Griffin: Jays reportedly interested in Garza at deadline
The Jays are interested in acquiring Cubs' righthander Matt Garza. Despite the fact Garza was unable to make his latest start because of right triceps cramping, major-league sources indicate that the Blue Jays remain interested in the 28-year-old prior to Tuesday's trade deadline without waivers.
The Jays are believed to have already asked the Cubs for permission to conduct a physical exam of the ailing veteran who is 5-7, with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts in 2012 and has not pitched since July 21. Garza left his last start at St. Louis, after three shutout innings, 33 pitches.
The lingering biceps problem was believed to have dampened the interest in Garza, who is earning $9.5 million on a one-year contract this year, is arbitration eligible in '13 and a potential free agent in 2014.
The thought was that because he had been unable to make his start before the deadline to show he was healthy, that he would remain in Chicago until the end of the year. Garza threw a Monday bullpen and is believed to be back in full health. He was slated to re-enter the Cubs' rotation later in the week after his pain-free session.
“Matt threw a full bullpen and it went entirely well,'' manager Dale Sveum told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He threw all his pitches, had velocity, he extended himself wth sliders and changeups. It went well. We'll see how he feels (Tuesday) and hopefully schedule him in three or four days.'”
The Jays entered the week sixth in the wildcard standings, 3-1/2 games behind the additional wild-card holding Angels. The Jays made an earlier trade for starter J.A. Happ with the Astros, but he remains in long relief for the moment. Injured righthander Brandon Morrow made a rehab start at A-Dunedin on Sunday and if he stays healthy, could return to the Jays' rotation in mid-to-late August.
Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos remains aggressive in acquiring talent to help his major-league roster but prefers that a player be controllable at least through 2013. Anthopoulos prefers starting pitchers that have had success in the very competitive AL East. The Jays have a deep inventory of low minor-league pitchers and major-league ready outfielders.