With the regular season set to resume today, Matt Garza is the hottest name on the trade market so far, and the Chicago Cubs are looking for a king’s ransom before they send him off. The 29-year-old hurler has been connected to the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and the Arizona Diamondbacks since last week. A contract extension between the Cubs and Garza went south, which prompted to the club make him available before the trade deadline.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted earlier today that the Cubs are reaching out to teams for their “last and best offers” and that he likely threw his final pitch as a Cub last week.
Other teams say CHC are asking for last and best offers on Matt Garza, and they think he’ll be traded before he throws another pitch for CHC
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 18, 2013
Meanwhile, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Cubs might prefer pitching prospects in return, and especially covet the Rangers’ Martin Perez (3rd). However, the Rangers look to keep Perez and might instead make C.J. Edwards (14th*) and Luke Jackson (6th*) available, as well as third baseman/first baseman Mike Olt, according to Buster Olney. The latter of which was ranked within Baseball America’s Preseason Top 50 prospects this season.
It’s clear the Rangers are the front runners in the Garza sweepstakes. They have the prospects and just enough desperation (Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis, and Neftali Feliz all on the DL) to make a serious run for his services. He won’t come cheap and the Rangers will likely be on the hook for around $5 million remaining on his deal. But, Texas has the personnel to make it far into the postseason this year, and adding Garza — even as a rental — would make them more formidable come playoff time.
Garza currently holds a 6-1 record in 11 starts. In 71 innings, he has pitched to a 3.17 ERA (3.87 FIP) and has held opponents to a .227 batting average.
* Notes player’s rank within Baseball America’s Preseason list of the Texas Rangers prospects.