With the Pittsburgh Pirates on the verge of breaking a 20-year playoff drought, all eyes will be on general manager Neal Huntington over the course of the next few weeks to see what he has up his sleeve to improve this team for the stretch run.
During the past two seasons the pitching faltered the final two months of the season, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see Huntington try and add a big arm as the July 31 deadline approaches.
Could that arm be Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza?
Garza made what could have been one of his final Cubs starts on Tuesday night when he allowed one run in seven innings in a win against the White Sox.
Garza’s start was scouted by the Pirates writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, along with scouts from the Rangers, Indians, Blue Jays, and Padres.
It’s also being reported that Garza has said that his chances of an extension with the Cubs are about 50-50, which means he very well could be on the move. If he is on the block, the eight-year veteran would likely be the best arm on the block, so he wouldn’t come cheap.
Garza owns a career 62-62 record and 3.80 ERA, although he is 20-18 with a 3.47 ERA the last three seasons with the Cubs. That includes going 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA this season.
As for the Pirates interest, they are likely just doing their due diligence, as I don’t see them as a major player for Garza right now. That could change as the deadline gets closer, but I can’t foresee Huntington pulling the trigger on a big deal so early in July.
Morosi also says the Rangers and Indians are “known to have strong interest,” while the Red Sox, Nationals, and Dodgers can’t be ruled out.
That makes the Bucs seem like a longshot to begin with.