Cubs plan to talk extension with Matt Garza


The rebuilding Cubs reportedly explored the possibility of trading Matt Garza over the winter, but the club is now considering keeping him in the fold for the long haul.

According to David Kaplan of, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed earlier today that they plan to discuss a contract extension with the 28-year-old right-hander.

“We have a good relationship with Matt,” GM Jed Hoyer told Comcast SportsNet. “We need more Matt Garzas. We’ll sit down to talk to him about a deal. We’re hoping to get something worked out, but you never know and we’ll keep it private when we do.”

Garza remains under team control through the 2013 season. He avoided arbitration with the Cubs last month by agreeing to a one-year, $9.5 million contract. Garza could become trade bait again if the two sides fail to make progress on a deal, but he told Kaplan that he would be open to the idea of sticking around.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “What player doesn’t want the front office to commit to them? For me, it’s nothing but compliments. The way it goes is the way it goes. It’ll be behind closed doors. It’s huge for me. It would be huge for my family…I’m ready to help the Cubs win.”

Garza established new career-bests last season with a 3.32 ERA and 197 strikeouts. He owns a 3.83 ERA over his first six major-league seasons.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.