Good news, TV lovers. The Cubs' critically acclaimed World Series drought has been renewed for a 106th season in 2014. The latest step in the rebuilding process came Monday as the Cubs traded Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for three minor-league prospects and two players to be named. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:
Musick: Goodbye, Matt Garza. Best of luck with the Rangers. Hello, Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm. When can you start?
Styf: I don't think they want Justin Grimm starting now. He's had some good starts this season. He's had more bad ones, allowing seven or more earned runs three times. He's 25 and he's just a guy. An arm. A Chris Rusin. Edwards had great low-level minors numbers and Olt used to be a prospect. Now, he's hitting .213 with 11 homers in Triple-A. So, they got some players. And they knew Garza was bolting. Some players is better than none. Edwards is definitely the one to watch.
Musick: Basically, the Cubs are playing bags in the backyard, only the stakes are way higher. Take three shots at the target. Hope one of them hits. Maybe Edwards is that someone, but I'm skeptical about a guy in Single-A who is almost 22. Maybe Olt is that someone, but he turns 25 in August and has forgotten how to hit minor-league pitching. And maybe Grimm is that guy, but he also turns 25 next month and has given no indications he could be special.
Styf: I'm amused that Edwards is listed as 6-foot-2 and 155. That's all I know. He's skinny. He's pitched well. And somehow they got C.J. out of Carl Fleming Edwards.
Musick: If we're allowed to make up initials, I'd like to be known as A.J. Musick. That makes me sound fast. And with my new identity, I would like to create a giant list of Jim Hendry's mistakes as Cubs general manager and promptly set fire to that list. Hendry's decision to trade five players – including two really good prospects – to the Tampa Bay Rays for Garza in 2011 would rank near the top.
Styf: The point here is we don't know. We know what he loooks like now. We know that not too long ago Olt was supposed to be good too. But, they're calculated risks. And the Cubs just hope one of them works out. Eventually, if they trade enough guys, one of them will. Just don't plan on this turning into a Kris Bryant position change. He's simply on a different level than Olt, even today.
Musick: At least the Cubs have a plan. It might not work out as fast as they hope, but you can't go anywhere without a plan. Cough-White Sox-cough.
Styf: I think I do just fine without a plan. Winging it, every day. Now I wonder if the Cubs are done. I think they'll sell Kevin Gregg for another guy, maybe a couple of PTBNL.
Musick: Pack Gregg up, ship him out. Send Alfonso Soriano with him. Collect a few more prospects, and hope that another one or two of them resembles a major leaguer some day.