UPDATE: Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Matt Garza suffered a stress reaction in his right elbow and is sidelined indefinitely.
5:47 PM: After keeping him on the active roster but unavailable to pitch for two weeks the Cubs are expected to finally place Matt Garza on the disabled list with a strained right triceps.
Tests showed no structural damage, but fluid around the muscle left him unable to pitch and ruled out the Cubs being able to trade Garza by the July 31 deadline.
He was initially penciled in to pitch Tuesday against the Padres, but those plans were canceled after two weekend bullpen sessions left Garza sore. For now the Cubs continue to insist the injury is minor, but if they’re going to trade Garza it’ll have to wait until the offseason.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.