire or make a mid-season appearance ala Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez.

Despite Scott Boras’ pleas, the Yankees say they have no interest in giving Rafael Soriano major money to set up for Mariano Rivera.

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