“Nothing” to report of Red Sox’s interest in Matt Garza

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Yesterday when Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Red Sox were interested in Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, Calcaterra noted that it’s been a while since any rumors in Rogers’ weekly column “actually happened.”

And now 24 hours later Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com talked to “a baseball source familiar with the Cubs’ thinking” who said there’s “nothing” to the Garza rumor.

That doesn’t mean Garza isn’t “high on the list” of starters being targeted by the Red Sox, like Rogers reported, but either McAdam’s source doesn’t know about their interest or the extent of that interest has been overstated.

We’re still three weeks from the July 31 trade deadline, which means you can expect plenty more conflicting reports about teams’ interest in various players. Our goal here is to sift through everything and pass along the rumors and speculation that seems worthwhile, which sometimes means this type of he said/he said stuff.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.

Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.