The Cubs dealt 5 minor league prospects to the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher Matt Garza, who went 15 and 10 last year with an ERA just under 4. He did not finish strong. I dont' have the exact numbers, but I think he was something like 2-5 with an ERA of over 5 to end the year.
Garza is a good pitcher; he will slot somewhere in that top 3 for the Cubs. The Cubs now have a pretty solid rotation with Zambrano, Garza, Dempster, Wells, and Cashner or one of the other rookies.
Is it a good move for the Cubs? I have mixed feelings. I think they are a solid enough team to compete in the NL Central for the top spot. I think they could possibly go to the playoffs with this team. But I don't know that they didn't give up far too much for Garza.
Chris Archer is/was a pitcher with a high ceiling. He could have developed into a major league pitcher as early as this season, though more likely 2012, which is apparently when the Rays expect him to arrive on the scene. Lee, the Korean shortstop, is also projected to be a major league middle infielder, with the range, speed and defensive ability to play short and play it wall. (His offense is a question.) With Castro at short, though, it seems the Cubs are set. They also have plenty of middle infield prospects, though perhaps none with as high a ceiling as him.
Brandon Guyer is a highly thought of outfielder. Of course the Cubs have Colvin in right, Byrd in CF with number 1 pick Brett Jackson coming up fast behind him, and Soriano entrenched in left for too many more years. So perhaps he was expendable, but I'd have liked to have him around for insurance in case Colvin doesn't pan out.
Chirinos, the catching prospect, had at least one other prospect (Wellington Castillo) between him and the majors, and so you don't mind his loss so much. Likewise with Sam Fuld. Fuld was a guy whose time in Chicago was past. No, the guy that I think they might live to regret losing is Archer.
Of course, all prospects are crap shoots. So I suppose you should take the chance on acquiring major league talent when it comes around.
As far as Garza, I've heard several people say that since he pitched in the AL East, he is going to a weaker league and division. But as a poster on the AOL Cubs board pointed out, he is going from a pitcher's park to a hitter's park, and he is going from a team with perhaps the best defense in baseball behind him to a team with a much more questionable defense. And yes, he did have to face the Yankees and Red Sox in his division, but the offenses in the NL Central are not terrible. The Reds and Brewers are both pretty potent and the Cardinals have the potential to be, also. Garza is also a fly ball pitcher coming to a park where some of those fly balls are going to end up in the seats.
Well, as a Cubs fan I have to hope for the best as far as results go. Garza does strengthen this team in the short run. He makes them more solid going into next season. Beyond that, we'll see if the organization regrets losing Guyer, Lee and especially Archer.