Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

7/11 Scouts eye Garza & others

Matt Garza’s name may be the one most often mentioned in trade rumors, but scouts are very much interested in Cubs relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell and outfielder Nate Schierholtz. Garza is the top starting pitcher on the market but the Cubs are demanding top prospects in return. Gregg is 15-for-17 in save situations since taking over the closer’s duties. He was released by the Dodgers at the end of Spring Training because they didn’t have a roster spot. Russell is the only left in the Cubs’ ‘pen now. Schierholtz has value against right-handed pitchers and has been the most consistent with runners in scoring position.

– Carrie Muskat

7/10 Cubs prepared for moves

A year ago at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs dealt two of their starters, lost another to injury, and then shut down another in early September. They had to scramble to fill in the gaps. This year, the Cubs have already traded one starter — Scott Feldman — and Matt Garza could also change uniforms by the July 31 deadline. But this year, the Cubs feel they’re better prepared to handle the moves.

“There’s no question the pitching staff we ran out there in September [2012] was short,” GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “I think we feel a lot better about that. We have more depth in the Minor Leagues, more depth on the Major League roster. It was hard to watch [last year]. … Shutting down [Jeff] Samardzija was incredibly hard because we didn’t have anyone to fill in for him.”

The Cubs expect Scott Baker, who has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, to be ready in about a month. Jake Arrieta, acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal, also could start. Plus, they already have Carlos Villanueva, who has gone from the rotation to the ‘pen and back to the rotation.

Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, who both made their Major League debuts last season, also have another year of experience.

“There’s obviously no question we’re much more equipped than last year,” manager Dale Sveum said.

Garza is the prime pitcher on the trade market, and Hoyer acknowledged that he has received a lot of interest.

“There’s obviously a lot of incoming phone calls,” Hoyer said. “There’s a lot about Matt, obviously, but a lot about other players on the team, too. I think in general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel there’s a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well, and a lot of our individual players are playing well. I think that’s a big part of it.”

Scouts also are keeping an eye on closer Kevin Gregg and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Matt Garza update

The Indians are among the teams seeking a starting pitcher, and are keeping an eye on Matt Garza, according to CBSSports.com and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. They had a rep among the dozen scouts at U.S. Cellular Field Monday night to watch Garza, who was impressive. The right-hander picked up the win over the White Sox, and has given up four earned runs over his last 37 innings in his last five starts to lower his ERA to 3.22. Before this stretch, he had a 6.26 ERA in five games. The Rangers, Dodgers and Red Sox also are following Garza’s outings.

Garza, who will be a free agent after this season, did acknowledge after Monday’s game that he has talked to the Cubs about a possible extension.

“[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 Matt Garza rumors

Matt Garza has been rumored to be traded since Spring Training. Could the Cubs keep the right-hander and sign him to a long-term deal? CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported Monday the Cubs have talked to Garza’s agents about a possible long-term contract. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that the Cubs and Garza have had recent talks. Rosenthal reported that signing Garza has always been one of the Cubs’ options. The team also could make him a one-year qualifying offer at the end of the season.

Garza is considered the top pitcher available on the trade market, and there is still time before the July 31 deadline for teams to make a deal with the Cubs. One scout told MLB.com that because Garza will be a free agent at year’s end, and a possible short-term rental, teams don’t want to give up top top prospects in exchange. The Cubs, obviously, are looking for top prospects.

The Rangers, Red Sox, Indians, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Nationals and Cardinals all need starting pitching, and the number of scouts has increased each time Garza pitches. Garza, who is making $10.25 million this year, will be a free agent after this season, and could demand a deal similar to what Anibal Sanchez got — five years, $80 million.

Garza will be on the mound Monday night when the Cubs face the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in a makeup game.

– Carrie Muskat

7/7 Matt Garza rumors

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers were interested in Matt Garza last season, and nearly acquired him at the Trade Deadline. However, Garza had a stress reaction in his right elbow, and he didn’t pitch after July 21. The Rangers instead dealt for Ryan Dempster. The Rangers are reportedly pursuing Garza again this year. The right-hander is healthy, and will make his 10th start on Monday against the White Sox. He’s given up two earned runs over 30 innings in his last four starts.

– Carrie Muskat

6/30 Theo: 50-50 chance deal before break

Asked if he expected the Cubs to make a deal before the All-Star break, Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations said Sunday the chances are “50-50.” Matt Garza and Scott Feldman are drawing interest for teams looking for another starter, while teams also have inquired about closer Kevin Gregg, who blew his first save opportunity in 13 opportunities on Saturday.

The interest — and rumors — will continue up until the July 31 Trade Deadline.

There also have been reports that teams are inquiring about Nate Schierholtz but Epstein may be hard pressed to part with the outfielder, who has moved into the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

“He’s exceeded our expectations with the overall quality at-bats,” Epstein said of Schierholtz. “To hit him in the three-hole, he does a nice job. He can handle different kinds of pitching, give you a tough at-bat. He’s a threat to go deep if they make a mistake, runs the bases well, he’s been really reliable defensively. He’s done a nice job.”

Last year, the Cubs were active at the Trade Deadline, dealing pitchers Ryan Dempster and Paul Maholm, plus catcher Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker.

– Carrie Muskat

Rockies pursue numerous pitching targets

Will the Rockies make a move for a proven starting pitcher at, before or after the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31?

Here’s what we’re hearing, according to those with knowledge of the possibilities:

The Rockies are not considered prime contenders for the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, but it’s not impossible that they’ll talk to the Marlins. Nolasco is in the final year of his three-year, $26.5 million deal. With many clubs around baseball, including National League West contenders the Giants and the D-backs, being mentioned as possible trading partners, the question is whether the asking price will be too high in terms of prospects or Major League-ready players.

Another possibility is the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo, who is 6-7 with a 4.20 ERA, but in his last four starts is 2-1, 1.08. His last one was a clunker (eight hits and five runs, three earned, in four innings of a loss to the Cubs). Gallardo’s usually impressive stuff was so ordinary at the start of the year — he faced Colorado on Opening Day — that Rockies scouts are going to have to be convinced if the team is to pursue him seriously.

A sleeper team in the mix is the White Sox, who are willing to deal pretty much everyone but left-hander Chris Sale and slugger Paul Konerko. Expect the Rockies to pay attention to lefty John Danks, who had season-ending left shoulder surgery last August and has returned to make seven starts (1-5, 4.68 ERA). His last start was a good one – three runs, one earned, in 7 1/3 innings of a start against the Mets on Wednesday. Danks struck out seven, gave up seven hits, and didn’t walk anyone.

The Denver Post also includes Cubs starter Matt Garza among those the Rockies are “aggressively scouting,” and are taking a look at reliever Kevin Gregg. The Rockies have pursued Gregg as a setup man in the past.

Don’t forget, however, that the Rockies are always looking for bullpen help, and are taking a look at White Sox righty Jesse Crain, who is 2-2 with a 0.52 ERA in 36 appearances covering 34 2/3 innings. Back in 1999, Crain was Colorado’s high school player of the year at Fairview High in Boulder.

Thomas Harding

Is there still room on the Angels’ 2013 payroll?

The acquisition of Josh Hamilton was, in many ways, a two-for-one signing because it also allows general manager Jerry Dipoto to trade a suddenly-expendable player for another starting pitcher.

Question is: Can the Angels take on more payroll in the process?

Hamilton’s five-year, $125 million contract will pay him $17 million in 2013 ($15 million in salary, plus a $10 million signing bonus that’s dispersed evenly over the course of his five-year contract). That, in addition to arbitration projections and minimum contracts, puts the Angels’ 2013 payroll at roughly $159 million, which is about where they finished at last year.

Asked about expanding it further in case of adding a pricey arm, Angels president John Carpino basically said it would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“Instead of putting [the payroll] at a place where it’s, ‘This is where we’re at,’ it’s, ‘What’s the opportunity cost of doing it?’” Carpino said at Hamilton’s Saturday news conference. “So, if something became available that’s an opportunity cost, it just comes down to wanting to win. But it also has to make sense fiscally.”

Teams are a lot more willing to give up a would-be free agent than a cost-controlled arm, of course.

That’s why, with R.A. Dickey off the board, names like Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins ($11.5 million in his walk year), Gavin Floyd of the White Sox ($9.5 million in his walk year) and Matt Garza of the Cubs (projected $10 million in his final arbitration year) seem to be the most feasible. Rick Porcello of the Tigers (projected $4.7 million in his second arbitration year) has also been mentioned.

Peter Bourjos, who’s still a year away from arbitration and will make about $500,000 in 2013, appeals to many teams. Kendrys Morales, Vernon Wells and — seemingly to a lesser extent — Mark Trumbo can also be made available.

The Angels’ preference would be to acquire a young, pre-arbitration starter who won’t add to the budget (Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore of the Rays comes to mind). But whether or not that situation presents itself remains to be seen.

– Alden Gonzalez

7/28 Cubs wait for deadline to pass

There were no changes in the Cubs’ roster on Saturday, just attempts to ask Dale Sveum the same question: Are you eager for the Trade Deadline to pass?

“I think everybody is ready to get it behind us with everything that’s happened and all the rumors,” Sveum said. “Whether they happen or not, I think everybody will be glad it’s all over with. It’s not over with a lot of times because of the waiver wires. I think the main things will be shutdown one way or another [after Tuesday].”

The Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Ryan Dempster is scheduled to start that night against the Pirates.

– Carrie Muskat

7/27 Garza on hold

Teams interested in Matt Garza won’t be able to see him pitch again before Tuesday’s Trade Deadline.Garza will not pitch until late next week, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Friday. The right-hander underwent an MRI on his elbow, which showed evidence of the cramping but was otherwise clean. Garza came out of last Saturday’s start after three innings because of the cramping. He just needs to get back on a schedule. Even though he’s sidelined now, Garza could still be dealt. It’s up to the other team as to whether they want to take that risk. Monday’s starter for the upcoming series against the Pirates has yet to be determined, although it could be Justin Germano. Ryan Dempster will start Tuesday and Travis Wood on Wednesday.

– Carrie Muskat

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