The Texas Rangers are moving closer to acquiring right-hander Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs, according to an official involved in the discussions.
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The teams have had extensive talks on Garza and discussed the framework of a deal, but other clubs remain in the mix, major league sources say.
One of those teams is the Los Angeles Dodgers, who maintained interest in Garza even after acquiring right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins.
The Rangers, however, are the “most motivated” of any team in the discussions, sources say.
The Cubs, in trying to formulate their return for Garza, have discussed Rangers prospects at various levels, including Triple-A third baseman Mike Olt, according to the official with knowledge of the discussions.
Right-hander C.J. Edwards, who is 8-2 with a 1.83 ERA at Class=A Hickory, is another Rangers prospect who could be part of the trade, sources say.
Garza, 29, would give the Rangers a top-of-the-rotation type at a time when the team has five starters on the disabled list — left-hander Matt Harrison and righties Yu Darvish, Alexi Ogando, Nick Tepesch and Colby Lewis.
Texas’ interest in Garza goes back to at least 2011, when the Rangers tried to acquire him from Tampa Bay but lost out to the Cubs. The Rangers also tried to land Garza a year ago, but an injury to the pitcher prevented the deal from happening.
The trade of Garza would be the Cubs’ third of July, with more deals expected. Left fielder Alfonso Soriano, right fielder Nate Schierholtz, closer Kevin Gregg and left-handed reliever James Russell are among the other Cubs in play.
The Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians are among the other clubs that have expressed interest in Garza, but all have been reluctant to meet the Cubs’ price for a rental of two-plus months, sources say.
Garza will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Rangers, should they acquire him, could not make him a qualifying offer and receive draft-pick compensation, according to the collective-bargaining agreement.