On Monday, the Cubs completed the Matt Garza Trade Part II, sending him to the Rangers for C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, and a PTBNL (either Neil Ramirez or presumably two lower-level arms). Olt is a potential power-hitting third baseman with a good glove, though there are questions about his ability to make contact. Edwards is a high-ceiling arm who has emerged from obscurity to show great stuff. Grimm is a rookie pitcher that potentially has mid-rotation upside. Ramirez is a 24 year old AA-arm whose stuff is well thought of.
This trade comes nearly two and a half years after the Cubs' acquisition of Garza from the Rays. In that trade, the Cubs sent Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos, and Sam Fuld. Currently, Archer is having some success in the Rays rotation, though he still doesn't look to have solved the control issues that were a question mark at the time. Lee is out for the year with an injury, but has progressed steadily through the Rays' system. He has yet to show much with the bat in the high minors, but his defense is supposedly very good. Guyer is in the midst of his second solid season at AAA for the team, though the Rays' depth makes it seem that his promotion to the majors is not near. Chirinos has since been released and Fuld is a defense specialist.
At the time of the first Garza trade, the Rangers were also thought to be suitors, but the Rays preferred the Cubs' package. The reports were that the Rangers offered Tampa a package around young lefty Derek Holland that included Frank Francisco and Engel Beltre. Holland is finally showing high-end results that many predicted for him in the minor leagues; the lefty seems like he could be a solid #2/3 going forward, but looked like more of #3/4 prior to this season. He will be a
free agent after the 2016 season. (EDIT: Holland has two club options for the 2017 and 2018 seasons at $11 and $11.5 million). Beltre is a bench bat for the Rangers, and hasn't shown much. Francisco has bounced around a bit and struggled with injury. He is currently on the Mets' DL with elbow problems.
Assuming the Rangers were offering this, the Cubs could have flipped Garza for the Holland package in 2011 had they wanted to. So the question is, setting aside all of what has happened with all of these players in the meantime, if you could pick either of these three packages for Garza today and going forward, which would it be? Assume that the PTBNL is Neil Ramirez and you could make a trade with any of the players involved between now and the deadline if you wanted. Three choices, only considering the present and future, or you can stick with Garza, impending free agency and all.[poll id=”5″]