Cubs May Start Extension Talks With Garza Soon

The Cubs spent most of the winter gauging trade interest in Matt Garza, but now it appears they're willing to discuss a long-term commitment. GM Jed Hoyer spoke to reporters (including Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times) upon arriving at the team's Spring Training facility today, and said the two sides could being extension talks soon.

"We focused really hard on getting the one-year number done a few weeks ago," said Hoyer, referring to the one-year, $9.5MM contract the two sides agreed to a few weeks ago, avoiding arbitration. "We didn’t have any kind of long-term discussions before that, but certainly there was some dialogue about possibly having some long-term discussions at some point maybe this spring … I think we probably will sit down and talk."

Garza, 28, can't become a free agent until after the 2013 season. He made at least 30 starts and threw at least 180 innings for the fourth straight year in 2011, pitching to a 3.32 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 during his first season on Chicago's north side. Garza has said he's open to an extension with the Cubs earlier this offseason.