Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Garza on hold as Cubs ponder options

By Bruce Levine

The future of Matt Garza remained unclear Saturday as the pitcher continued to prepare for his upcoming start on Monday.

Pitching coach Chris Bosio worked with the Chicago Cubs starter during his side session on Friday .

"He did his side work, and he has these two days to get ready," Bosio said on Saturday.

Garza is penciled in to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks and would have one more outing -- on July 27 in San Francisco -- before the trade deadline if he hasn’t been dealt.

A source confirmed that medical issues have delayed a deal between the Texas Rangers and the Cubs for the pitcher. Garza, who has been traded twice before, is still enjoying his teammates and coaching staff despite the ominous signs he will be moved again shortly.

"We have contingent plans if anything happens," manager Dale Sveum said. “Either [Chris] Rusin or [Brooks] Raley, depending on what happens in their turns down there [at Triple-A]."

The manager and Garza’s teammates watch the pitcher go through his routines and admire his professional demeanor.

"It is a strange thing for anybody to be a part of," Sveum said. “When you are the most elite pitcher, and people are talking trade that you are that guy, it is not an everyday normal atmosphere. It is not real fun coming to the park knowing today may be that day.”

Garza has been one of the top pitchers in the league, winning six of seven starts with a sub-2.00 ERA.

"He has handled everything extremely well, obviously, by his performance on the mound," said Sveum. "I love Garza. He has been one of the more outspoken guys I have had since I have managed. He is never afraid to come into my office and talk. We can have a beer and those kinds of things. That is something you appreciate. He asks questions and listens. He has been great.”

Garza told ESPNChicago.com on Friday that he was informed by his agent that club officials said he might be traded soon. Garza’s people and the Cubs never came to terms on an extension. Barring an extension, he will be a free agent in November.