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Cubs reportedly close to acquiring Matt Garza

Jan 5, 2011, 2:18 AM EST

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The Chicago Cubs are close to making a deal to acquire starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The report, which did not mention what players the Rays might be seeking in such a deal, said that the Cubs became frontrunners to acquire Garza after the Texas Rangers signed free agent pitcher Brandon Webb and tossed a bunch of money at Adrian Beltre.

Garza, who was 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA over 204.2 innings last season, would solidify a Cubs rotation that already includes Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Carlos Silva. The 27-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance, throwing a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers last July 26, and a one-hitter in 2008.

But he hasn’t harnessed those talents on consistently as the Rays might have hoped, and is also due a nice raise in arbitration from the $3.35 million he made in 2010, making him a valuable trade commodity for cost-conscious Tampa Bay.

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  1. Ari Collins - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Good move for the Rays. I hope they get a nice young hitter for Garza, but whether it’s a piece for now or later, it’s a good move, considering they have the best pitching prospect in baseball to plug in his place.

  2. florida727 - Jan 5, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    My daughter’s going to be extremely upset :) She’s a big Garza fan. He shops at the store she works at. I was at Hellickson’s debut. “Ari” is right, plug-in-and-go…

  3. BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    I don’t get this at all. Why not move Shields instead? Garza still has upside. Shields is pretty much at the peak.

    • hackerjay - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Because Shields has almost no trade value right now?

      • Ick McWang - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        a shame, but pretty much on point. his only value is to teams like the rays, who need an innings-eating guy (over 200 for what, 4 years straight now?) on a team friendly contract. Im not sure but I don’t think shields makes but a couple million a year and is still locked up for a few more. 2 or 3 million i snothing for a starting pitcher who will give you 4ish ERA and 200+ innings

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