The Texas Rangers have acquired starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, and either one or two players to be named later, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Rangers can choose to take minor league righty Neil Ramirez as the player to be named later, or choose two other pitchers from a pre-determined list. Ken Rosenthal first broke the news of the deal:
Garza will fill a need for the Rangers, giving them a front-line pitcher for the stretch run, similar to Ryan Dempster in 2012. The team has had inconsistency at the back of their rotation, and Garza along with Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Martin Perez will provide an effective quartet in the second-half.
Olt, 24, was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Rangers in 2010, and has struggled recently despite beginning the year as a highly-touted prospect. The corner infielder has hit .208/.311/.394 at Triple-A this season after hitting .288/.398/.579 in Double-A last season. John Sickels of Minor League Ball had Olt as the second best Rangers prospect behind Jurickson Profar entering 2013:
His issues with strikeouts have him right on the A-/B+ edge for me. But the power and defense stand out and will make him valuable even if he doesn't hit for average.
Edwards, 21, was selected in the 48th round by the Rangers in 2011 out of a South Carolina high school and has had great success for a low-round pick. The right-hander is 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA and 11.76 K/9 in Class-A Hickory. Sickels ranked Edwards as the 17th best prospect in the Texas farm system before the season:
Very high upside arm came out of nowhere to dominate short-season ball, thanks to mechanical refinement and sudden step forward with secondary pitches.
This makes it four consecutive seasons now that Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has seen a need for his team, and gone out and addressed it at the trade deadline. Beginning with Cliff Lee in 2010, Koji Uehara and Mike Adams in 2011, and Ryan Dempster in 2012, he has always moved swiftly to give his team the boost it needs during the dog days.
For the Cubs, this deal helps to booster their already-loaded farm system. Chicago is expected to move other players before the trade deadline, which may include Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Gregg, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
One angle to watch is if Garza will look to sign an extension with Texas, as he was looking to with the Cubs. It is worth noting in this space that while Daniels has done an excellent job of landing the players he has targeted, he has not done a good job of keeping them around for the long haul.
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