Matt Garza’s Future and Other Cubs News and Notes

Ken Rosenthal reported on Monday that Matt Garza is making progress in his rehab from a strained left lat, and Garza is on target to return sometime in May. Once Garza is healthy enough to pitch, the Cubs will have to make a decision … trade him prior to the deadline for the right package or offer him a qualifying offer in the off-season that would net the team a high draft pick if Garza rejects the qualifying offer and signs with another team.

When Garza returns and if he can stay healthy then he could be a hot commodity on the free agent market next winter. Garza has not pitched a full season since the Cubs acquired him in January of 2011. Rosenthal reported that “the qualifying offer next off-season figures to be between $13 million and $14 million.” Garza avoided arbitration and signed a one-year deal for this season in January worth $10.25 million.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Garza is already on a few teams’ wish lists once he proves he is healthy, and figures to receive a lot of interest from contending teams leading up to the deadline.

Cubs Baseball Operations

During Tom Ricketts’ press conference on Monday, Bruce Levine asked how soon the Wrigley Field deal will benefit the baseball side and allow Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to spend freely like other big market teams.

Tom Ricketts said “the extra dollars would be generated for the baseball department but did not clarify when.”

Ricketts denied a report from the Sun-Times last week that there is a disconnect between the baseball side and the business department.

Levine reported that the restoration to Wrigley will cost $300 million and the $200 million for the hotel will be paid with separate funds by a Ricketts LLC, the same LLC that purchased the McDonald’s property. The Cubs will receive a boost in revenue from a new TV deal as well as the advertising on the jumbotron.

Levine also reported that the Cubs “must pay $40 million a year over 15 years in debt service for their purchase of the Cubs in 2009.”

David Kaplan reported last week that Theo Epstein is confident he has the Cubs on the right path.

News Bits

Darwin Barney finished his rehab stint with the Iowa Cubs on Monday. Barney went 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Barney was 5-for-10 with a double, three walks, three strikeouts and a stolen base in his three games with the I-Cubs.

Ian Stewart has played two games with Iowa, both at third base. Stewart is 0-for-7 with a walk, a RBI and four strikeouts.

Comcast SportsNet reported that the proposed 6,000 square foot jumbotron would be the sixth largest in baseball behind Safeco Field (Mariners), Kauffman Stadium (Royals), Citizens Bank Park (Phillies), Minute Maid Park (Astros) and Comerica Park (Tigers) … and the Cubs proposed addition to Wrigley would be almost half the size of the one in Seattle (11,425 square feet).

The Marlins signed Jay Jackson to a minor league contract. The Cubs released Jackson on April 4.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax