Excellent baseball sources have confirmed for me tonight that the Cubs are down the road in discussions with the Detroit Tigers to send Matt Garza to the Motor City in exchange for a package of prospects. The Cubs are currently in the middle of a complete overhaul of their major league roster and several teams have expressed serious interest in Garza including the Tigers, the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Blue Jays. He would be projected as the Tigers No. 2 starter behind Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.
Cubs president Theo Epstein has made no secret of the fact that he is looking to overhaul not only the Cubs major league roster but the minor league system as well after finding the talent pool in the higher minor league levels of the system relatively barren. The Tigers have a handful of top-end prospects and appear to be willing to meet the Cubs asking price of multiple highly-regarded prospects.
The Yankees do have tremendous interest in Garza, but they have balked at what they felt was an excessive asking price. They have a group of top end players in their system that the Cubs are known to covet including pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances and catchers Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez.
The Tigers also have a handful of minor league standouts including pitcher Jacob Turner and third baseman Nick Castellanos. An interesting third name in the Tigers system could be left hander Casey Crosby, who played his high school baseball in the Chicago area at Maple Park.
Baseball Prospectus minor league baseball expert Kevin Goldstein weighed in on Turner and feels that he is potentially a front-line starter.
"Turner has great stuff and he will be in the big leagues to stay at a very young age. I would definitely consider that deal if I were the Cubs and he was a part of the trade."
Turner turns 21 in May.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen