Matt Garza was traded to the Texas Rangers last night. The trade probably would have been the top headline on a regular day in baseball but it was over shadowed by the Ryan Braun steroid scandal. Just because you will be hearing about the Braun ordeal for the next couple of days doesn’t mean this trade doesn’t deserve to be looked over. It may in fact indirectly impact whether the Phillies are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.
The deal consisted of five players. Matt Garza will be heading to Texas and in return the Cubs will receive Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm and possibly Neil Ramirez. Last season Mike Olt was an untouchable prospect to the Rangers. He played 95 games in AA ball last year batting .288 with 28 HR’s and 82 RBI’s. He’s struggling this season hitting only .219 with 12 HR’s and 34 RBI’s through 68 games but the Cubs are betting on him bouncing back. He was a first round pick in 2010 and considered one of the best prospect in the Rangers organization. The rest of the prospects aren’t as highly touted as Olt. Although C.J. Edwards is doing well in single A ball sporting an 8-2 record with a 1.83 ERA, single A is a long way form the majors.
But the Rangers giving up four prospects one of which was supposed to be untouchable at one point tells me one thing. It’s a sellers market. Don’t get me wrong Garza is decent but I wasn’t expecting Texas to give up that much for him. He is pitching well this season going 6-1 in 11 starts with 3.17 ERA but he is a rental player. So the Rangers gave up all those players for a guy who could be wearing a different uniform after this season. Even if they resign him Garza has never won more than 15 games in a season. If Texas doesn’t win the World Series this deal will have been a bust and frankly I don’t see it working out for them.
That being said if that is the going price for a decent rental pitcher, what is the price for Cliff Lee? An obvious number one with playoff experience and who is under contract for 2 1/2 years. Albeit a huge contract for a guy who is 34 years old, Lee has to appeal to teams in contention. And Cliff isn’t the only one. We have already heard that a dozen teams are interested in Michael Young. What’s Papelbon worth? Chooch? How about Jimmy? Or dare I say it, Utley?
Reub has been saying he wants the Phils to be buyers at the deadline. But after losing two out of three to the Mets and now head to St. Louis and then Detroit the Phillies are in a tough spot. If they lose both series other teams might smell blood in the water and may start banging down the door to get a piece from the Phils.
Reuben will be taking all calls and if a team is desperate enough they could just bowl him over with an offer. If that’s the case we could be waving bye to some of the most cherished players from arguably the greatest era of baseball this town has ever seen.