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.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.