Matt Garza rumors: '80 percent chance' of trade before next start

USA TODAY Sports

Garza's time at Wrigley may be through by the weekend.

There is an "80 percent chance" that the Chicago Cubs will trade right-hander Matt Garza before he makes his next start, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.

Garza, 29, is scheduled to take the mound either Monday or Tuesday in Arizona, so if the Cubs really want to get a deal done before he heads back out there they'll have to work something out this coming weekend.

There is certainly not a shortage of clubs showing interest in the right-hander. At last check, the Rangers, Diamondbacks, Indians, Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Red Sox are all believed to have some level of interest in acquiring Garza.

While the Rangers are rumored to be the front-runners for Garza's services, Olney believes that the D'Backs could be a dark horse in the sweepstakes. The Cubs will fly to Phoenix on Monday for a three-game series, so Arizona should have plenty of time to negotiate face-to-face with Theo Epstein and his crew if they so desire.

There's also been talk that the Cubs could sign Garza to a contract extension, but there's no reason to believe that would take him off the trade market. If anything, a multi-year deal might make him an even more desirable option for clubs looking to bolster their rotations.

Garza spent the last half of 2012 and the first two months of this season on the disabled list with elbow and oblique injuries, but has really upped his trade value in the past month. The right-hander owns a 1.24 earned-run average and has struck out nearly a batter an inning over his last six starts, averaging over seven innings per outing.

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