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 Central - the Indians are unlikely to dip into their thin prospect pool to acquire Garza for 10 to 12 starts. Particularly when the difference between Garza and the pitcher he replaces probably would not be enough to push the Indians past the Tigers.