Now that the dust has settled and when know who is going where (besides the PTBNL); here is my reaction to the deal.
First off the Cubs did in fact give up a strong package for Garza but most minor league baseball experts say the Cubs did not give up there impact players such as Castro, Colvin, Jackson, Vitters, and Jay Jackson. But in my opinion the package of players the Cubs did move was slightly above the value of Matt Garza and Fernando Perez. Now depending on the PTBNL, who could be an impact player for the Cubs, this deal looks like a slightly bigger win for the Rays. The Rays get 4 out of the top 20 prospects from the Cubs system but guess what I can see Hendry's logic.
Chris Archer- Rated the Cubs top prospect by many baseball sites. He has a great fastball and is expected to be a top of the rotation pitcher once he makes it to the majors. The reality is the Cubs have had "top prospects" in their system like this just fizzle out in AAA like Bobby Hill, David Kelton, and may others . Not to mention the Cubs have Jay Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Andrew Cashner, Brett Wallach, Trey McNutt, Hayden Simpson, and others that could fill the same role as Chris Archer. The main reason I don't mind giving up Archer is the fact he only pitched in AA last season where he had tremendous success but he is a hard thrower with control issues.
Hak-Ju Lee- This one hurts in my opinion. Lee was the Cubs SS of the future maybe even getting the call this year. He hits for average, has great speed, great range, and a plus arm. This is a guy that Cubs should have marked off limits and is a mistake on the Cubs part to include him in this deal. One good thing is the Cubs have some good up and coming infielders such as Ryan Flaherty, Junior Lake, and DJ LeMahieu. Having said that, Hak-Ju Lee will be a ML superstar in the next 5 years! Mark my words!
Robinson Chirinos- To be honest I would have traded this guy along with a minor leaguer for Chris Davis and Darren O'Day. I see this guy being a good backup catcher in the ML or an average starter behind the plate. I do not see him exceeding what Soto brings to the table and I think Wellington Castillo will be a better catcher in the long run than Robinson.
Brandon Guyer- At first I was furious they gave away a guy that stole 30 bases in 2010 with a .344 batting average but then I looked at the depth the Cubs have in the outfield for years to come. They have Brett Jackson who should hit the Big Show in 2011 then they have guys like Colvin, Soriano, and Byrd who will likely be in the outfield until 2012. They also have some young guns coming up through the system that are a few years away like Reggie Golden and Jae-Hoon Ha. Losing him is not as bad as I thought.
Sam Fuld- I did not know he was still on the roster. Just kidding... I wish Sam the best but I do not see how he fits on this team.
Now here is what we have-
Matt Garza- He is a good pitcher not a great pitcher. I view him on the same level as a Lilly and Dempster, a solid #2. The difference with Garza is he has pitching in the toughest division in baseball for the past years and has been a Yankee and Red Sox killer. Now he is going to the easy NL league in arguable one of the worst divisions in baseball. I think Garza will be a solid pitcher for the Cubs in 2011 and win double digit games. One thing he needs to learn is to keep that ball down if the wind is blowing out.
Fernando Perez- At first glance this guy looks like a throw in for the Cubs but before a wrist injury sidelined him in 2009 he hit .288 with a .361 OBP and 43 SB in AAA in 2008. He had success in the minors even before then hitting .307 in A ball. Now can he turn those numbers in to success in the ML? That remains to be seen. One thing that worries me is this guy sounds awful familiar, he reminds me of former Cub and Ray Joey Gathright. Lets hope he does not end up that way.
PTBNL- Something tells me this is going to be a top 20 prospect from the Rays organization.
After running through this trade in my mind today and seeing both sides of the argument whether this is a good trade or not here is what I came up with. The trade is great for the Cubs for the next two years. The Cubs are getting a potential #1 pitcher in the NL that makes less a year than guys like Carlos Silva, Joe Blanton, Barry Zito, and Derrek Lowe but is twice the pitcher they are. The Cubs get a guy who could be their potential leadoff hitter and starting CF of the future in Perez which softens the stink of losing Guyer.
This is a good trade for the Rays for the future of their organization and will payoff in the long run. Guyer could be playing along side Desmond Jennings in a really talent Rays outfield, Hak-Ju Lee could start becoming the face of their franchise as early as 2013. Chris Archer could help this year but more than likely the following year and be apart of a rotation that includes Jeremy Hellickson, David Price, James Shield, and Jeff Niemann. Robinson Chirinos is under team control forever could easily be named the starting catcher in 2011.
The Cubs right now are getting a great deal while fast forward two years later the Cubs and their fans are going to be saying "remember when we traded Lee and Archer to the Rays?" "What was Jim thinking?"
I honestly hope I am wrong on this but it is hard to ignore the talent the Cubs sent away for basically one good pitcher.
Win Now Grade- B+
Future Grade- D-
Here is what the rest of the media is saying-
Until Next Time...