Nationals “have kicked the tires on” Matt Garza

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has it:

The Nationals have kicked the tires on Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, one person familiar with the situation said. Talks between the teams have not progressed to the point of the Nationals offering the Cubs a formal proposal.

Garza is also thought to be drawing trade interest from the Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Indians and Dodgers, so he is not going to be an easy (or inexpensive) get for the team that ultimately acquires him.

Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that the Cubs wanted two of the Orioles’ top five prospects — infielder Jonathan Schoop and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez — in exchange for Garza.

Garza has an excellent 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 52/18 K/BB ratio through his first 57 1/3 innings this season with Chicago. The 29-year-old is scheduled to hit the free agent market in November.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.