ESPN's Buster Olney reported on Twitter today that the Cubs are open to trading Matt Garza.
Here's a crazy idea that just might work: send a few prospects to the Cubs for Garza as compensation for Theo Epstein.
Garza alone is way too much compensation for Epstein, the Sox asked for that weeks ago and were turned down. But adding a few good prospects would serve to make it an equal deal.
The Sox get an 28-year-old AL East-tested starter, the Cubs get the prospects they so badly need.
Getting a pitcher like Garza for two years is worth giving up Anthony Ranaudo and a decent position player like Kolbrin Vitek. Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick doesn't get it done. The Cubs need a pitcher.
The other benefit for the Sox is that Garza is under team control for 2012 and '13. Garza is due roughly $9 million for 2012 based on arbitration-eligible starters of similar experience in previous years. That's a much better deal for the Sox than overpaying for Mark Buehrle or Edwin Jackson.
Obviously Epstein can get more prospects from another club. But the Cubs also promised the Red Sox "significant" compensation when they hired Epstein. He has to pay that bill at some point. Plus there is more certainty for Epstein trading for prospects he knows everything about.
Garza against AL East teams:
Yankees: 4.48 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in 12 games
Orioles: 3.03 ERA, 1.19 WHIP in 12 games
Blue Jays: 2.14 ERA, 1.19 WHIP in 13 games
Rays: No games
A rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza and Alfredo Aceves would be very good.