Cubs plan to talk extension with Matt Garza

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The rebuilding Cubs reportedly explored the possibility of trading Matt Garza over the winter, but the club is now considering keeping him in the fold for the long haul.

According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed earlier today that they plan to discuss a contract extension with the 28-year-old right-hander.

“We have a good relationship with Matt,” GM Jed Hoyer told Comcast SportsNet. “We need more Matt Garzas. We’ll sit down to talk to him about a deal. We’re hoping to get something worked out, but you never know and we’ll keep it private when we do.”

Garza remains under team control through the 2013 season. He avoided arbitration with the Cubs last month by agreeing to a one-year, $9.5 million contract. Garza could become trade bait again if the two sides fail to make progress on a deal, but he told Kaplan that he would be open to the idea of sticking around.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “What player doesn’t want the front office to commit to them? For me, it’s nothing but compliments. The way it goes is the way it goes. It’ll be behind closed doors. It’s huge for me. It would be huge for my family…I’m ready to help the Cubs win.”

Garza established new career-bests last season with a 3.32 ERA and 197 strikeouts. He owns a 3.83 ERA over his first six major-league seasons.

Yankees to activate Greg Bird tomorrow

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The Yankees have the best offense in all of baseball. Now they’re about to add a big power threat: Greg Bird will be activated tomorrow.

Bird has missed the entire year since undergoing ankle surgery to remove a spur back in March. He’s been on the mend of late, however, and recently completed a stretch of 12 rehab games in which he didn’t hit a ton, but he showed that he was healthy and that’s always been the biggest thing with him. As you’ll recall, he missed considerable time with trouble in the same ankle last season.

Bird has always shown considerable promise, and the Yankees — despite scoring runs in bunches — could use a little left-handed power and some better production at first base. Bird, hopefully, will be able to provide it.