Matt Garza and the Cubs “have discussed some contract options that would keep him in Chicago” beyond this season, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago.
Garza is an impending free agent who’s healthy for the first time since the middle of last season and pitching well, so the Cubs wanting to keep him around wouldn’t exactly be shocking.
Of course, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com had a similar report today as well, which suggests the Cubs are getting that information to the media. Why would they do that? Well, there’s been speculation about Garza being on the trading block for a long time now and when the Cubs are talking to other teams it would certainly help their leverage if potentially not trading Garza and instead keeping him long term was viewed as a legitimate possibility.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.