The Cincinnati Reds, one of the hottest teams in baseball, are not satisfied with their current position atop the NL Central.
The Reds, seeking to fortify the top of their rotation for a potential playoff run, are talking to the Chicago Cubs about a trade for right-hander Matt Garza, according to major league sources.
Garza, 28, has not pitched since July 21 due to fluid in his triceps area, and will not pitch again until after the non-waiver deadline at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
One source said earlier this week that it was “doubtful” that the Cubs would trade Garza because the club would not accept a discounted return due to his injury.
However, a team such as the Reds could complete a deal for Garza if its medical staff determined that his injury is minor, and that he could join their rotation soon.
The Blue Jays, sources said, also are pursuing Garza, who is under club control through 2013. The Rangers, too, are interested in Garza, but they are struggling to find a match with the Cubs, according to a source.
The Reds, who also have been looking for a leadoff hitter, might be the most motivated of any suitor, considering the potential of Garza to make an impact in the postseason.
Right-hander Johnny Cueto likely would be the Reds’ Game 1 starter if they made the playoffs. Garza could start Game 2, and righty Mat Latos Game 3. Right-handers Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo and Mike Leake are the Reds’ other current starters.
A trade also could work financially for the Reds, even though Garza is owed more than $3 million for the rest of this season and could earn $11 million to $12 million next season in his final year of arbitration.
The Cubs, in all of their trade discussions, have shown a willingness to include cash for better players. It is not known which players they might be seeking from the Reds.
Garza, who is 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA, appeared in the postseason in 2008 and ’10 with the Tampa Bay Rays.