Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Garza's season came to an early end last year due to a stress reaction in his elbow. The Chicago Cubs' ace is working his way back from the injury and has already reported to camp to work on his delivery and get back into pitching-shape.
Matt Garza likely won't finish the season with the Chicago Cubs. However, in order for the team to get any trade value out of him, Garza will have to prove the injury that shut him down for the second half of the 2012 season is a thing of the past. He has gotten off to a fast start in showing that this year.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Garza has looked good in workouts at the Cubs' spring training facility in Arizona. Muskat quoted manager Dale Sveum who was impressed with Garza's performance thus far.
"The ball's coming out of his hand really well. He's in great shape, great attitude"
Garza was a heavily-pursued trade target throughout much of the 2012 season. However, the injury effectively ended any chance the Cubs had at dealing their veteran righty. Last season marked the second-consecutive year the Cubs were active in trying to trade Garza. He has performed well over his career, but most think the Cubs will not be able to afford Garza once he hits free agency.
Related: A look back at the Cubs by the numbers.
The 29-year old pitcher is in his final year of arbitration eligibility. This is essentially the last chance the Cubs have to trade him, and even now, they will get a far smaller return than they would have last year or the season before. Any team who trades for Garza this season will be getting a half-season rental, or they will have to work out a long-term extension before the 2013 season ends. Depending on how Garza pitches this year, there may not be too many teams interested in making that deal.
Garza has pitched in seven Major League seasons. He has a 57-61 record with a 3.84 ERA. Garza has actually had his most success while as a member of the Cubs, posting a 3.52 ERA in two seasons with Chicago. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins then eventually dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of a multi-player deal. The Rays then dealt Garza to the Cubs to ensure they would not be faced with trying to afford his future contracts. Garza made $10.25 million last season.