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Winter Baseball Buzz: Cubs Grab Garza, Sox Grab Former Cub

By Angie Wiatrowski in News on Jan 8, 2011 9:30PM

The brunt of winter is clearly still upon us in Chicago, while pitchers and catchers don’t have to report to spring training for another month, the stove is heating and baseball is on the minds of those on the North Side.

On Friday, the Cubs traded five prospects for Tampa Bay Rays right-handed starting pitcher Matt Garza. Among those five the Rays will receive outfielder Sam Fuld, and minor league outfielder Brandon Guyer.

The 27-year-old starter comes to the North Side fresh off pitching a no-hitter against Detroit last season, when he went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA. Garza has a 42-44 career record with a 3.97 ERA, beating Boston twice in the 2008 Al championship series to help the Rays advance to their first World Series.

While some believe that the acquisition of Garza may give the cubs that little extra (which North Siders generally say every year with some new acquisition), many reporters believe Garza won’t be enough. Garza will be added to a Cubs rotation fronted by Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano and does have potential to develop into a reliable, long-term ace but as Phil Rogers from the Tribune says it hardly seems enough to close the gap between the Cubs and the NL Central’s first-division teams.

Time will tell if Jim Hendry’s gamble with Garza was worth it.

Now on to the South Side, where some trade winds are blowing. The White Sox reportedly signed former Cub Will Ohman to two-year $4 million deal, pending a phsycial according to's Jon Heyman. Ohman pitched for the Cubs for seven seasons and is expected to sign for about $1.5 million. He was 0-2 with a 3.21 ERA in 68 games for the Orioles and Marlins last season.

In other South Side news, the baseball Hall of Fame welcomed one of Chicago’s own. It was announced Wednesday that former White Sox second baseman Roberto Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame Wednesday. Alomar is a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman and had two stints with the White Sox in 2003-04. He hit a combined .239 in 85 games on the South Side and has a career 210 home runs, 1,134 RBIs, and maintained a .300 batting average in 2,379 games.