With the month of June quickly reaching a conclusion, the time is nearing for Major League Baseball teams to begin planning for the July 31 trade deadline.
The Chicago Cubs figure to be in the middle of the trading frenzy during the month of July.
Perhaps, the biggest trade commodity that the Cubs have to offer is starting pitcher Matt Garza. Garza has been no stranger to trade rumors since joining the Cubs and this season could be the season that Garza is actually traded.
MLB Insider Peter Gammons indicated that talks between the Cubs and San Diego Padres about a potential Garza trade have passed the preliminary stages.
GM rumors du jour:Garza to Padres(Reymond Fuentes, 2 other Hoyer/McLeod prospects), Nolasco to Giants.
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) June 24, 2013
The fact that names have been exchanged is generally an indicator that the teams have progressed from the preliminary stages of discussing a trade.
Fuentes is an outfielder that was drafted in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. Meaning Fuentes was drafted by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.
This season with the Padres’ double-A affiliate, Fuentes is hitting .332/.419/.472/.891 in 277 plate appearances.
It is likely that the two other prospects mentioned by Gammons are pitching prospects.
After missing the first month of the season, Garza is having a decent season with the Cubs. In seven starts this season, Garza is 2-1 to go along with an ERA of 4.25 and a WHIP of 1.13.
Garza should have been traded to the Texas Rangers last season but an injury prevented such a deal from materializing. Assuming Garza remains healthy, there is nothing interfering with the Cubs’ opportunity to trade the starting pitcher.
The Cubs’ starting pitcher has been one of the strong points of the team this season. So much so that Garza has been out-pitched by the likes of Jeff Samardzija, Scott Feldman, and Travis Wood.
Despite that distinction, Garza still is expected to be among the most coveted starting pitchers on the trade market this season.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes of the rumored trade between the Cubs and Padres, though, rumors generally are nothing more than that at this point in time.