The Chicago Cubs are making progress in trade talks involving Matt Garza with at least two teams, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. A deal over the All-Star break appears likely, and many teams have shown consistent interest in the 29-year old, who made what is likely his last start in a Cubs' uniform on Saturday night.
Those two teams may be the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, who ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine reports are the frontrunners to acquire the right-hander. Levine also notes that the Red Sox, Indians and Giants have shown interest in Garza.
The Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox and Rangers are teams who are most prominently interested in Garza, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the Tigers, Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays were all scouting the Cubs on Saturday, but that most of those teams were likely looking at other available players. The Orioles are out of the talks unless there is a dramatic change, according to a later tweet from Olney
Because Garza is one of three impact pitchers currently available on the trade market (along with Bud Norris and Yovani Gallardo), the Cubs' asking price has been very high, according to reports. The team is likely seeking two or three top prospects, and they will have to sift through the multiple offers for Garza in determining the best return.
Although many reports suggested that Garza was discussing an extension with the Cubs in recent days, the likelihood of a trade is much greater than a long-term commitment.
In ten starts since returning from injury in late May, Garza is 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 71 innings of work. He is a free agent after the season, and has long been rumored to be available in the Cubs' firesale this summer. Nate Schierholtz, Kevin Gregg, Alfonso Soriano, James Russell and Dioner Navarro have also been the subject of trade talks.