The Dodgers are one of several teams still in play for right-handed pitcher Matt Garza, who is expected to be traded by the Cubs before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, per multiple reports.
Buster Olney of ESPN said the Cubs "are actively talking with Texas, Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, the Dodgers and maybe Baltimore and a couple of more teams in the NL West."
Garza, 29, is 4-1 with a 3.45 ERA in nine starts for Chicago this season, and has heated up as his name has surfaced in trade talks. He has allowed just three runs in 30 innings over his last four starts, with 28 strikeouts and eight walks during that span.
The Dodgers had a scout in attendance to watch Garza strikeout 10 Brewers in seven innings on June 27, per John Schlegel of MLB.com.
Olney called Garza "the bell of of the ball in the trade market," and his ESPN colleague Jayson Stark agreed. Stark was a guest on Olney's podcast on Friday and said the cost of Garza in terms of prospects would be high.
"(The Cubs) know he is the best pitcher out there, and they're willing to wait for their price. That might stretch it out quite a while," Stark said. "Teams that I've talked to say that of every player they've investigated, he's going to be priced the highest. They want the best players back for him of any player on the market, pitcher or hitter.
"Because of his injury history, because of his ups and downs through the years, think there is still some caution out there. I think he's going to be out there longer than we suspect."
Garza is making $10.25 million in 2013 and will be a free agent after the season. Acquiring Garza on Saturday, for instance, would mean assuming approximately $4,816,940. Waiting until the July 31 trade deadline would lower that to roughly $3,360,557, but would also mean getting four or five fewer starts from Garza.
Stark also said the market for Marlins right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco is down to the Dodgers, Rangers and Rockies. Nolasco is likely to be traded before Garza, and while his $11.5 million price tag (approximately $5.4 million if acquired on Saturday) is more than Garza, Nolasco won't cost as much in prospects.
"The teams that are willing to eat that money don't want to give up multiple prospects," Stark said on Olney's podcast. "It's going to get tricky."
Olney called the Rangers' interest in Nolasco lukewarm, and both Stark and Olney agreed that the Dodgers were the most likely destination for Nolasco.