CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman has the exclusive:
The Rangers and Cubs were set back on the Matt Garza talks to the point where the Rangers are now viewed as only one of many teams now in the mix for the star righthander.
The impressions left now is Texas and Chicago made no progress in overcoming the snag that derailed a deal for Garza Friday night — though the Rangers aren’t eliminated as both sides are still looking for deals.
The offer that was being discussed on Friday night involved Rangers prospects Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and Neil Ramirez. It’s not clear why the discussions suddenly fell apart, though Jim Bowden of SiriusXM suspects that it had something to do with the physical exams and specifically Ramirez’s shoulder.
Garza, 29, has registered a solid 3.17 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 62/20 K/BB ratio across 71 innings (11 starts) this season for fourth-place Chicago. He is scheduled to hit the free agent market this November.
Garza’s next turn in the Cubs’ rotation is Monday, so expect trade talks to heat up over the next 24 hours.
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.