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Matt Garza to become free agent


Brewers’ right-hander Matt Garza is set to enter free agency following the 2017 season,’s Adam McCalvy reports. Garza was previously thought to have a $5 million vesting option for the 2018 season, but it was voided after he pitched a certain number of games. Even had it been in place, however, it’s unlikely the Brewers would have chosen to exercise it based on Garza’s regression this year.

It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for the veteran righty, who’s seen more valleys than peaks after racking up almost 50 days on the disabled list with a right groin strain, chest contusion and lower leg strain. He went 6-9 in 19 starts and pitched to a rotation-worst 4.94 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 6.2 SO/9 over 114 2/3 innings.

Garza is not expected to return to Milwaukee after finishing out a four-year run with the club, during which he compiled a 26-39 record and 4.65 ERA over a total 528 1/3 innings. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last start with the team, holding the Reds to five runs on six hits and two walks, but returned later in September to record a pair of scoreless relief appearances.

With or without the right-hander, the Brewers are still expected to be in the market for starting pitching this offseason. They’re currently running with a four-man rotation and aren’t expected to see right-hander Jimmy Nelson (shoulder surgery) until late in the 2018 season.

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era

There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: