When Matt Garza left his last start after three innings this weekend, it quickly became apparent that, if the Cubs were hoping at least have the option of trading Garza before the Trade Deadline, he was going to have to make his next scheduled start – and look very, very healthy in doing so.
Unfortunately, he won’t be making that scheduled start on Friday.
Dale Sveum says, for now, he expects Travis Wood to take Garza’s turn on Friday. Because of the off-day on Thursday, Wood would be pitching on normal rest. The hope, right now, is that the extra rest could give Garza a chance to come back strong in one final start before the Trade Deadline (Tuesday), perhaps on Saturday or Sunday.
Sveum isn’t committing, though.
“Garza is better today and there’s some improvement,” Sveum said earlier, according to Carrie Muskat. “[His arm is] not quite extendable but he doesn’t seem to be concerned about it. I think [Tuesday] will be the big day to do the evaluation. That’s when we’ll have to make some decisions and line up stuff.”
If Garza comes out guns blazing on Saturday, maybe this all blows over. Maybe delaying a guy’s start by a day or two after he suffered a “triceps cramp,” won’t be seen as a big deal. But, the truth is, I can’t imagine that interested teams will view this move kindly.
Fortunately, if the Cubs work to line up a trade on Garza, I really don’t believe they’re going to accept anything less than full asking price, based on this injury. If teams are scared off, so be it, and the Cubs will re-evaluate the wisdom of dealing Garza in the offseason. No, they probably won’t get quite as much in return then, but that’s no reason to take pennies on the dollar right now.
Further, it’s not as if Garza’s full medical reports won’t be on the table for any team that wants to see them. Maybe they’ll be able to satisfy themselves that this really is a flukey cramp situation, and believe that Garza will come back strong.
If today’s trade activity is any indication, here’s hoping Garza does come back – the trade market looks awfully strong for sellers right now.