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.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.