Matt Garza allowed two runs on Saturday, which qualifies as a slump for the Cubs right-hander. Garza, arguably the top starting pitcher available on the trade market, might not make another start for Chicago, per both Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Buster Olney of ESPN.
"It is far more likely that Garza will be traded, and there is a good chance it will happen before his next scheduled start on July 22," Rosenthal said from Wrigley Field on Saturday. "The Cubs have been willing to act sooner rather than later, and take a slightly lesser package in return for slightly greater savings on the remainder of Garza's $4.5 million left on his contract."
Garza is making $10.25 million in 2013, and if added by Friday, for example, would have approximately $4,088,798.
Olney said the Cubs are making progress on Garza trade talks with at least two teams, and that a deal may happen over the All-Star break.
Rosenthal mentioned the Dodgers, Nationals, Red Sox and Rangers as teams in pursuit of Garza, along with possibly a few other teams. Olney said the Orioles are out "unless there is a dramatic change."
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Blue Jays and Rangers are the front runners for Garza, with the Red Sox, Indians and Giants also in pursuit.
Garza, if acquired, would take the rotation spot currently occupied by Chris Capuano. Stephen Fife is currently on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis, and could return as early as July 22 but it's unknown how long he'll be out. The Dodgers don't need a fifth starter until July 23.