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.
Update (5:16 PM ET): ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting that the deal is final.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.