UPDATE: The Tigers have some more competition. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins also have “serious interest” in Garza.
The Cubs are believed to have prospect outfielder and 2010 first-round pick Christian Yelich on their radar while Rosenthal hears the Marlins are willing to part with the likes of first baseman Gaby Sanchez, outfielder Chris Coghlan, reliever Jose Ceda and third base prospect Matt Dominguez in potential trades.
10:25 PM: It’s no secret that the Cubs are shopping right-hander Matt Garza as the new front office lays the groundwork for a rebuilding plan. Early word had the Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox as potential landing spots. However, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com hears that the Tigers have also emerged as as suitor.
The Tigers were involved in trade talks with the Athletics for left-hander Gio Gonzalez before he was traded to the Nationals last week. However, talks fell apart after they refused to give up prospect third baseman Nick Castellanos along with prospect right-hander Jacob Turner. The thought is that the price tag won’t be nearly as high for Garza, as he is under team control through 2013 while Gonzalez is under team control through 2015. Should still be pretty hefty, though.
Garza, who turned 28 in November, owns a 3.83 ERA over his first six seasons in the big leagues, averaging 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. He posted a 3.32 ERA and a career-high 197 strikeouts over 198 innings this past season with the Cubs.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.