The trade deadline is just nine days away, and that means smaller rumors are starting to pop up for second-tier players on the trade market, rather than just stars. The Rangers appear to be exploring said market, with the news that their deal with the Cubs for Matt Garza -- one we were assured was nearly complete -- may have fallen through over the weekend.
Garza to make his start tonight
Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters that Matt Garza was "100%" to pitch in Monday's game, according to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago. After trade talks heated up late last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Garza would not make another start for the Cubs. He's slated to pitch, though, which likely means that any deal that was in place with the Rangers has fallen apart -- otherwise, there would be little reason to send him out to the mound while in a Cubs' uni.
The Cubs are said to be looking for three players in return for Garza, and a package similar to the one the Brewers received last summer for their ace, Zack Greinke. They are not concerned about Garza'a health either in the short- or long-term, as evidenced by their recent attempts to sign Garza to an extension rather than trade him, and someone might decide to pull the trigger on him if he has another quality evening in what will be one of his final appearances before July 31.
Rangers interested in Ervin Santana?
The Rangers "checked in" with the Royals about pitcher Ervin Santana, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Royals are not yet ready to sell, however, and until they are they will not look to deal the expiring-contract of Santana, who could likely bring back a compensation pick were he to sign elsewhere this off-season. The Rangers likely view him as an alternative to Matt Garza as they attempt to upgrade their rotation for the stretch run. With the Royals currently 45-50 and seven games out in the AL Central, they might change their tune about selling within the next few days.
Red Sox 'top priority' is relief pitching
The Red Sox "top priority" at the trade deadline is relief pitching, reports Evan Drellich of MassLive.com. The team has already acquired one relief pitcher this year, lefty Matt Thornton from the White Sox, following the season-ending injury to Boston's top southpaw, Andrew Miller. The team lost two other pitchers who were supposed to be key members of their bullpen in Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan as well, a situation that has strained their admittedly considerable depth.
The team is also in the market for a third baseman and starting pitcher -- they've been lurking around the Phillies' Michael Young as well as on the periphery of the Garza talks -- and if they are able to get a deal done with a seller for one of those positions, they could be able to pry a reliever away as well. Boston is scouting the Brewers, among others, and could be looking into Francisco Rodriguez.