CHICAGO -- While the baseball world concentrates on a possible blockbuster trade between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers that would send Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano west, Chicago's other front-line starter appears to have suitors.
In spite of an injury that will keep Cubs right-hander Matt Garza on the shelf past Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, a deal involving Garza is not out of the question. The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays have interest in adding the 28-year-old to bolster their rotations, according to major league sources.
Both Texas and Toronto had extensive conversations about Garza at baseball's winter meeting this past December. The Cubs, a source familiar with the situation said, have asked Texas to include power-hitting third base prospect Mike Olt in a potential Garza deal. The Rangers, however, have refused to part with Olt.
Toronto has three top pitching prospects at Lansing playing for the Jay's Single-A affiliate -- and the Cubs have taken notice. Chicago has extensively evaluated Justin Nicolino, Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez, scouting sources said. All three prospects are averaging more than a strikeout per inning this season.
Garza is trying to return to the mound after sustaining an upper-arm strain on July 22. He was able to throw a bullpen on Monday.
Garza is under contract control and eligible for his fourth straight season of arbitration in 2013. The Cubs starter is reportedly seeking a long-term deal that lasts at least five years. Garza is 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA on the season.