matt garza getty

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.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.