Matt Garza Rumors
Perhaps no division will be more active at the trade deadline this summer than the NL Central, which houses three sellers (Cubs, Brewers, Astros) and three buyers (Reds, Pirates, Cardinals). Here's the latest from baseball's only six-team division...
- The Cubs are at an impasse with the Dodgers over Ryan Dempster while the Braves continue to monitor the situation according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. People in the game think Atlanta could get involved with Dempster again even though their first deal fell through.
- If the Cubs don't trade Matt Garza this summer, he seems likely to be dealt in the winter, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. A trade seems likely as the two sides haven't discussed a contract extension since talks broke off this spring.
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Cardinals have discussed Francisco Liriano with the Twins as they look to bolster their pitching staff before the deadline.
- The Brewers have had some inquiries about Manny Parra, but they may keep him and try him as a starter again, Knobler tweets.
- The Pirates have acquired outfielder/first baseman Christian Marrero from the Braves for infielder Brian Friday, reports Dan Simpson of Talking Chop (on Twitter). Both players will head to Triple-A, adds Michael Sanserino of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Matt Garza won’t start before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline, so the chances of a midseason deal involving the right-hander are remote, Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports (on Twitter). Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio notes that Garza might not be traded until the offseason (on Twitter).
An MRI revealed a slight fluid buildup in Garza's triceps area, manager Dale Sveum told reporters, including Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com. The Dodgers and Red Sox are among the teams with reported interest in Garza.
The 28-year-old earns $9.5MM this year and will be arbitration eligible one last time in 2013. His contract wouldn't clear waivers, so the Cubs will have to wait until the offseason to consider trades for him, assuming they don't complete a deal before the 31st. Garza has a 3.91 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 103 2/3 innings so far in 2012.
The Braves are "moving on" from their pursuit of Ryan Dempster, GM Frank Wren said yesterday. That leaves the Dodgers, the right-hander's preferred team, as a potential suitor. The possibility of a trade exists, but the Cubs are said to be frustrated by their lack of leverage in talks with Los Angeles. So Dempster might stay put after all. Here's the latest with the most recent updates up top...
- The Cubs offered to send Dempster to the Dodgers straight up for right-hander Allen Webster, but the Dodgers turned it down, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. People briefed on the talks say the Dodgers have thus far offered a couple of lesser prospects who may project as relievers instead. It now seems that the Dodgers are more interested in Matt Garza than Dempster.
- The Cubs are moving closer to sending Dempster to the Dodgers and are discussing various trades including a multi-team deal, tweets David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.
- The Dodgers and Cubs continue talking and "might" be getting closer to a deal involving Dempster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
- Rival executives say the Dodgers are projecting an air of optimism about their chances of obtaining Dempster, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports (on Twitter).
- The Cubs are running out of desirable choices as they consider their next move, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Cubs could keep Dempster and make him a qualifying offer after the season, but one executive says there’s “no way” the Cubs would make such an offer because the risk isn’t worth the reward.
- One executive wondered if the Cubs might offer Dempster $1MM to go to Atlanta if the Braves are willing to surrender considerably more than the Dodgers, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes (Twitter links). Someone like Randall Delgado might be worth enough to make up for the one-time cost of $1MM.
- Dempster and Matt Garza are seen as more likely trade options for the Dodgers than James Shields, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- The possibility of the Cubs and Dodgers completing a deal involving Dempster remains in limbo, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
The latest notes and rumors from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports...
- At least one team has inquired about Alfonso Soriano, Morosi reports. The Cubs outfielder earns $18MM per season through 2014, so the Cubs will presumably cover most of his salary in a trade.
- Four general managers say Cliff Lee isn’t yet formally available, according to Rosenthal and Morosi. Yet other executives expect the Phillies to consider trade offers for the left-hander this week. Lee, who has three years and $87.5MM remaining on his contract after this season, can block trades to 21 teams. The Rangers and Yankees are not among those teams, Rosenthal and Morosi report. The FOX Sports reporters suggest Rangers GM Jon Daniels prefers Lee to Cole Hamels.
- Agent Scott Boras now represents Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch, Morosi reports (on Twitter). Be sure to check MLBTR’s Agency Database for data on which agents represent which MLB players.
- The Dodgers could trade for Shane Victorino or Hunter Pence even if the team gets Ryan Dempster to go along with Hanley Ramirez, Rosenthal reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers have been in talks with the Phillies, who are eager to move Pence, according to Rosenthal.
- The Cubs continue discussing Matt Garza with multiple suitors, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Dodgers appear to have serious interest in Garza.
- The Royals are talking with teams about possible trades involving closer Jonathan Broxton, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
- Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
- The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
- Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
- The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
- Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
- In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
- The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
- The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
- The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official.
- The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis.
We checked in on the AL East this morning, but with less than a week remaining before the trade deadline, the rumors don’t stop coming. Here’s the latest...
- The Red Sox won't trade Jon Lester this summer, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports. The Red Sox are working to add starting pitching and have interest in controllable right-handers Matt Garza and Josh Johnson, Edes writes.
- Several clubs have approached the Red Sox about possible trades involving outfielders such as Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross. The Pirates and Reds have both scouted the Red Sox extensively, according to Edes.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Blue Jays are trying to move Yunel Escobar and suggests they could have interest in Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays were very interested in Reyes as a free agent, Sherman writes.
- The Yankees aren’t likely to pursue Aramis Ramirez, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). They could have interest in Chase Headley, however.
- In case you missed it, the Rays designated Hideki Matsui for assignment.
The Cubs agreed to trade Ryan Dempster to Atlanta earlier today, and they aren't done dealing yet. The Cubs and Dodgers are discussing a trade that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Los Angeles for a package of players including highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Lee, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network reports (on Twitter).
Garza, 28, has a 3.91 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 103 2/3 innings this year. He earns $9.5MM and will go to arbitration one last time this offseason, when his salary can be expected to climb past $12MM. If the Dodgers acquire Garza this summer, they'd be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for him should he depart as a free agent following the 2013 season.
Lee, 20, entered the season as the Dodgers' best prospect and the 62nd-best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America. He has a 5.85 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 17 starts at Class A and Double-A so far this year. The Dodgers signed the 2010 first round selection to a $5.25MM bonus after selecting him 28th overall two years ago.
The addition of a player such as Zack Greinke or Matt Garza may mean the difference of making the playoffs or spending October on the golf course for a team like the Braves. With the non-waiver trade deadline looming, teams will be forced to consider the value of trading for a front-of-the-rotation starter and how that particular move may impact the remainder of the season.
The question becomes which available starting pitcher will contribute the most down the stretch to help a team reach its goals for the season. Will Ryan Dempster prove to be the second coming of C.C. Sabathia during his stint with the Brewers? Or will Cole Hamels flame out like Ubaldo Jimenez after he arrived in Cleveland last July?
Barry Larkin and the late Ron Santo were inducted today into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as the Class of 2012. The ceremony in Cooperstown was marked by the moving acceptance speech given by Santo's widow, Vicki, and the singing of the National Anthem by Larkin's daughter, Cymber. Larkin spent his entire career with his hometown Reds while Santo spent his entire 15-year career in Chicago, 14 of those with the Cubs. In other news concerning teams from the NL Central:
- The Cubs' Matt Garza told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan, that he feels better after being forced from Saturday's game with triceps cramping. "I don't think it's a bone contusion or a bruise or anything," Garza said. "I think it's just a cramp that's stiff, just a stiff muscle. I have better movement today than I did yesterday, so that's positive. I can move it today, so that's a huge plus." Several teams have Garza on their radar as the trade deadline approaches.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that there is no urgency to add a starting pitcher with the increased production from the rotation and the encouraging health of Jaime Garcia. "It clearly takes a little pressure off as far as feeling like we have to do something," said Mozeliak. "We feel very confident that (Garcia) is going to be back by mid-August. If you were to go after another starter, who are you really bouncing out? That's why the urgency isn't quite there for rotation help as it was three or four weeks ago."
- After being swept by the first-place Reds this weekend, the Brewers may be inclined to become sellers at the trade deadline, opines Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Zack Greinke is the Brewers' most discussed trade candidate.
- The Brewers have reached an agreement with 16-year-old Venezuelan right-hander Yosmer Leal for $370K, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The bonus would be one of the largest ever given by the Brewers to a Latin American player. Leal still must pass a physical and a MLB age investigation. The investigation is standard procedure for all Latin American signees.
The Dodgers don't want to surrender prospects for a rental and are "very unlikely" to acquire Ryan Dempster, but Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that they have shifted their focus to Matt Garza. Los Angeles had a deal on the table to acquire Dempster yesterday but it was not consummated.
Garza, 28, left tonight's game after three scoreless innings with tightness in his triceps. The team announced that x-rays were negative. Garza has pitched to a 4.02 ERA in 17 starts this year and unlike Dempster, he is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next season.