What Cubs can get for Garza

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein want good return, but the timing of development is also key. Kyle Terada/US Presswire

A highly ranked executive marveled the other day at the incredible shift in the trade market over the past 15 years. It used to be, he said, that if you had a good veteran pitcher -- even someone not far from free agency -- you could get three of another team’s top 10 prospects. “And really, it wasn’t hard to get that,” he said.

But as salaries have increased, the perceived value of prospects has skyrocketed, to the point that many officials believe that they are coveted far beyond their actual worth. A top Class A pitching prospect is now worth as much as say, someone such as Matt Garza. Another official said Thursday, “Now, if you get one of a team’s top prospects [for someone like Garza], plus a couple of other middling minor leaguers to round out the deal, you’re doing pretty well,” he said.