The Red Sox are interested in Matt Garza

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I’m struggling to recall the last time we heard something from Phil Rogers’ Sunday “Whispers” column that was both (a) juicy; and (b) actually happened, but this one at least has (a) covered:  The Red Sox are reportedly interested in Matt Garza. Rogers says that Garza is “high on the list.”

Which makes sense. Garza’s strikeout rate is way up from a year ago.  Blame some crappy defense behind him in Chicago and some bad luck for his record and ERA, but he’s still a fine pitcher who would be an awesome fit for a contender. But of course, the stuff that makes him so awesome — his stuff and, most especially the fact that he’s under team control for two and a half more years — makes it really unlikely that the Cubs would want to trade him.

So maybe he’s high on the Red Sox’ list of targets, but I can’t think of a reason why he’s be anywhere on the Cubs’ radar as trade fodder.

U.S Defeats World in a power-packed Futures Game

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They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.

If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.

Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.

Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?

There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:

Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.