Matt Garza was limited to two starts after the All-Star break last season due to a stress reaction in his elbow and a lat strain kept him from making his season debut this year until May 21, but he’s heating up at the right time for the rebuilding Cubs.
Garza struck out 10 batters over seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-2 win over the Brewers this afternoon at Miller Park. He has allowed just two runs in 22 innings over his last three starts and now owns a solid 3.83 ERA and 47/15 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings through eight starts this season.
Garza, 29, is making $10.25 million this season and will hit the free agent market this winter. Save for the possibility that the Phillies listen to offers for left-hander Cliff Lee, he could be the top starting pitcher available leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.
Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.
Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.