A couple of interesting tidbits from Bruce Levine on the trade market for Matt Garza

  • Levine says the Yankees “will come after” Garza “with their good, young minor league prospects.”
  • Levine confirms that the Cubs have an offer on the table for Garza that consists of “young prospects.”
  • He adds that the Rays are looking for pitching prospects and are “insistent on getting back a shortstop of the future.”

Levine goes on to point out that the Rangers have two top shortstop prospects, Jurickson Profar and Luis Sardinas. The Cubs also have a couple of middle infield prospects, Hak-Ju Lee and Ryan Flaherty, that could be part of a deal.

We also heard yesterday that the Rays had targeted Ian Desmond from the Nationals in a potential Garza deal, but that the Nationals were unwilling to part with the shortstop.

The Rays typically don’t target specific positions when acquiring prospects, preferring to take the best talent available. So this is telling of what the Rays think about the shortstop depth in the farm system. It also says something about Tim Beckham, the top pick of the 2008 draft, who has struggled offensively and defensively.

Of course, we had already heard the Rays scale back their level of expectations for Beckham by saying they think he can become an everyday big leaguer. Maybe they are no longer even sure about that.

Also, the Rays won’t be afraid to trade with the Yankees. They will always accept the best package regardless of who offers it. Besides, the Rays could look at this as an opportunity to weaken the Yankees farm system.

Profar was in his first year of pro ball this season, hitting .250/.323/.373 in 63 games at low-A. Sardinas is a 17-year old switch-hitter, that has only played in the Arizona Fall League. However, there is concern that he might miss the 2011 season with a shoulder injury.

Lee hit .282/.354/.351 in 122 games at single-A. Flaherty is a shortstop-turned-second baseman drafted in the first-round of the 2008 draft. He split the 2010 season between high-A and double-A, hitting .286/.348/.445 at high-A before the promotion.

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27 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Cork, since I specialize in prospects more than many, I can tell you that Tim Beckham is as good as any of those guys. I think some reporters are just trying to break some news. Besides, we have Brignac for another 5 years. No need to worry.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      How about defensively? Is it possible Rays are already envisioning Beckham at 2B or CF? Just hard to imagine Rays trade Garza for a guy that would just be insurance in case Beckham fails.

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      • Michael says:

        That is a real possibility. Now if I was in charge of it, I would give Beckham more time at SS. He has the range, but his hands need to get softer and he needs more experience. From watching him, he looks like an athletic guy who was put at SS because he was athletic. He has a cannon of an arm, but he just needs a lot more experience. He was definetely more agile in the field this past year. I fully expect that if given the chance, he will cut down on the stupid errors. Does that help?

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        • Beth says:

          Didn't Upton start out at short stop? Sounds like a similar sort of situation -- the fast guy with a good arm gets put at short, but in the pros you need more than that to be a great short stop. But Upton has clearly shown that his skills are perfect for CF -- could that be true of Beckham, too?

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          • Michael says:

            Good point. The difference in between the two though is that Upton was pushed through so quickly because of his bat that he never elarned how to properly play SS. Beckham on the other hand is being progressed through slowly. Who knows, Beckham may never get used to SS. But I wouldn't bet against it.

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  2. John S says:

    Michael is an expert hahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhaha

    And he thinks Tim Beckham is good

    MLB "best GM" has been fairly ordinary the last 3 years with his dealings

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    • Michael says:

      Never said Tim Beckham was good. I do follow prospects though, which you probably don't do.

      Beckham is an average hitter and an average defender. He could become great in both catergories, and only time will tell.

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  3. Don says:

    Poor Brignac...first he hears Bartlett is traded and he is going to inherit the SS job...Looks like that could be off...
    Now he hears Rays looking for a SS for the future....whats Brignac...40 yrs old....
    Also Rays lost some good trades because they wouldn't part with Brig.....is that changed now...?
    Right now we have Bartlett, Brign, S. Rod and Zo if necessary, we need another SS prospect??? How about a top hitter for Garza?............Just a thought!
    Beckham or Posey....oh ....lets get a SS.....just memories!

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    • Michael says:

      Don, obviously you should be a GM. In all seriousness, this upcoming draft, you are going to tell me who the Rays should pick for the first 5 rounds. If any of your picks fail, you should learn to get some humility.

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      • Don says:

        Take Posey, we have plenty of SSs..

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        • Boxauthor says:

          Don, I gave you a similar challenge a month or so ago. You didn't answer that one either. You come here and act like you're the only one that can play the "should've" game. Truth is, you don't know any better than any of the rest of us who will pan out and who won't. Put up or shut up, man. Give us some predictions.

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          • Don says:

            I ALWAYS give predictions, my bitching is in the form of "I told you so".....
            I'm like Paul Harvey...."here you get the rest of the story"...
            NOT media rehash.....
            Only one I was wrong on was Burrell getting "cut", and look what he did AFTER he left....

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          • Michael says:

            Do does give us some predictions. Ones like:
            The Rays should have signed Crawford to a one year deal for 5 million!!!
            The Rays shoud have drafted someone else (then he waits 3 years later to say who)
            The Rays should use more money (when he knows nothing of the situation).

            Don is just your typical fan who thinks he has inside information.

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  4. leningan says:

    I'm thinking anything we get out of Beckham will be a bonus. Why not bank on drafting the SS of the future with one of our many 1st round picks, while Briggy holds it down? We need a top-level catching prospect. Love Jaso, but you can't have too many quality catchers. Don't the Yanks have one of those (Montero, I think)? Give us him and Swisher and another prospect and Garza can go.

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    • Phil says:

      Yes it is Monetero...they have Gerald Laird's brother at AAA he's a third baseman with some pop could always move him to first....

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    • Michael says:

      We don't need a SS of the future. Brignac will be there for the next 5 years. Who knows who will be around then?

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      • leningan says:

        That's why I'm saying address it through the upcoming "draft of all drafts"... Brignac is ready and will be solid for years to come. If we are going to trade Garza let's get a bona fide stud behind the plate, who will be ready sooner rather than later.

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        • Michael says:

          In the draft, you draft for the best player. Now if they are decided between two players in the supplemental round and one is a SS, then they should take him.

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          • leningan says:

            point taken...but with the plethora of early picks you would think we'd be able to squeeze in a SS somewhere. At some point during the first and supplementary rounds, (one of) the best player(s) available will be a SS...I think we should take that player.

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  5. Not every 18 year old drafted 1st makes an impact in 2 years. Not everyone is Longo or Price, who were drafted out of college, btw. Maybe we will see Beckham play some outfield. BJ's name should be hitting the rumor mill this year.

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    • Michael says:

      Good point. Beckham would be great at 2b or 3b too. I just really believe he needs more time to play at SS.

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  6. Carey says:

    Jennings, Brig and Garza for Cruz, Andrus and a bullben arm.

    Would Texas go for it? Would the Rays? Should I put down the bong?

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  7. Gus says:

    This talk of trading Garza is crazy talk. He is the No.2 guy on a great stuff, with playoff experience and is getting better as his head has less objects banging around in it as he gets older. Exactly how much money does Sternberg intend to make? I don't mind going into the season with a skinnier payroll as they re-tool, but we are getting into Pirate-land here and that is not jutified by their near-record attendance last season plus the post-season games. I'd like to see the Rays be in a position to add $ in July if the team plays well behind the starting horses on the mound. Trade Garza then -- get more for him then and you don't further alienate your fan base. How hard is that to understand?

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    • Tone says:

      I'm in total agreement with you. I don't get why trading him makes sense. Shields on the other hand....gave up the most hits and bombs, value for starting pitching on the trade market at an all time high which helps counter his down year. Shields to Texas for Chris Davis and prospects.

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    • MJ says:

      Gus agreed.

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  8. Devil Ray Romano says:

    Why are the Rays so gung-ho on trading Garza? I really don't understand this. I was prepared for the losses of Crawford and Pena...half-expected Bartlett to go...but really, this is the last straw for me this season. Looking forward to 2012 if this is the case.

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  9. 4moreyears says:

    I don't see why people give up on these guys, most players don't reach potential til their 25-30 yrs old. Thats why it only takes college players a season or 2 and top high school picks like adrian gonzalez 5-6 years to be useful. We have to wait since Beckham skipped his education and who knows what position he'd be good for by then. SS would work but I'm hoping for a Charles Johnson reincarnation at Catcher(since we skipped Posey for him)i doubt it though

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