Cubs Exploring Contract Extension With Matt Garza?

By Randy Holt

Just because the Cubs are set to get underway with their spring camp this weekend doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of the rumors surrounding top hurler Matt Garza.

Garza’s name has been running around rampant in trade rumors this winter, which had him heading anywhere from Toronto, to Detroit, or Boston, or New York.

As of right now, it looks like Garza is going to be a member of the Cubs when the season gets underway in April. However, he could still be traded by the deadline, when a team is super desperate to add a starter to make a real run in the fall.

But while some have already resigned themselves to the fact that Matt Garza won’t be a Cub for too much longer, it appears that the Cubs are exploring the possibility of keeping Garza around on the North Side for quite a bit longer.

It’s been reported by several outlets that the Cubs have at least discussed the possibility of an extension with Garza and his agent. If you listen to both sides talk, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that an extension could be in the future.

Jed Hoyer (from ESPN Chicago):

“It was a long (arbitration) process, but we talked to Matt a number of times since and we’re happy we didn’t have to go into a hearing room with him,” Hoyer said. “He’s a great pitcher and a guy we’re going to talk to him about being part of our future, for sure. We need more guys like Matt, not less, and if we can work something out we’ll certainly have those discussions.”

I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I’d be in favor of an extension for Garza. With his second full season in the National League, Garza could become the ace of the Cubs for the next few seasons. He should still be in his prime when the Cubs are ready to compete for a title within the next few years.

In his first season with the Cubs, Garza rode a strong second half to a 3.32 ERA and 197 punchouts in 198 innings. Of course, the defense and bullpen behind him didn’t do him any favors, as that 10-10 record indicates.


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