The Cubs have been dangling Matt Garza on the trade market all winter. But they clearly haven’t been blown away by any one offer, and may now put the whole effort to rest for the next couple of months.
A major league executive told FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi this weekend that the Cubs are “more likely” to move Garza at the July 31 trade deadline than before the start of the 2012 regular season.
Garza registered a solid 3.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 31 starts last season, striking out 197 batters and issuing only 63 walks across 198 innings of work.
The 28-year-old right-hander will make a $9.5 million salary this year in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility. If he gets off to a hot start in 2012, trade interest could be very high come late July.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.