Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

7/17 What’s price tag for Garza?

The Cubs were willing to part with top prospects Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer and Hak-Ju Lee to get Matt Garza in January 2011. Which team will find the right combination by the Trade Deadline to acquire the right-hander?

The Rangers are reportedly the front-runners for Garza as July 31 approaches, but MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports they will not part with Venezuelan left-handed pitcher Martin Perez, 22, who is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts. Right-hander Luke Jackson, 21, has drawn some interest. A first-round pick — 45th overall — in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson is 8-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 16 starts at Class A Myrtle Beach. He has struck out 86 over 82 1/3 innings.

Another player the Cubs may be looking at is Mike Olt, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter who was Texas’ first-round pick in 2010 (49th overall). He was batting .211 in 61 games at Triple-A Round Rock with nine home runs and 14 doubles.

The Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Dodgers also have had scouts at Garza’s recent starts. The right-hander has been impressive, posting a 5-0 record and 1.24 ERA in his last six outings.

“He’s handled it great,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Garza. “Obviously, he knows [about the rumors], as well as last year at the same time when his name was all around. He’s pitched in as good a five-game stretch as he has in his whole career.”

In January 2011, Jim Hendry traded five Minor League players, including Archer and Guyer, the Minor League player of the year, to the Rays for Garza. Tampa Bay added two other players in the deal in reliever Zach Rosscup and outfielder Fernando Perez, but Garza was the Cubs’ target.

“It’s a good, old fashioned baseball trade that doesn’t often get made with the volume of people involved and for the right reasons for both organizations,” said Hendry, the Cubs general manager at the time.

Several of the teams interested in Garza consider him to be a No. 3 starter for their rotation — the Pirates, for example, already have an ace in Francisco Liriano. But could Garza be the piece needed to get Pittsburgh to the postseason? All-Star Jeff Locke (8-2, 2.15 ERA) was not available for Tuesday’s game because of lower back tightness. The Pirates may decide Garza is worth the high price tag the Cubs have set.

“Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well and he’s very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him,” Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, said on Friday. “For us, he’s helping us win games now, there’s a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we’ll just balance all that out and do what’s best for the organization.”

There has been talk about a possible contract extension, but the more likely scenario is the Cubs deal Garza by July 31. The right-hander will be a free agent after this season, something bidding teams have to factor in their decision as to which players to part with for what could be a two-month rental. There is another option: If Epstein does not deal Garza, the Cubs could make him a qualifying offer at the end of the season.

The Cubs players like having the right-hander on the mound, or on the top step of the dugout in games he’s not starting.

“He’s a leader in the clubhouse,” Jeff Samardzija said. “He leads by example. He can talk a little bit but that’s not his main point. He does that for fun. He loves talking. He’s just a great dude to have and the more guys you have like that out of your 25, the better chance you have for a successful season.”

Garza was rumored to be traded last season before an elbow injury sidelined him for the final 2 1/2 months. He made his last start July 21. A strained lat in Spring Training delayed his 2013 start until May 21, and he looked sharp in his season debut, holding the Pirates to one hit over five shutout innings.

“He’s one of the hardest working pitchers you’ll ever be around,” Sveum said. “Even the four days he doesn’t pitch, he’s on the bench and rooting his teammates on. You’re always going to hear him on the bench. He’s one of those special starting pitchers who will always be involved in the game, and position players who play every day and other people appreciate that.”

So, any teams interested in Garza, be prepared. He’s loud, he needs Popeye’s chicken on the day he starts, and a quiet place for an hour or so to watch comedy shows on his iPad before he takes the mound. He can be loud, is quick with the post-game pie in the face, and devoted to his family.

On Sunday, the Cubs closed out the first half of the season with a loss to the Cardinals. Garza, who had picked up a win the night before, holding St. Louis to two runs over 6 2/3 innings, left the clubhouse about 11:30 p.m., eager to spend the All-Star break with his kids.

“You get caught up in [the rumors], but I’ve been through it so much that I’m just oblivious to it until something happens,” Garza said Saturday. “It’s stressful but at the same time, I have a great outlook. I get to pitch every five days. I just keep going and keep looking forward to that next five days.”

His next scheduled start is Monday against the Diamondbacks.

– Carrie Muskat

7/16 Matt Garza rumors

While most of baseball focuses on the All-Star Game Tuesday night, that hasn’t stopped trade rumors swirling regarding Cubs pitcher Matt Garza. The Rangers are interested but MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports they will not give up left-handed pitcher Martin Perez, 22, who is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts this season. Right-hander Luke Jackson, 21, has drawn some interest as a possible match in the deal. A first-round pick — 45th overall — in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Jackson is 8-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 16 starts at Class A Myrtle Beach. He has struck out 86 over 82 1/3 innings.

Another player the Cubs may be looking at is Mike Olt, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter who was Texas’ first-round pick in 2010 (49th overall). He was batting .211 in 61 games at Triple-A Round Rock with nine home runs and 14 doubles.

Besides the Rangers, the Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, Blue Jays and Dodgers are the strongest pursuers, according to CSNChicago.com’s David Kaplan. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports the Diamondbacks are also in the mix, looking for starting pitching.

Several of the teams interested in Garza consider him to fill the role of No. 3 starter, yet the Cubs have set a very high price for the right-hander. Garza has been impressive, posting a 5-0 record and 1.24 ERA in his last six starts.

– Carrie Muskat

7/14 Matt Garza rumors – UPDATED

CBSSports.com’s and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Sunday that Matt Garza was told he will likely be traded after the Cubs were unable to reach agreement on an extension. Heyman said there was a “difference of opinion” over the average annual value of the contract. Heyman said the Rangers, Indians, Red Sox and Cardinals are interested in Garza.

When Chicago media asked Garza about the report after Sunday’s game, he said: “I haven’t heard anything like that.”

Garza pitched Saturday night, and the Rangers had two scouts at Wrigley to watch, while the Tigers, Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays also had representatives present. Others were probably watching on TV. In his last five starts, Garza is 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings. All five have been quality starts and Saturday was the first time he didn’t go at least seven innings.

– Carrie Muskat

7/13 Matt Garza update

Matt Garza started on Saturday night for the Cubs in the third game of their four-game series against the Cardinals. Would this be his last start in a Cubs uniform? The Rangers had two scouts at Wrigley Field to watch Garza, while the Tigers, Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays also had representatives on hand.

How has Garza dealt with the trade rumors?

“He’s handled it great,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said before Saturday’s game. “Obviously, he went through this last year at the same time when his name was all aaround. It goes unsaid how he’s handled it. He’s pitched in as good a five-game stretch as he has in his whole career. He’s obviously handled it extremely well.”

Garza has tossed at least seven innings and given up one or no earned runs in five straight starts dating to June 16.

– Carrie Muskat

7/13 Cubs lineup

Matt Garza takes the mound Saturday night when the Cubs face the Cardinals in the third game of their four-game series. Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Navarro C
Bogusevic CF
Sappelt RF
Barney 2B
Garza P

7/12 Theo: “There’s a lot of chatter”

With the Trade Deadline on July 31, Theo Epstein is getting plenty of phone calls from teams interested in Cubs players. Matt Garza is high on some team’s lists, as well as relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

Garza is considered the best starting pitcher on the market.

“Obviously, he’s throwing extremely well and he’s very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him,” Epstein said Friday. “For us, he’s helping us win games now, there’s a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we’ll just balance all that out and do what’s best for the organization.”

It is a busy time of the season.

“There’s a lot of chatter going on right now,” Epstein said. “I wouldn’t say anything major is imminent. There’s a lot of talk, and we’ll continue to stay abreast with what other teams are trying to do as their situation changes.”

This is the second year the Cubs have been sellers. That’s not a position Epstein wants to be in.

“We wanted to be buyers this year,” he said. “With a few breaks, this year, we could’ve been in a much different situation. If some one-run games early change, and different bullpen situations [it could've been different]. The goal every year is to be in a position where you’re looking to add and have a strong pennant push.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/11 Baker to make rehab start

Scott Baker, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will start for Class A Kane County on Sunday, and if all goes well, could join the Cubs rotation in August.
Baker threw a bullpen at Wrigley Field on Thursday, his final tuneup before he starts against West Michigan in his first real game action. He did make one Cactus League start March 17 but was shut down after that, and diagnosed with a strained elbow.

“[Thursday] was better than what I saw the last time, before he had the setback,” Dale Sveum said. “He was letting it go his last 10, 15 pitches. I don’t think he’s ever going to exert himself on the mound too much until it counts. It was coming out of his hand pretty easy. Everything is going really well now.”

Baker was expected to make four Minor League rehab starts, and if he continues to progress, will give the Cubs a fresh arm for the final two months of the season. That may be key if the Cubs deal Matt Garza by the Trade Deadline.

He had the surgery in April 2012, and had hoped to be ready for the start of the 2013 season. But after the setback in March, Baker apologized to Cubs executives, including general manager Jed Hoyer.

“My reasoning for that was I don’t want anybody to ever think I didn’t have the intention of being a servicable pitcher right from the beginning of the season,” Baker said. “I guess [apologizing] wasn’t necessary but I wanted them to know [the setback] happened, and it stinks, but I did everything I could to be ready for the start of the season.”

Even though Baker hasn’t thrown a pitch yet for the Cubs, Hoyer said they would consider bringing the right-hander back in 2014.

“There’s no secret that there’s a lot of great things going on here,” Baker said. “You go through different phases in your career. I’ve been hurt and things have been taken away from me, and I want to be with a team and an organization that is trying to win, and there’s no question that is going on here.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/10 Cubs vs. Cardinals

The Cubs close out the first half with a four-game series against the Cardinals, starting Thursday. Here are the pitching matchups and game times. Please note the strange times:

Thursday, 7:05 p.m. CT: RHP Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.50) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (5-3, 2.78)
Friday, 3:05 p.m. CT: RHP Carlos Villanueva (2-4, 3.39) vs. RHP Joe Kelly (0-3, 4.15)
Saturday, 6:15 p.m. CT: RHP Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67)
Sunday, 7:05 p.m. CT: LHP Travis Wood (6-6, 2.69) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.30)

7/8 Garza: “I like being a Cub”

Matt Garza has dealt with trade rumors since his first year in pro ball, and has learned to shrug them off.

“At least you’re wanted,” the Cubs pitcher said. “It could be the other way, where they’re like, ‘This guy, I don’t want him.’ It’s a compliment. If it happens, my phone will ring and that’ll be it. It hasn’t rung and I’m happy to be a Cub.”

There were reports Monday that the Cubs were talking to Garza about a possible long-term contract, but it’s more likely that the right-hander will be dealt by the July 31 Trade Deadline. The key will be whether the Cubs get the top prospects they want in return. The Cubs have already been busy, trading Scott Feldman, Carlos Marmol, Steve Clevenger and Scott Hairston.

“[An extension] is always on the table,” Garza said. “I voiced my opinion about how I love it here. My family loves it here. It’s always something you think about. I don’t know which route they’re going to go.”

How real is an extension?

“As real as a trade,” Garza said. “Trades are just rumors like everything else. An extension talk, I’m part of, I know for a fact where it’s at. It’s always a possibility, man, 50-50.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to my decision if I want an extension, and a trade, it’s obviously [the Cubs']decision,” he said. “I like being a Cub, I want to get this team to October and win it here. Like I’ve said before, it’d be one [heck] of a party. I’m just going to get ready for every five days.”

So, what uniform is he wearing on Aug. 1?

“I’m hoping the Cubs, but I don’t even look that far,” Garza said. “What’s today, the 8th? Probably the 13th will be the next day I look at.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/8 Cubs 8, White Sox 2

If this was Matt Garza’s last start with the Cubs, he gave some teams plenty to think about. Alfonso Soriano hit solo home run, a double and stole two bases, and Luis Valbuena drove in three runs to back Garza and lift the Cubs to an 8-2 Interleague victory Monday over the White Sox to complete a sweep of the rain-delayed intracity series.

The Cubs had already won the first three games of this crosstown series, and this was a makeup game of the May 28 rained out contest. They posted their first winning season series over the White Sox since going 5-1 in 2007. It’s the first sweep by either the Cubs or White Sox since the teams began a home-and-away format in 1999.

Garza, the subject of trade rumors since Spring Training, scattered five hits over seven innings while striking out six. The right-hander has given up just four earned runs over 37 innings in his last five starts for an 0.97 ERA. He made a grand entrance, delaying the game briefly in the first as he walked from the bullpen to the dugout. There were at least eight scouts who waited out the 29-minute rain delay to see Garza as well as others.

There were reports Monday that the Cubs were talking to Garza about a possible long-term contract but it’s more likely that the right-hander will be dealt by the July 31 Trade Deadline. The key will be whether the Cubs get the top prospects they want in return. The Cubs have already been busy, trading Scott Feldman, Carlos Marmol, Steve Clevenger, and Scott Hairston. Who’s next?

“You can’t really worry about that,” Anthony Rizzo said. “I’m sure it’s in guys’ heads. Whoever is here, whoever is in the lineup has to play that day. We have to continue to grow and get better and win.”

Dave Sappelt had a career high four hits, including two RBI singles. The Cubs scored five runs in the eighth, and outscored the White Sox, 32-8, in the four games, to improve to 12-6 in Interleague play.

– Carrie Muskat

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