Rays set to send Garza packing

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:07 PM ET

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs are reportedly closing in on a trade that would land them pitcher Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays.

According to numerous reports, including the Chicago Daily Herald and Tampa Tribune, a framework for the deal is in place and could be announced sometime this weekend.

The Chicago Daily Herald says the Rays will receive a package of minor leaguers that would likely include pitcher Chris Archer, who was obtained in the Mark DeRosa trade with Cleveland, and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee.

Garza has spent the past three seasons with the Rays after pitching for Minnesota in 2006 and 2007. He was 15-10 with a 3.91 earned run average in 33 games, including 32 starts, last season.

The 27-year-old right-hander, who threw a no-hitter last July 26, has a career mark of 42-44 with a 3.97 ERA. He has made at least 30 starts each of the last three years.

Tampa Bay has plenty of depth in its starting rotation. Jeremy Hellickson, a 23-year-old right-hander who won his first three starts in spot duty for the Rays last season, would likely replace Garza on a starting staff that includes David Price, James Shields, Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis.

With Chicago, Garza would help a rotation that currently includes the combustible Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells and Carlos Silva.

As for the players the Rays would receive, Archer is considered one of the top prospects in the Cubs system. The 22-year-old righty was a combined 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA last year at the Single-A and Double-A levels. Lee, a 20-year-old from South Korea, batted .282 at Class-A Peoria last year.

The other prospects that could be included in the deal are reportedly catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielders Brandon Guyer and Sam Fuld.


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