There were scouts aplenty on hand in Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon to watch Matt Garza pitch. Most of them stayed over after watching Scott Feldman pitch on Wednesday night. According to reports, scouts from the Nationals, Dodgers, Orioles, Blue Jays and Phillies were on hand to watch Garza on Thursday. The Blue Jays have shown a lot of interest in Garza in the past.
George Ofman reported just prior to Thursday’s game, that if Garza pitched well against the Brewers he could be traded over the weekend. According to Ofman, the Rangers “really want him.” The Cubs and Rangers were very close on a deal last July that would have sent Garza to Texas for a package of prospects that was believed to include Mike Olt and Martin Perez.
Matt Garza appears to be a hot commodity, and his recent performances may have increased his value. Garza has allowed two runs on 15 hits with five walks and 23 strikeouts over his last three starts (22 innings, 0.81 ERA, 0.91 WHIP).
If the Cubs have decided to trade Garza, it would seem that sooner, rather than later would be better in order to maximize his value. Garza was recently labeled “a pennant-race-changing arm” and teams appear to be lining up to at least take a look and find out what it will cost them.
Matt Garza is used to the trade rumors and is not worried about them since he’s dealt with them throughout his career.
Both starters the Cubs appear to be shopping could end up battling each other down the stretch for a division title. All of the teams in the NL West are looking to upgrade their staffs and both Matt Garza and Scott Feldman have been connected to those teams.
Scouts from the Rangers, Giants, Nationals and Blue Jays were among the 12 teams on hand to watch Scott Feldman pitch on Wednesday night. Scott Feldman helped his stock on Wednesday night with another quality start and like Garza, his time with the Cubs appears to be coming to an end.
The Giants and Padres appear to be very interested in Feldman and would be a good fit for him. The Cubs appear to be talking to the Padres about both Feldman and Garza which makes sense due to Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod’s familiarity with San Diego’s system.
According to a report from Mark Bowman, the Braves are one of many teams interested in trading for Kevin Gregg. The Braves are looking to bolster their pen and are expected to land at least one veteran reliever before the deadline. And there is a connection to Gregg and Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez from their days together in Miami.
Well it seems Kirk Gibson was impressed with Jeff Samardzija after all. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks are interested in Jeff Samardzija. Rosenthal reported the two teams have not engaged in discussions and it is believed Samardzija could “only be had for an overwhelming package.”
Rosenthal correctly pointed out the Cubs view Samardzija as a cornerstone but they have not been able to sign him to an extension yet. The Cubs tried to lockup Samardzija last winter but Samardzija wanted to wait until he had a couple of years as a fulltime starter under his belt before signing a lont-term contract.
Rosenthal reported that Arizona is not the only team that would like to acquire Samardzija. The cost would figure to be prohibitive, according to Rosenthal, and teams know it would cost a ton to trade for Samardzija to the point the Cubs have not “received any hits” on him.
Jim Bowden thinks there is a 25 percent chance that the Cubs will trade Alfonso Soriano prior to the deadline. The Cubs are still willing to eat a majority of his remaining contract for the right prospect or prospects in return. Bowden thinks Soriano would be a fit for teams such as the Orioles, Giants, Yankees and Rangers.
News, Notes and More Rumors
The Cubs announced the signing of fourth-round draft pick, RHP Tyler Skulina on Thursday. The Cubs signed Skulina for $800,000 … $322,700 over-slot.
Jim Bowden thinks there is a 30 percent chance that the Cubs will trade Nate Schierholtz and he put the chances at around 40 percent the Cubs will deal David DeJesus before the deadline.
According to Peter Gammons, add the Red Sox to the list of teams looking to add a starting pitcher before the deadline.
Aramis Ramirez was shocked when he received a phone call from Carlos Marmol just after the Cubs cut him. Ramirez sees the move as a positive one for his good friend.
According to Buster Olney, the Yankees are talking to Ian Stewart about a minor league contract. Stewart is apparently garnering a lot of attention and is weighing his options according to Jon Heyman.