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Garza impresses teammates as trade talks intensify

DENVER -- The rumors are swirling, the potential destinations changing by the day, but Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza is still following his usual routine.

Garza, one of the biggest names on the trading block, has impressed coaches and teammates with his ability to remove himself from a mentally challenging situation. A regular in Cubs manager Dale Sveum's office, the conversations between Garza and his skipper have followed their typical path, everything but trade rumors filling the air.

"He's been the ultimate pro about everything," Sveum said. "It's a strange thing for anybody to be a part of when you're the most elite starting pitcher on the [trade market]. When people are starting trade talks and everything, and you're that guy, it's not an everyday, normal atmosphere. It's not real fun coming to the park knowing today could be the day.

"So he's handled it extremely well, obviously, by his performance on the mound."

The A's are latest rumored suitors for the 29-year-old righty after a deal with the Rangers hit at least a temporary snag Friday. Garza has become a prized piece after going 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA over his last six stars.

And while it would be a major upset if Garza is still in a Cubs uniform after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Sveum once again pointed out that a significant portion of trade talks never come to fruition.

Often overlooked in the business-first mold of professional baseball is the personal toll a mid-season move could take on a player. That Garza has kept his cool while balancing those issues stands out to Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija.

"You're dealing with a family too, so he knows if something happens, he's got to uproot his family and move on," Samardzija said Friday night. "So to come every day and still work hard and do his work for this team speaks volumes about the guy."

And Samardzija has not given up all hope that the Cubs, who have won seven of 10, might be able to hold onto Garza for the rest of the year.

"If he does get moved, the team that gets him is getting one heck of a pitcher, one heck of a guy too," he said. "Maybe things will fall through and he'll just get to stick around with us the rest of the year."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for
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