That’s according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. The Rangers will consider just about anything as they attempt to improve before the deadline. That means Elvis Andrus. It means Joe Nathan. And it means the newly acquired Matt Garza, who was just picked up from the Cubs for four prospects nine days ago.
Garza is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two starts for his new team and 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA overall this season. If the Rangers traded him, it wouldn’t be a sign that they’re giving up on 2013; they’d want a big bat in return to put in their lineup alongside Adrian Beltre. Nelson Cruz is likely about to serve a 50-game Biogenesis suspension, and even with Cruz, the Rangers rank just ninth of the 15 AL teams in runs scored this year.
As for possible fits for Garza, it’s hard to come up with anything obvious. The Diamondbacks don’t have any expendable bats. The Rangers probably wouldn’t be all that interested in Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford from the Dodgers. A Garza-for-Carlos Beltran trade with the Cardinals might make sense if Oscar Taveras were healthy and ready to step into the St. Louis outfield, but he’s not. Garza to Atlanta for Justin Upton? Probably not. Garza to Baltimore for Nick Markakis? He’d be no lock to help the Rangers. Garza to Boston for Jacoby Ellsbury? That might have made a little sense before the Red Sox just got Jake Peavy, but not as is. Cleveland? It’d probably have to be a three-team deal with youngsters going elsewhere.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.
While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.
Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.
I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.
On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.