The Chicago Cubs have added another Tampa Bay Ray to their 2011 roster. After signing first baseman Carlos Pena early in the offseason on Friday they traded for pitcher Matt Garza.
Garza, 27, who spent the first two years of his career in the Twins before being traded to the Rays three years ago. While going against perhaps the best teams in all of major league baseball in the AL East, Garza managed to have a sub 4 ERA for Tampa Bay. He is a huge upgrade for the Northsiders and Garza should help fill out the rotation that includes Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and then an open competition for the 5th spot.
So what did the Cubs to give up to get this young promising right hander?
A lot but it is actually a good trade. The Cubs gave up top pitching, catching and shortstop prospects as well as outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer.
Hak-Ju Lee, 20, is the shortstop prospect and for a change the Cubs can trade a promising prospect because they have an even better prospect already playing in the majors. In Sterling Castro hadn't played so well as a rookie maybe the Cubs don't make this trade but because he did it allows them to give up a prospect like Lee. He hit .282 and stole 32 bases last year while playing in Single A.
The catcher is Robinson Chirinos,26, hit .326 last season while splitting time between AA and AAA. With Soto and Koyie Hill there is no room for Chirinos and at 26 there might not be much upside left with him. Tampa will probably finally provide him a chance to make the big league club.
The outfielders like I said are Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer. Most Cubs fans should be familar with Fuld who has played 98 games over the last 4 seasons with the Cubs. He played in 65 of those during the 09 season and hit .299. Guyer, about to be 23, spent the whole season in AA where he hit .344 and stole 30 bases. He could get a chance to replace Carl Crawford if he has a good spring.
Now to the man who will eventually be called on to replace Matt Garza for the Rays. Remember when the Cubs traded Mark DeRosa to the Cleveland Indians and everyone was so upset that they got nothing for him? Well guess again because one of the pitchers they got was Chris Archer and he is on his way to Tampa. Archer, 22, went 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA slitting time between single and double A last season. This is the only guy I question giving up in the move but according to most scouts the Cubs have a couple young arms with as much or possibly more potential then Archer so we will just have to wait and see if he joins the company of Willis and Garland as guys who got away or just another faceless name involved in a trade.
The Cubs will get two prospects as well as getting Matt Garza in the deal. No news yet on who those two players overall. I'm pretty happy with the trade. It may seem like they gave up a lot but for a change they actually dealt from a strength and players they don't have much use for. It will be interesting to see what Garza who went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA last season in the AL can do in the NL. There is an arms race going on in the NL central and it might be a interesting summer.
Quick sidenote Garza is under Cubs control for at least the next two seasons.