Report: Cubs Ask Teams for Last and Best Offers for Matt Garza

According to a report from Buster Olney, the Cubs are asking teams for their last and best offers for Matt Garza. As reported earlier in the week, all signs are pointing to Matt Garza being traded before his next scheduled start on Monday in Arizona.

The Rangers and Cubs “have had extensive talks on Garza and discussed the framework of a trade” according to Ken Rosenthal and Texas still appears to be the front runner to land Garza. According to Buster Olney, minor league pitchers C.J. Edwards and Luke Jackson could be in the talks as the Cubs appear to be focused on adding pitching to the organization in any deal involving Garza.

Ken Rosenthal confirmed that other teams remain in the mix including the Dodgers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Indians. But the Cubs are not budging on their asking price and the Rangers “are the most motivated” to add Garza due to injuries in their starting rotation that includes Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis. According to rival executives that Jeff Passan has spoken with, if the Rangers do not match the Cubs asking price, the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Red Sox and Dodgers are seen as a likely destination for Garza.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News joined Jim Bowden and Casey Stern during Inside Pitch (XM Radio/MLB Network Radio) on Thursday afternoon to discuss the possibility of the Rangers acquiring Garza. Grant is not sure if the Rangers match up with the Cubs because Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are looking for top prospects that are near Major League ready. Grant said Martin Perez and Jurickson Profar would not be included in any deal for Garza.

Grant explained that Edwards and Jackson could be in the talks but both pitchers are further away from the big leagues than the type of players he is understanding the Cubs are looking for in a deal for Garza.

The Rangers selected C.J. Edwards in the 48th round of the 2011 draft. The 6-foot-2, 155 pound right hander is 21 years old (Sept. 3, 1991) and is pitching in A-ball this season. Edwards is 8-2 in 18 starts with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. In 93 1/3 innings, Edwards has surrendered 62 hits with 34 walks and 122 strikeouts.

Luke Jackson was the Rangers number one pick in the 2010 draft. Jackson is pitching at High-A and is 8-4 in 17 starts with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound 21-year old has struck out 93 batters, walked 41 and given up 70 hits in 88 1/3 innings this season.

Evan Grant confirmed earlier reports that Alfonso Soriano has been discussed with the Rangers as part of a deal for Matt Garza. Grant thinks the talks involving Soriano have come more from the Cubs than the Rangers. But Grant acknowledged the Rangers are looking to add a right-handed bat that can help them with their struggles with left-handed pitching.

James Russell

According to a report from Mark Bowman, James Russell is one of the left-handed relievers on the Braves’ wish list. The Braves are looking to add a lefty specialist to their bullpen and view Russell as one of the better options available.

Bowman did not mention what the Cubs are looking for in return for James Russell.

Ken Rosenthal reported that James Russell, along with Alfonso Soriano, Nate Schierholtz and Kevin Gregg are the Cubs that are in play.

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