The Chicago Cubs made a significant trade today, landing potential ace pitcher Matt Garza and a minor-league outfielder from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for five minor-leaguers.
This appears to be a good trade for both teams. The Cubs get a legitimate ace in 27-year-old Garza — an ace that doesn’t come equipped with Carlos Zambrano-type baggage — and the Rays get four good-to-great minor-league prospects (pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee) and a throw-in player (outfielder Sam Fuld).
I’m disappointed to see Lee leave the Cubs organization after watching him make many slick fielding plays at shortstop for the Class A Peoria Chiefs last season. The South Korean native doesn’t post power numbers, but he hits for average and is the best fielding shortstop I’ve ever watched in person on a regular basis. But despite all his upside, Lee wasn’t going to displace Starlin Castro on the big-league team.
I’m also disappointed to lose Archer, but the Cubs have plenty of highly-touted pitching prospects (including Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Chris Carpenter, Trey McNutt and Jay Jackson) and teams typically have to give up quality players to get quality players in a trade. Besides, the Cubs don’t have the best track record of highly-touted prospects becoming good players in the major leagues, so I’ll take the proven commodity of Garza for at least the next three years.