Matt Garza and Kerry Wood Updates, Cubs Sign Paul Maholm

David Kaplan is reporting that the Cubs and Tigers are “down the road” in trade discussions for Matt Garza. I have no idea what that means. I would expect them further down the road than they were in August. If the two teams are still talking I would expect them further down the road than they were three weeks ago. I’m not sure this tells us anything new, but here’s what Kaplan says.

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.

I don’t have the issue with Kaplan that many of you do. However, why does he call them excellent baseball sources? I would assume every non-Paul Sullivan journalist would only publish something if they believed it came from excellent sources.

So I’m not sure we know anymore about the Garza situation today than we did a week ago. We might know more about the Wood situation though I’m skeptical he’s actually talking with multiple teams. This seems more like an attempt by his agents to get the Cubs to increase their offer. Hopefully they call the bluff. If they lose him to another team, big deal. I don’t think the Cubs are going to miss his 24 Holds next year.

I don’t believe there is any new information available about the Cubs pursuit of Paul Maholm. I know Aisle424 already talked about it, but I thought I’d add my 2 cents on Kerry Wood.

A couple months ago it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Cubs would be re-signing Kerry Wood. Here we are in the second week of January and he’s still unsigned. Wood claimed he didn’t want to pitch next year if it wasn’t for the Cubs, but all of a sudden he’s talking to multiple teams. He’s also looking for $4 million next year and perhaps even a multi-year deal. He’s probably worth only $2 million, but if the Cubs sign him for more than he’s worth I don’t think anyone is going to complain. He has said he will sign with some team by Friday.

My guess is the Cubs increase their offer to Wood, but won’t offer a multi-year deal. I don’t care if they re-sign him or not. The 20 strikeout Kerry Wood is a distant memory. The 2003 Kerry Wood is also a distant memory. Since 2005 he’s been worth 3.1 rWAR. 1.8 of that came in 2008 when he was the closer. He’s just not that good these days.

By the way, if the Cubs to re-sign Kerry Wood I’m anxiously awaiting the game in which Travis Wood throws 8 dominating innings and leaves for Kerry Wood. Cubs Bring The Wood!

UPDATE: On Bleacher Nation Brett was nice enough to publish something I’ve written about trade value. It was sparked by a discussion he and I had in the comments there and then some emails.

UPDATE 2: I wrote this in the comments last night about Maholm:

CAIRO projects 0.4 WAR over 175 innings while Oliver projets 1.9 over 178 innings. Bill James projects roughly 1.5 WAR over just under 150 innings. That’s an average of 1.3 WAR. Hopefully it’s only a one year contract as I see little to no reason to sign someone of that quality beyond that. Over 1 year that’s $6.5 million in value.

If it’s a two year deal and we use this method we’d just pay Maholm a million bucks less per year over two years or a total of $11 million. We’d get a projected value of .8 WAR in 2013. Doing it that way gives us a 2-year, $10.7 million contract. Considering the loss in velocity, I’d hope for something like 2 years and $9 million at most. I’d much prefer a 1-year deal for around $5 million.

Bruce Levine says the deal is a 1-year, $4.25 million contract with a club option for $6.25 million or a .5 million buyout.

I had hoped for a one-year deal at $5 million and Maholm has one year guaranteed for $4.75 million (includes buyout). The two year deal estimate we got was for $10.7 million and if this ends up being a two year deal it will be for $10.5 million. Not only that, it won’t be a two year deal unless Maholm is better than the .8 WAR estimate for 2013.