Matt Garza was a prime candidate to be traded this summer, but the Cubs starter suffered an elbow injury that landed him on the disabled list. The injury all but killed any chance of Garza being traded before teams could seem him pitch again on a regular basis. But a trade during the Spring is still possible.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Cubs would listen to offers on a possible deal for Garza this Spring. If Garza can show during spring training that his elbow is good to go, interest could once again ratchet up. If that happens, the Cubs may be willing to deal him sooner rather than later.
Garza started just 18 games last season. He missed the final two months of the season with the elbow injury and all trade talks died down. We discussed back in September how the injury would affect Garza's chances of being traded in the Winter. We know now, he won't be traded until at least the Spring.
Garza is 29 years old and is in his final year of arbitration eligibility. For the Cubs to get any return on Garza, they have to trade him this season. He becomes a free agent after the year. Garza and the Cubs have not yet reached a deal on a contract for the 2013 season. If they can't, the two sides will go to arbitration. It's likely, though, that a deal is struck to avoid arbitration.
Garza made $9.5 million in 2012 after going through the arbitration process. He should not command too much of a raise this season because of the injury. Garza is 57-61 in his career with a 3.84 ERA.
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