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Texas hold-on: Garza told to expect trade, waits
DENVER – If the Texas Rangers hope to have Matt Garza in their rotation for Saturday’s open spot in the rotation, they may have waited to too long to close the deal that was reported to be close throughout the day Friday.
The Cubs hottest pitcher, who still is expected to be traded by the time his scheduled turning the Cubs’ rotation comes Monday, did a full between-starts regimen Friday afternoon as he admittedly awaits word of a trade.
“When [the phone] rings, it’ll be real,” he said. “Right now it is what it is, and you just keep going about your business.”
Garza, who has been traded twice in his career, acknowledged that his agent was told by the team to expect a trade but until then is keeping his mind on a potential start Monday in Arizona, he said.
“Last year they told me something could happen,” said Garza, who was on the verge of being traded to Texas until suffering a season-ending elbow injury in late July. “The year before that something could and did happen. Year before that, it was something that could happen. So my past has been a lot of `coulds.’ “
As the afternoon pushed toward game time, the Texas deal that was “close” seemed far less certain.
One Cubs source said a “mystery” NL team could intercept the Rangers’ efforts and get Garza.
The Washington Nationals appeared to be that team, but a major league source close to the Nats front office said Washington is unwilling to take what’s left of Garza’s $10.25-million salary.
The Cubs have asked a high price on Garza – the top commodity on the trade market – since fielding offers weeks ago. Several major league sources say Garza’s recent injury history (including two elbow bone-related injuries) makes some teams balk at considering him a long-term extension candidate in a trade.
And the high price becomes a bigger issue if he’s considered a 2 ½-month rental, especially after the Los Angeles Angels paid a steep price for Zack Greinke last July – then failed to make the playoffs and failed to keep Greinke on an extension.
Garza is 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last six starts.
“I’m just going to keep going until a `could’ turns into a `does,’ and I’ll keep doing what I do,” Garza said, “and keep to a nice time-old saying form Finding Nemo: `Just keep swimming, guys.’ That’s it. Keep swimming.”