The Rangers remain prominently in the mix for Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, the top active pitcher on the trade market -- though nothing appeared settled as of early Thursday night, and one person involved in the talks suggested multiple teams were still involved.
The sense among interested executives was that the Cubs have a keen interest in selling high now on Garza -- he's 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA over six starts -- and executing a deal before they moved onto other trade pieces of interest, including outfielder Alfonso Soriano and relievers Kevin Gregg and James Russell. Garza is also slated to start Monday, so that could be something of a soft deadline.
The Cubs are believed to be seeking a pitching-heavy package in return for Garza. Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal reported that Texas third-base prospect Mike Olt's name has come into the picture, at least as a possibility. The Cubs are interested in pitching prospect Luke Jackson, as Chris Cotillo reported, although the latest word is Jackson is likely to be held out of the deal..
Neil Ramirez, another Rangers pitching prospect, has also been discussed, a source said. Roman Mendez and C.J. Edwards are among other top Texas minor-league pitchers.
The Rangers rebuffed the Cubs' request for Martin Perez, as was reported here.
The emphasis on pitching makes sense in that the Cubs are strong positionally -- not on the mound -- in the minors.
The Indians, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Red Sox and several other teams have been linked to the Garza talks, as well.
Garza is a free agent at year's end and is by far and away the hottest pitcher who's available, as well as the top rental.