Matt Garza already drawing trade interest from six teams

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Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe is always a must-read. And it only gets better as MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

Cafardo reports today that “about six teams have been on the phone” consistently over the past few weeks with Cubs president Theo Epstein concerning the availability of right-handed starter Matt Garza.

Those six clubs: the Braves, Tigers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Jays, and Royals. With plenty of room for more.

Garza, 28, has registered a solid 4.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 72/22 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings (13 starts) this season for last-place Chicago. He’s making a $9.5 million salary here in 2012 and will eligible for arbitration for the final time heading into 2013. Epstein and Co. are obviously looking to get prospects in return.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.