The Cubs are asking teams for their final bids on Matt Garza according to Buster Olney, likely signaling the imminent end of this lengthy trade saga.
While Olney provides no specifics about which teams are in on Garza, much less who happens to be the favorite, we might be able to do some guesswork based on the timing. Boston's interest in a marquee pitcher like Garza, while not entirely tied to the health of Clay Buchholz, is at least closely related to it. If things aren't looking good for Buchholz, the Sox are clearly in need of a big upgrade. If, however, it looks like Buchholz will be back shortly, Garza might be a bit too luxurious for Ben Cherington and co.
So where does that leave us right now? The last we heard, Buchholz was set to pitch a simulated game over the coming weekend, likely gearing up for a late-July return to the rotation. We certainly haven't heard any negative indications of late, though if you're engaged in the trade market looking for a replacement it's best to hide any desperation.
Still, lest we let paranoia get the best of us, it's worth saying that, as of right now, we have to assume Buchholz will be pitching by the end of the month. Given that, it stands to reason Boston would be an unlikely landing place for Garza should the deal indeed go down "before he throws another pitch for [Chicago]."
That doesn't mean the Sox won't be the ones making the final trade. It's possible that, with an abundance of talent in the minors and a very real shot to win it all in 2013, Ben Cherington and co. will go slightly off script to pick up a piece like Garza. But if they're following their usual plan, and if Clay Buchholz is healthy, Garza will likely find his way to another team.
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