The Matt Garza rumor train is continuing to pick up steam. Following reports that Garza is expected to be traded by Saturday, ESPN's Jim Bowden says that there is an 80 percent chance that the Cubs trade the pitcher before his next start on Monday or Tuesday.
The Rangers have been heavily rumored as a candidate to trade for Garza. Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish writes that Texas has emerged as the favorites to land the right hander. However, they are unwilling to give up top pitching prospect Martin Perez in return.
The Rangers could give up third base prospect Mike Olt, rumored to be a necessary piece for a Garza deal. Olt was also talked about at the 2012 trade deadline, particularly as a return for the Brewers' Zack Greinke. Greinke was eventually dealt to the Angels.
In addition, Leury Garcia has been mentioned as a player the Rangers could deal for Garza. Garcia, a middle infielder, doesn't figure to have a spot in Texas with Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus on the team. However, he has never been looked at as the top prospect the Cubs would look to headline a deal for Garza.
Other teams involved in chasing Garza include the Blue Jays, Pirates, Indians, Dodgers and Cardinals. St. Louis would likely have to pay a premium to land a top pitcher from their biggest rival, but they certainly have the prospects to get it done. The Pirates are in a similar position where the Cubs would likely prefer not to deal in their own division.
Meanwhile the Dodgers and Blue Jays have both made big moves to compete in the past year and would see falling short of the playoffs as a disappointment. Over in Pittsburgh, the Pirates would love to bolster a rotation that is looking to give the team their first winning season in two decades.
In addition, Bowden notes that the Diamondbacks are a darkhorse to make a deal with Chicago. Arizona has also been rumored to have great interest in Brewers' pitcher Yovani Gallardo, thus it makes sense for them to be looking at other pitchers on the market. If the Brewers decide not to trade Gallardo, Arizona's interest could increase that much more.
The Red Sox have also been mentioned as a landing spot for Garza, but so far have not seemed to commit to a trade with the Cubs. If Boston does decide to enter extended talks, they could be a major player for the righty.
It looks like the Cubs are all but assured to deal their top pitcher, it will just come down to which of many teams are the first to pull the trigger on the kind of deal for which Chicago is looking.