This from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:
Hard to read the Cubs, since they’re building for the future while also signing veteran pitchers. [Matt] Garza still has to show teams in spring training that his injured elbow is OK; the Cubs would listen on a possible deal.
Garza missed the final two months of the 2012 season due to a stress reaction in his right elbow, but he’s enjoyed a normal offseason to this point and is expected to be fully healthy when major league camp opens in February.
The 29-year-old boasts a stellar 3.52 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in 49 total starts with the Cubs. He is eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this season, which means he’ll be a free agent in the fall.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.