According to a report Monday from ESPN Chicago, the Red Sox had originally asked the Cubs for right-handed starter Matt Garza as compensation for general manager Theo Epstein. The Cubs refused, and the teams have since been discussing minor league prospects, with Double-A starter Trey McNutt most recently linked to Boston.
It's no surprised the Cubs balked at giving away such a valuable player. The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, his first with Chicago. Garza went 10-10, but posted a career-best 3.32 ERA to go along with nine strikeouts per nine innings, also a career high.
Sources told ESPN Boston that talks between the Red Sox and Cubs began about a week ago, and that the teams have agreed in principle to a five-year deal worth between $15-20 million. The teams are expected to come to an agreement sometime Tuesday afternoon, after which they would need to get special permission from Major League Baseball in order to announce such a deal.
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