The Rangers and Cubs have had extensive talks on Garza and discussed the framework of a trade, but other teams remain involved in the talks, according to major-league sources.
It's no surprise the Rangers want Garza.
He's the best starting pitcher available on the market and he's performing like it. In 11 starts this year, Garza is 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA and 62 strikeouts.
Garza's hits per nine innings (7.7) is at its lowest in his career, as are his walks per nine innings (2.5).
Aside from Garza's stats and abilities, there are other reasons the Rangers are interested in his services.
Question Marks in Rotation
When you look at the Rangers, there are a lot of question marks outside of Yu Darvish and Derek Holland.
Matt Harrison is still out and just threw his first bullpen session Thursday, according to a tweet by Drew Davidson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
#Rangers Matt Harrison threw his first bullpen session today. Threw 25 pitches at 75 percent effort level and felt no pain.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) July 18, 2013
Matt Harrison on pitching this year: "Very optimistic. If nothing happens between now and getting back, I’ll be ready by the end of August."— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) July 18, 2013
Then there's Colby Lewis, who is making his rehab starts, but he struggled in his first start where he gave up four runs in 2.2 innings.
According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Lewis' velocity was down. "Lewis’ velocity improved but remained below what he would need against major league hitters. The fastball was a consistent 86 mph, with a top speed of 89."
Justin Grimm is another curious case. He's 7-7 on the year, but has a 6.37 ERA. It's gotten so bad in the last eight starts that Grimm's ERA has jumped 2.44 points. He's given up seven or more runs in three of those starts.
Then there's the inconsistency of Nick Tepesch. He'll surrender no earned runs in one start (June 1 vs. Kansas City), and then he will give up five or more runs in his next three starts.
For a team that's trying to make it to the playoffs, that's not good enough.
Is Matt Garza essential if the Rangers want to make it to the World Series?
Previous Playoff Letdowns
The Rangers are built to contend from year to year.
However, there's always been something missing when it comes to the playoffs. Whether there are mental mistakes in the outfield or a two-run triple in the bottom of the ninth of Game 6 of the World Series, it seems as though things always go wrong for the Rangers at the wrong time.
While those mistakes happened with Yu Darvish and Neftali Feliz on the mound, it goes without saying that the Rangers could use another power arm.
Garza is a difference-maker on the mound and the Rangers would benefit from having him in the rotation.
Time Is Ticking
The Rangers need to make a move for Garza, even if that means giving up Martin Perez or another top pitching prospect.
Next year is no guarantee and if the Rangers want to go all-in for Garza, they'll become one of the favorites to represent the AL in the World Series.
Garza can be that kind of difference-maker. He has the ability to be the same kind of difference-maker CC Sabathia was for the Milwaukee Brewers down the stretch in 2008.
The Rangers just have to be willing to pull the trigger.