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Matt Garza, Dempster’s teammate on the Cubs, is seen as a better option for the Dodgers because he is not just a two month rental. Dempster is a free agent at the end of this season, and the Dodgers do not seem to be willing to part with their highly-touted, right-handed fireballer Zach Lee for a 2012 postseason run.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network, “The Cubs and Dodgers are discussing a trade that would send right-hander Matt Garza to Los Angeles for a package of players including highly-regarded pitching prospect Zach Lee.” He reports that the Cubs are still actively trying to reach an agreement on a group of players for the 28 year old Garza, who has a 3.91 ERA. His WHIP is a solid 1.18 but has been victimized by a poor Cubs bullpen. His batting average against is a stellar .236, better than his career number of .249.
Cramps in his pitching arm forced him from his start last night, but the good news is that the x-rays taken immediately after Garza left after the third inning of Saturday's game returned negative, and he should be in line to make his next start.
In 103 and 2/3 innings, his 8.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 are more than worth the $9.5 million he earns and will go to arbitration one last time this offseason, when his salary can be expected to climb past $12MM. Also, if the Dodgers acquire Garza this summer, Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Dodgers would be eligible to obtain draft pick compensation for him should he depart as a free agent following the 2013 season.
The Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Angels are all after starting pitching, but they have not been in contact with the Cubs like Ned Colletti and the Dodgers have. Working on such a close level, Colletti might be able to swing a multiplayer deal to bring a quality starter to Chavez Ravine for the better part of two seasons.
Remember Zach Lee, the $5 million dollar man who spurned LSU football to toil away in the Dodgers minor leagues? He entered the season as the Dodgers' best prospect and a top-100 prospect, but he has a 5.85 ERA so far this year. This would be a tough move for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to explain since Lee has a bright future and has taken a sizable amount of the Dodgers investments, but Garza could bolster the team's rotation for a couple of years.