Ross Wolf will be the Texas Rangers’ starting pitcher Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark, technically in place of the infirmed Nick Tepesch.
But Wolf will also be starting in place of Matt Garza, whom the Rangers had hoped to acquire from the Chicago Cubs so that he could start against the Baltimore Orioles.
A proposed deal, though, remained on hold Friday night as the Rangers seek an upgrade and a healthy arm for their starting rotation during what they expect to be another push for the postseason.
The two sides will continue talking, but one Rangers official said that it’s entirely possible no deal will be reached.
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As of Friday afternoon, manager Ron Washington could say that the Rangers were involved in trade discussions.
“We know what’s being discussed, but we’re just carrying on with what’s here,” Washington said. “I’ll get excited if what we’re talking about comes to fruition.”
Buzz that a deal was near quieted some when it was reported that Garza, who accompanied the Cubs to Colorado for their weekend series, tossed a bullpen session ahead of his scheduled start Monday.
Meanwhile, the prospects reported to be in the package the Rangers were willing to surrender all took part in their teams’ games.
Third baseman Mike Olt batted sixth and played third base for Triple A Round Rock; right-hander Neil Ramirez was the starting pitcher for Double A Frisco; shortstop Luis Sardinas was in the lineup for Class A Myrtle Beach; and right-hander C.J. Edwards was the subject of some good-natured ribbing by his teammates at Class A Hickory.
They could all still be moved, along with possibly another player coming from Chicago. A Rangers official declined to say if an issue with the medical reports of the players involved caused the deal to hit a snag, though Garza opened the season on the disabled list with a strained left lat muscle (back) and was also injured last July before the July 31 trade deadline.
Olt was plagued by vision problems early in the season, and Ramirez has been on the DL the past two seasons.
Garza, 29, would give the Rangers’ rotation an instant upgrade, if for no other reason than he isn’t on the DL. The Rangers have five starting pitchers out, though right-handers Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando are expected to start Monday and Tuesday, respectively, against the New York Yankees.
Colby Lewis (triceps tendinits) and Tepesch (elbow inflammation), though, probably are on target to return in mid-August, and Matt Harrison (back surgery) is aiming for late August.
Garza, who is a free agent after the season, is 63-62 with a 3.80 ERA in eight seasons with three teams, and is only 2-3 with a 6.04 ERA at Rangers Ballpark.
But Garza, 29, allowed one earned run over six innings for Tampa Bay at Rangers Ballpark during the 2010 American League Division Series. He was MVP of the AL Championship Series in 2008 and is 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA in his postseason career.