Cubs discussing Matt Garza extension

Thearon W. Henderson

Weeks before the trade deadline, the Cubs are suddenly interested in extending Matt Garza. Hmm...

The Chicago Cubs and pitcher Matt Garza are discussing a long-term extension according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

Cubs officials recently have broached such a possibility, and while a trade still remains an option for Garza, for the first time in more than a year there are discussions about possibly signing Garza long-term. It had been presumed for weeks he would be traded for sure.

Despite this report, Garza will likely be moved despite the contract extension discussions according to a report from Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago:

Garza is due to become an unrestricted free agent after this season and it's likely the Cubs will either trade him or sign him to a new deal before July 31. The source claims the sides haven't had serious discussions about a long-term deal but still haven't ruled it out.

Garza is among the top starting pitchers on the market and is in the prime of his career at age 29. His year to year consistency makes him an attractive asset to any team in the playoff run. Garza is a free agent after the season and will likely demand a salary in the $12-16MM range for three to five years.

Since returning from a stress reaction in his elbow and lat strain, Garza has pitched well with a 3.45 ERA, 52 strike outs, a 1.12 WHIP, a .218 BAA in 57.1 inning through nine starts. In his last 30 innings, Garza has only allowed three earned runs. The righty was heavily rumored to be part of trade discussions last year before injuries ended his 2012 season.

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