When the Indians acquired right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez at the 2011 non-waiver deadline, their farm system was the seventh-best in the majors, according to the preseason rankings in Baseball America. Jimenez, meanwhile, was no mere rental -- he was under club control, at below-market salaries, through 2014.
The Indians, 3½ games behind the division-leading Tigers at the time, actually were further out of first place than they are now. But even though their current deficit is a mere 2½ games, it probably doesn't make sense for them to make a big play for Cubs right-hander Matt Garza.
The team's farm system ranked only 20th in the most recent Baseball America rankings. And Garza, unlike Jimenez two years ago, would be strictly a rental. The Indians could not even make him a qualifying offer to gain draft-pick compensation; potential free agents who are traded in the middle of a season are exempt from such offers.
Given all that - and the Tigers' potential to run away with the AL Cent...