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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.