Matt Garza: Cubs extension talks likely a ploy

Tuesday brought some interesting news on the Matt Garza trade front, and it wasn't something that most of us had expected. With the last two starts that Garza has made being believed to be his last with the Chicago Cubs, most of us were surprised to hear that the Cubs were actually talking about an extension with the right hander.

After starting the season on the disabled list, Garza has worked his way back to being the top pitcher available on the trade market. He's been absolute dynamite for the Cubs, particularly in his last couple of starts, which have helped to maximize his trade value. While an extension would make a great deal of sense for a Cubs team that lacks impact pitching as an organization, signing their biggest trade chip isn't something that is entirely believable.

Since that initial report came out that the Cubs would like to extend Garza, we've heard a few more stories trickle out of Wrigley Field. Apparently the two sides did have some talks, but were unable to agree on his value, meaning that he's likely going to be traded. This has been the expectation all along.

Garza is in his third season with the Cubs and has a 5-1 record so far in 2013, with a 3.22 ERA. He's gone at least seven innings in each of his last five starts, and hasn't allowed more than one earned run in any of them. Still in his prime, he obviously has tons of value as the top pitcher available.

All that means is that this talk of an extension was nothing more than just a ploy. We've heard this extension talk before, and nothing came close to materializing from it. It was likely just a ruse to create more leverage against teams that are trying to acquire him, as the Cubs' current asking price for the 29-year-old is sky high.

It'll be interesting to see how the rest of this shakes out with Garza and the Cubs. Will that extension help to expedite the process? The Cubs are believed to want to move him early this year, to avoid a debacle similar to last year, when Garza suffered an injury just before the deadline. Whether or not this tactic will work remains to be seen.

About Randy Holt

Spending his days as an English teacher, Randy spends his afternoons, nights, and weekends as a writer on the Bloguin Network, as well as SB Nation. He is a staff writer for both Puck Drunk Love and The Outside corner, as well as Second City Hockey and Beyond the Box Score on SB Nation, showcasing his love for both hockey and baseball, as well as run-on sentences. A Chicago native (and Phoenix resident), he is an avid Game of Thrones viewer/reader and lover of red meat.