Garcia extension imminent?

Both the Cardinals and Jaime Garcia are refusing to confirm or deny reports that club and player are on the verge of agreeing to a four-year contract extension through 2015.

An employee of KTRS radio, which is partly owned by the club, posted Thursday on his personal Twitter page that Garcia and the club have reached agreement on a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $27.5 million with options for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The station has subsequently distanced itself from the tweet.

General manager John Mozeliak and Garcia both addressed reporters on Thursday afternoon. Neither would even confirm that discussions are ongoing.

“I can tell you that any contract discussions that we have with any player will be done privately, and when we have an announcement, we’ll have an announcement,” Mozeliak said.

Garcia echoed that sentiment, saying, “I’m focused on pitching right now. It feels like it’s a little more private. If there’s something going on, you guys will know when it’s time to talk about it.”

Such a deal would cover Garcia’s three years of arbitration eligibility, during which time he would have been under team control, as well as what would have been the first year he could have been a free agent. The option years would cover what potentially would be his second and third years of free-agent eligibility.

Garcia, who turns 25 on Friday, is in his second full year in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. He’s 8-3 this year with a 3.23 ERA, 95 strikeouts and 30 walks in 111 1/3 innings. For his career, he’s 22-12 with a 3.07 ERA, 235 strikeouts and 102 walks in 290 2/3 innings.

The left-hander was a 22nd-round pick in the 2005 Draft. He finished third behind Buster Posey and Jason Heyward in balloting for the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year award.

–Matthew Leach


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