Matt Garza Chatter Continues to Increase: First to Go? Many Teams Interested? What About an Extension?

matt garza cubsOn Monday, the big rumor of the day had the Cubs and Padres talking about a Matt Garza trade that would net the Cubs three prospects, one of which was Reymond Fuentes. That merely kicked off a serious uptick in Garza-related chatter this week, and came against the backdrop of Jed Hoyer conceding that the Cubs have had some level of trade talks with literally every single club in baseball over the past week. Maybe one of those conversations was with the Padres about Garza, as Gammons said he heard.

  • Further backing up that Garza/Padres rumor, both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman have heard that the Padres are interested in Garza. That’s not the only team interested, though, obviously. Rosenthal adds the Dodgers, and Heyman adds the Giants.
  • Jayson Stark reports that extension talks between the Cubs and Garza, if and when they ever existed, haven’t been productive, as Garza wants a “bigger, lengthier” deal than the Cubs are comfortable with, according to Stark. I think you’d find very little disagreement that keep Garza on a three-year, $35 to $40 million deal would be the best possible move. But if Garza wants to take his chances to get more – could you blame him? – the Cubs are going to have to try and maximize his value before the Trade Deadline. The possibility of a compensatory pick isn’t really all that attractive, despite what the recent Draft-induced high might have done to your sense of relative value.
  • Speaking of Garza and an extension, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer ain’t talkin’. “[Garza is] a big part of this team right now, and throwing the ball well,” Hoyer told the media, including Carrie Muskat. “I’m happy for Matt that he feels as good as he does about how he’s pitching, and how he’s feeling. We’re not going to discuss whether we’re talking about an extension or trade.”
  • Bruce Levine says he thinks Garza will be the first Cub traded before the Deadline, adding that it could come as soon as the next seven to ten days. Levine doesn’t see the Cubs wanting to risk an injury or ineffective spate torpedoing Garza’s value.
  • Stark also adds that one NL exec predicted Garza would be the first pitcher traded. As we discussed earlier, it sounds like the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco could have something to say about that.
  • Garza’s case sure is an interesting one for the Cubs. On the one hand, they might feel once-bitten-twice-shy about holding onto Garza until the Deadline to try and get the best possible deal. On the other hand, with two injuries very near in the rearview mirror, Garza probably has a ton of value to reclaim if he keeps pitching well and stays heathy over the next month. One thing is fairly certain: if the Cubs are set on trading Garza, rather than extending him, they’ll want to space out trades involving Garza and Scott Feldman. You don’t want to be competing with your own merchandise late in July.
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    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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