As a bonus, here's one SOI take on the Garza trade after it happened. For fun, I've hidden the name of the poster under a spoiler tag. Reveal when when you're ready for a cool surprise!
I'm not sure if we have completely different views, but you are right, I was on the extend Garza train hard, vs trading him. Obviously if the FO wasn't going to pay Garza anything near what he wanted, then completing a trade for him is the way to go. My thing with that is let's say for grins that the goal is to raise hell and be competitive starting in 2015. And Garza wanted 5 years in the talks, he'd be...31? And a solid 2/3 type for the team. Why is that so bad?
I've heard rumors and granted, none of us were in the room for any of the talks, that 5/$75 was Garza's asking price. As big of a Garza fan as I am, I don't think that's too much, not to mention the majority of that contract would be when the team is ready to compete for wild card/division titles. At the end of the day, I'm just a huge Garza fan, and I don't believe that the Cubs in this case got anything that will come close to the value Garza would have brought if they could have extended him. And My argument is based on things he said about wanting to stay and work out an extension. IF that was really the case, then yes I'm bothered by the FO not seriously entertaining that option. I think I view Garza as a very good long term asset for this team, maybe more than I should, and that skews my view of the trade some.
Saying that the haul was ok, and with a PTBNL that could end up being Ramirez...well yes it was a solid deal. I'm very sour on Grimm, Olt and Edwards are the kickers. If they can turn Olt into something close to what he was, then it's a huge deal and he becomes a great asset. But that's a big if. Let's hope the last 10 games are a preview of what's to come.
Edwards is the other big key here. Do you (me/us/whoever) view him as a starter or reliever? Scouts love his stuff but not his build. If he can stick in the rotation and keep pitching as well as he has while he moves up, then you look back on this deal and say wow, great haul.