The Garza Watch Continues and Other Cubs Notes

The trade that was supposed to happen on Friday is still in limbo and might not happen at this point. Matt Garza remains with the Cubs and is preparing to make his start in Arizona on Monday night. Most still think Garza will still be dealt before Monday but what was thought to be imminent two days ago is in doubt and if reports from Texas are correct, it could be dead.

The Cubs appear to have backed out of the deal after reviewing the medicals of the prospects they would have received from Texas for Matt Garza. Reports have not surfaced on which player or players did not check out but Neil Ramirez told ESPN Dallas that his shoulder is fine.

The Cubs have re-engaged talks with other teams about Garza, including the Oakland Athletics. The A’s have serious interest in Matt Garza according to Ken Rosenthal. Reports have not surfaced about which players have been discussed with Oakland in a possible deal for Garza.

The Indians are very interested in trading for Garza but not for what the Cubs are asking for in return. The Cubs have been trying to trade for third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall for a couple of years and according to multiple reports the Cubs asked for Chisenhall to be included in a deal for Garza. The Indians balked at the asking price according to a report from Paul Hoynes. The Indians feel that Chisenhall will eventually hit and are not willing to give up on him yet.

As for Chris Rusin, he is still pitching on the same day as Matt Garza down in Triple-A. Rusin reportedly took a couple of days away from the I-Cubs after the Triple-A All-Star game and flew to Texas on Saturday to catch-up with his Iowa teammates. Rusin is scheduled to start Monday’s game at Principal Park against the New Orleans Zephyrs.

The Rangers lost Saturday night, a game they were hoping to have Matt Garza start. Texas has dropped six of seven and could be willing to match the Cubs asking price even with Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando expected back early in the week.

Carlos Villanueva

According to multiple reports following Saturday night’s loss in Denver, Carlos Villanueva’s spot in the rotation is in jeopardy. Dale Sveum was not happy with the sequence of events in the fourth inning that led to the Rockies taking the lead. Villanueva walked pitcher Juan Nicasio with a 3-2 slider then threw a fastball to Dexter Fowler on a 3-2 pitch. Sveum called the pitch selection backwards. The walk to Nicasio was the 12th free pass issued by Cubs’ pitchers this season to the opposing pitcher.

The Cubs could turn to Jake Arrieta to fill Villanueva’s rotation spot over the final two months of the season. And the team is looking for Scott Baker to be able to fill Matt Garza’s spot once Garza is traded.

Sveum said the Cubs have had discussions about the rotation but would not tip his hand following Saturday’s game.

Pedro Strop

Dale Sveum mentioned the possibility of Pedro Strop sliding into the closer’s role once Kevin Gregg is traded. The Cubs are expected to move Gregg at some point before July 31. Strop’s performance since being acquired from the Orioles in the Scott Feldman deal has apparently moved him ahead of Blake Parker as the prime candidate to pitch the ninth inning once Gregg is gone.

Blake Parker was the next in line for the ninth inning last month. But things in baseball change on a daily basis and Strop has been very good in a short time with the Cubs.

David DeJesus

David DeJesus returned to the field on Saturday night and hit leadoff for the AZL Cubs, the first of what figures to be at least a week of rehab games.

DeJesus went 0-for-1 with a walk before the game was suspended due to rain after four innings.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt