ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Starter Matt Garza #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers during game three of the ALDS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Rays won 6-3. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Matt Garza Headed To Chicago After Cubs, Rays Agree On Trade

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Matt Garza Traded To Cubs In Exchange For Five Prospects, According To Reports

Nearly a month after their interest first surfaced, the Chicago Cubs apparently got their man, agreeing to a trade for the Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Garza, according to multiple reports.

The deal, which is in place pending physicals, has the Cubs sending five prospects to Tampa -- right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and outfielder Sam Fuld -- according to ESPN Chicago, in exchange for Garza and a minor-league pitcher and a minor-league outfielder. While that's a lot for the Cubs to give up, the general thinking is that the package doesn't include a "real can't-miss star prospect." Although, Archer put up a 2.34 ERA in 28 games between Single-A Daytona and Tennessee and was the team's 2010 minor league pitcher of the year.

Those prospects aren't necessarily finalized, and there could still be more parts to the deal, but the focus here obviously is Garza, whom the Cubs see as a No. 1 or No. 2 starter. Garza, 27, has made at least 30 starts the past three seasons with Tampa Bay, going 34-31 in the process. 

His ERA+ of 119 in 2008 was the best of his career (it has dropped to 110 and 101 the past two years). Opponents hit .248 and slugged .420 against Garza in 2010, up from .233 and .384 in 2009. 

Tampa Bay, which has already said goodbye to Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Rafael Soriano and Jason Bartlett this offseason, is in the midst of restructuring the team and was willing to trade Garza in exchange for "a shortstop, catcher and some top-caliber young pitching." 

Read more about the trade and get the reaction of Cubs fans at Bleed Cubbie Blue

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