Matt Garza’s comeback from elbow problems has hit another snag, as the Cubs right-hander was scratched from a scheduled minor league rehab start at Double-A due to what the team is calling a “dead arm.”
General manager Jed Hoyer told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that the setback “is all muscular, nothing structural” in an attempt to frame things as not-terrible news, but Garza is nine months removed from his last MLB start and his recovery timetable has been put on hold.
Garza is an impending free agent, so the Cubs want him to get healthy so they can trade him for something before July 31 and he wants to get healthy so he can convince teams he’s worth a big long-term deal this winter.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.