10:00 AM CDT, June 19, 2012
I don’t know what Theo Epstein is waiting for.
Trade, Theo, trade. Trade Matt Garza. Now.
I thought Garza would’ve been traded before the end of last night’s seventh inning vivisection of the White Sox, especially because it took forever against a Cubs-like Sox bullpen that gave up six runs and presumably a lot of self-respect.
Point is, don’t wait until Garza goes Ryan Dempster on you.
I don’t know if it’s a message or coincidence, but Garza went to the mound at The Cell on Monday night just hours after Dempster went to the disabled list with one of the league’s best ERAs and some of the highest trade value that has now diminished because of tightness in his right shoulder.
Dempster still might revive his trade value. He might come off the DL and throw the way that reportedly interested such contenders as the Dodgers and Yankees. But you don’t know until he does it, and you don’t want to run that same risk with Garza. Forget the anticipation of Anthony Rizzo; the most important players in the organization are Dempster and Garza.
Look, the Cubs were built to stink this season. Epstein certainly has accomplished that. Congratulations, son, you’ve cobbled together a roster that owns the worst record in the majors.
Forget all that Epstein hooey about every season being "sacred" and "parallel fronts." This year is all about stocking the farm system with prospects. Same goes for next year, only with hopes of stinking less.
Epstein went to his World Series three weeks ago when baseball staged its amateur draft. Now it’s time to trade whatever pieces someone will pay for. This is the Wrigley Field yard sale. Everything must go, especially the pitchers who won’t be here when the Cubs get good.
But Dempster and Garza can’t go if they’re hurt. The Cubs’ leverage includes Garza’s ace-like stuff and his history of pitching well against AL East lineups. The Cubs’ leverage also includes Garza’s good health and his ability to help his new team right now. Whoever trades for Garza is a team looking to win now, not just this season, but this week. Nobody gets squat if Garza’s goes Dempster.
The Cubs cannot afford to miss out making a good deal now because they got greedy trying to make a great deal later. Use the tenuous leverage based on Garza’s good health and good season to take the first good offer that brings back multiple prospects.
Because here’s the thing: When you see "DL" next to a trade candidate’s name, it might as well say "OBO."
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