The latest on Matt Garza is that there’s nothing new to report.
The Brewers and Garza reportedly agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract on Thursday, but the team later announced that negotiations were ongoing and that no deal had been reached. The announcement was rather odd, especially when coupled with the news that he took a physical and was expected to be introduced as a press conference. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports, both sides were staying tight-lipped yesterday on the nature of the hold-up:
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin did not immediately respond to a telephone message, and assistant GM Gord Ash said he couldn’t comment. Garza’s agent, Nez Balelo, also declined to comment.
One source privy to the negotiations said there was no update as of mid-afternoon, and advised to “stay tuned.” He declined to say, even in general terms, what was impeding the deal.
Many have speculated that something came up during the physical, understandable given Garza’s injury history, but reports have indicated that the delay is not related to medical concerns. The Brewers have their annual “Brewers On Deck” fan fest scheduled for tomorrow, which could make for some awkward times if the silence continues.
Assuming a deal is eventually reached, Garza would join a rotation which is also set to include Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, and Wily Peralta.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.