Garza Gone, Cubs Keep Rebuilding
For the past few years, the Rangers Minor League system has been considered an embarrassment of riches. Yesterday, Texas shipped a portion of its prospect treasure to the Cubs in exchange for Matt Garza.
By now, you’ve probably read the prospect breakdowns and I don’t have much to add. The Baseball Prospectus write up was especially solid and is really the only source I trust at this point. They are the only publication who has had multiple writers (Jason Parks/Jason Cole) see all of the prospects dealt. Stick to first hand reports and skip over the Baseball Reference breakdowns.
As for Olt, it’s good to see projections on him have dropped to the .240-.250 range with 20-25 HR and above average defense. Having seen him, I never understood all of the excitement. He’s a great example of over hyping a prospect who was old for his level of competition just because the numbers were huge.
In both Ottoneu Leagues, owners rushed to put Olt up for auction. Think of him as a poor man’s Pedro Alvarez. If you like that sort of thing, he’s worth the add. Since I already own the Pirates third baseman, I’ll pass.
Justin Grimm is interesting as a deep N.L. only play since he had some peripheral success in Texas and moves to a more pitcher friendly league. Plus, his 6.37 ERA is an eyesore meaning he may even be on the waiver wire. For the Cubs, he’s a quality number four starter in an organization void of starting pitching prospects.
C.J. Edwards didn’t pitch when Hickory visited Rome in early July. I was disappointed to miss him. He instantly becomes a candidate for most exciting arm in the Cubs system.
Neil Ramirez‘ value peaked at about the same time Olt’s did last season, so the Cubs are buying low on him as well.
Even more interesting than the trade itself is the logjam the Cubs have created. Mike Olt becomes the everyday third baseman while Josh Vitters is in Triple-A, Christian Villanueva trolls Double-A and Kris Bryant gets his feet wet as a professional.
Take Vitters (still only 23!) as a great example of what happens when a new regime enters the fold with its own philosophy. He had 99 plate appearances to prove something at the Major League level and fell flat on his face. At this point, expect him to be with another organization at this time next season.
One question I have is how this trade affects Javier Baez? Does acquiring Mike Olt mean we can infer Chicago believes in his ability to stick at shortstop? If so, this is great for his fantasy value!
I’m beginning to think Starlin Castro will end up being the odd man out in time. With Alcantara, Baez and the kids at third base, Chicago’s has minimum-salaried options up the middle.
Another question is whether Bryant will move to right field in time. Imagine a future outfield of Soler-Almora-Bryant. that’s pretty damn sexy if you ask me. At the moment, I can’t think of an organization with more talent throughout its system than the Cubs. They are stacked and should be even better after the trade deadline.
2 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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