Point/Counterpoint: Which team made the best moves at the MLB trade deadline?

BY DI STAFF | AUGUST 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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Texas Rangers

There are two types of teams during the weeks leading up to the MLB trade deadline: Buyers and sellers.

The Texas Rangers are buyers. They currently sit second in the AL West with a 59-49 record. And while the Rangers made one move near the deadline, it could prove to be one that boosts them to an elite level.

Texas acquired Chicago Cub pitcher Matt Garza and, in return, sent third baseman Mike Olt and pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards packing for Chicago.

Olt and Edwards are considered top prospects, yes, but what the Rangers receive in return is far better for them. Garza is a proven pitcher in the majors. When healthy, he is one of the top-middle of the rotation starters.

“When healthy” is the key phrase with Garza — the past couple of years, he has struggled to stay on the field.

Still, Garza is no slouch. Only once in his career has Garza posted an ERA over 4.00 — his rookie season. He currently has a 7-1 record with a 2.95 ERA.

Recently, Garza has been dominant. In his last eight starts, he’s posted a 6-0 record, and in only one of those starts did the opposing team scored more than 3 earned runs off him.

If Garza can remain healthy, he will round out a starting rotation and form a potentially dominant staff that includes Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, and Derek Holland. Before acquiring Garza, that starting rotation boasted the seventh-best ERA in the MLB.

The Garza trade may not have completely altered the MLB landscape, but it’s the biggest addition in one of the least eventful trade deadlines of recent memory.

— by Jacob Sheyko

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs may not win many more games this season, but they did come out victorious after the MLB’s trade deadline passed at 3 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday. This season’s trade deadline was rather dull — it failed to produce any big-time deals that could alter the playoff race.

Cub President Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer know the Windy City’s lovable losers won’t be in contention for a couple of years, so they were willing to trade some impact veterans for young prospects. The Cubs dealt pitchers Matt Garza, Scott Feldman, and outfielder Alfonso Soriano for young pitching and a big bat.

Garza was sent to the Texas Rangers for Mike Olt, a top prospect, and a promising young pitcher in C.J. Edwards. Olt is a power-hitting versatile player who could find his way into the big leagues soon, while Edwards hadn’t given up a run in 160 1/3 innings before joining Chicago’s farm system.

Epstein and Hoyer were able to rid themselves of Garza’s expiring contract for two young players with a lot of potential.

Signing Feldman to a one-year deal in the off-season was a gamble that paid off for Chicago’s front office. The former Ranger had a poor season in 2012 — just a year removed from Tommy John surgery. He rebounded in 2013, going 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Jake Arietta and Pedro Stop. Getting any value for Feldman is a win for the Cubs. Period.

Additionally, the front office finally shipped Soriano and his huge contract out of Chicago — something they’ve been trying to do for years. Granted, the Cubs have to take on $17.7 million of the $24.5 million still owed to the 37-year-old slugger, but getting rid of him is a huge relief. They acquired 21-year-old righty Corey Black in return.

In short, the Cubs traded two players with expiring contracts and an overpaid veteran in exchange for a top hitting prospect and a slew of young arms. It seems odd to call a seller the winners of the trade deadline, but it’s the Cubs. Nothing about this franchise seems normal.

— by Dominick White

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