Matt Garza is the most important name to watch with the deadline looming.
Part of it is posturing by clubs in order to get more value. Want the perfect example? In early July it was leaked the Cubs were working on an extension for Garza and were considering keeping him around.
Except they probably weren't. But if other teams bought the report they would have to subsequently up their offer for Garza because after all, a player a team wants to keep is more costly to obtain.
The Garza saga is but one example of the wealth of rumors that have been plaguing fans for quite some time now.
Luckily for the fans, it'll all be over soon. Let's take a moment to update the most important items as we sluggishly make our way to the deadline.
Garza Is as Good as Gone With Cubs' Last Call
What better way to start off than with the man most responsible for what has been a wild past few weeks?
According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, there is now an 80 percent chance Garza will be moved before the deadline:
The biggest name out there right now is Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, and I'm told there is an 80 percent chance he is traded before his next start, which is scheduled to come next Monday or Tuesday in Arizona.
But wait, there's more!
Apparently the Cubs are asking for team's final offers for Garza. Perhaps a bit premature, but it's reportedly happening nonetheless:
Other teams say CHC are asking for last and best offers on Matt Garza, and they think he'll be traded before he throws another pitch for CHC— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 18, 2013
If you've been keeping up with the Garza saga at all, you know the Texas Rangers are the front-runners for his services. Meanwhile, the rival St. Louis Cardinals have often been mentioned as a serious dark horse despite residing in the same division.
These notions were nothing but reinforced recently by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan via Twitter:
If Matt Garza doesn't go to the Texas, rival executives see St. Louis, Boston, D-backs and Dodgers as likeliest places for him to land.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 18, 2013
Texas has the most obvious need, but seeing a surprise team like the Cardinals land Garza is not out of the question.
Then again, the other rumored destinations like the Boston Red Sox could come in with a massive offer right at the deadline.
You have to love the MLB trade deadline.
Bud Norris Market Is Catching Fire
Not far behind Garza on the totem pole of valuable pitchers supposedly on the trade market is Bud Norris of the Houston Astros.
Norris represents a great value into the future, as he only has a cap number of $3 million this season. Now with a 3.63 ERA at just the age of 28, Norris is beginning to see his market light up.
Of course, MLB teams want to win now, so some are only reportedly considering Norris as a backup plan if Garza comes off the market:
Should Rangers not get Garza, sources say they've been in on Bud Norris. Other teams in on Norris: Pirates, Dodgers, Jays, Giants and more.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 18, 2013
Perhaps another reason Norris is currently playing second fiddle to Garza on the market is because of just how much the Astros are asking for in return.
Jon Heyman of CBS has heard the asking price is two top prospects, at least according to one rival general manager.
In reality, the Astros are well within their rights to command that much for Norris. It's a seller's market right now with big names like Cliff Lee still unavailable.
Watch for the interest in Norris to get even bigger as we move forward.
Michael Cuddyer Is Stuck in Colorado
One of the biggest names allegedly on the market until a few days ago was Michal Cuddyer, now even more famous for his stellar performance in the Home Run Derby.
Cuddyer is having a killer 2013 campaign hitting .330 with 16 home runs while the Rockies fight for contention in the NL West.
The haul the Rockies could bring in by shipping off Cuddyer is quite massive, but it does not sound like the team is ready to give up all hope on the season and become sellers. At least, if you believe the words of owner Dick Monfort:
Monfort when asked if would trade Cuddyer, Monfort said "No Way. Not happening"— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 18, 2013
But that's not all! The Rockies are the party poopers of the trade deadline this year. Despite being linked to quality pitchers like Matt Garza in the past, Monfort sent out a letter to fans stating the team is not interested in making deals for pitching rentals either:
Two part tweet: in letter to season ticket holders Monfort said...(continued)— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 18, 2013
Monfort "we will not trade our top prospects for a pitcher we are merely 'renting' for the next couple of months"— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 18, 2013
Looks like Cuddyer will be sitting put in Colorado. He probably doesn't mind, considering he's in year two of a three-year deal that pays him in excess of $31 million and his team is in playoff contention.
Still, other teams are likely disappointed, as are fans. Thus is the fate of fans hinging on the deadline for thrills.
Follow me on Twitter for NFL news, analysis and more @Chris_Roling