Cubs, Padres talking Matt Garza-Anthony Rizzo trade?

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According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, the Padres have expressed interest in acquiring right-handed starter Matt Garza from the Cubs in a package trade that would include 22-year-old first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

It’s not yet known which other names are involve in the talks, or how far along the negotiations are.

Rizzo was made expendable Saturday when the Padres picked up first base prospect Yonder Alonso in a five-player trade with the Reds. Alonso is expected to open the 2012 season as San Diego’s starting first baseman.

Garza, 28, posted a 3.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 31 starts this past year for the Cubs, fanning 197 batters and walking only 63 across 198 total innings. He’s arbitration-eligible for two more seasons.

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.