Matt Garza is one of the Cubs’ best summer trade chips, but he might suddenly be damaged goods.
According to beat writer Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the right-hander was removed from Saturday’s game against the Cardinals after just three innings due to cramping in his right triceps. He fell down while trying to cover the first base bag on a double play earlier in the evening, and was later spotted stretching out his arm while chatting with a team trainer in the visitor’s dugout at Busch Stadium.
Garza has posted a solid 3.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 96/32 K/BB ratio through 103 2/3 innings this season.
X-rays were taken and came up negative, but the 28-year-old will be reevaluated by a specialist on Sunday. He’ll obviously be difficult to deal before the July 31 deadline if his injury is anything more than minor.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.