UPDATE: Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com hears that the Rangers are also have interest in Garza.
11:36 PM: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Cubs and Reds are talking about a possible Garza deal. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jayson Stark was told by an executive that there’s now a “very high chance” that Garza is dealt before Tuesday’s deadline. The Blue Jays are said to be charging hard.
10:16 PM: The assumption has been that Matt Garza will remain with the Cubs through tomorrow’s trade deadline, as he was recently skipped in the rotation due to cramping in his right triceps. However, ESPN’s Jayson Stark is hearing otherwise.
According to Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com, Garza threw a bullpen session today for the first time since the injury. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said it went “extremely well,” but it’s not clear when he’ll make his next start. Some teams may want to see him pitch again before making an offer, so unless the Cubs are blown away at the last minute, they might be better served to make a deal in the offseason.
Garza, 28, has a 3.91 ERA and 96/32 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 innings across 18 starts this season. He’s due a raise from his $9.5 million salary this offseason in his final go-around in arbitration.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.