1/13 Garza shrugs off trade talk

Matt Garza has been a hot topic in trade rumors this offseason but he’s ignoring the talk.

“I really don’t pay attention,” Garza said Friday. “I’ve got way too many things going on. I work out three to four hours a day, and I’ve got three kids, and two go to school and I’m busy, busy, busy. Most of my focus is on getting ready for February.”

Cubs president of business operations Theo Epstein did want to talk to Garza at some point, face to face.

“He’s a rare, rare commodity — a top of the rotation type starter who has proven it in the [American League] East, he’s proven it last year,” Epstein said of the right-hander, who was 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in his first season in Chicago. “He’s playoff proven. He’s a guy who, when he has the ball, our team thinks we’ll win that day and that’s important.

“He’s been here longer than I have, too — just one year in the Cubs clubhouse, and he made a pretty good impression about the way he goes about it,” Epstein said.

Garza doesn’t feel the Cubs are headed for another fifth place finish in the NL Central.

“I’ve played on teams that are just as young and have done some special things,” Garza said. “I know what youth can do and I’m excited with where this is going. … We might shock people.”

— Carrie Muskat

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