Matt Garza already drawing trade interest from six teams

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Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe is always a must-read. And it only gets better as MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

Cafardo reports today that “about six teams have been on the phone” consistently over the past few weeks with Cubs president Theo Epstein concerning the availability of right-handed starter Matt Garza.

Those six clubs: the Braves, Tigers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Jays, and Royals. With plenty of room for more.

Garza, 28, has registered a solid 4.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 72/22 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings (13 starts) this season for last-place Chicago. He’s making a $9.5 million salary here in 2012 and will eligible for arbitration for the final time heading into 2013. Epstein and Co. are obviously looking to get prospects in return.

Padres reportedly interested in J.T. Realmuto

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LAS VEGAS — Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Padres have “genuine interest” in Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto.

The Mets have been the most frequently mentioned suitor for Realmuto’s services, but over the weekend a report emerged that that their talks with Miami had lost some momentum, so perhaps that creates an opening for some other teams. For their part, the Padres have a loaded farm system which may interest the Marlins a great deal, even if they’ve publicly said they want major league talent for their best player. San Diego’s interest in Realmuto is obviously, of course. He’s probably the best catcher in the game at the moment. If, as some suspect, the Padres are poised to turn the corner into competitiveness in 2019, Realmuto could play a key role in that.

Realmuto, who will be 28 on Opening Day, hit .277/.340/.484 with 21 homers last year, which earned him both All-Star and Silver Slugger honors. He’s also one of the best defensive catchers in the game. It’d take a haul of talent to get him, but he is easily the most appealing position player on the trading block this offseason.