ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers finally have Matt Garza in their starting rotation.
Texas acquired Garza, formerly of Washington Union-Easton High School and Fresno State, from the Chicago Cubs in a trade completed Monday, just more than a week before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline and several days after it initially appeared the two teams had a deal done.
The Rangers have long coveted the 29-year-old right-hander who will provide a boost to a starting rotation plagued by injuries and a team that had slipped three games behind Oakland after being swept in a three-game weekend series at home against Baltimore.
Texas sent the Cubs rookie pitcher Justin Grimm, top prospect third baseman Mike Olt and Class-A pitcher C.J. Edwards. There will also be at least one player to be named later, possibly two, depending on who is chosen by Chicago.
Garza (6-1, 3.17 ERA), who can become a free agent after this season, has made 11 starts since missing the first seven weeks this season with a strained left lat muscle. He is 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA his last six starts.
Garza had been scheduled to start Monday night for the Cubs in Arizona.
Tampa Bay traded Garza to Chicago instead of Texas after the 2010 season. The Rangers were also interested in Garza last summer before he missed the last two months with a stress reaction in his right elbow, and they instead acquired Ryan Dempster from the Cubs.
This is the first time in four seasons, the Rangers weren’t leading the AL West at the All-Star break. That was also the last time they missed the playoffs.
Garza could make his Rangers debut as early as Wednesday against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark.
Manager Jon Daniels said Garza was expected to fly from Arizona to Texas later Monday night, and work out with his new team today.
All-Star right-hander Yu Darvish came off the disabled list to start Monday night’s game for the Rangers at home against the New York Yankees in the opener of a four-game series. Darvish in essence missed only one start because of a right trapezius strain, but hadn’t pitched since July 6.
Alexi Ogando is scheduled to come off his second DL stint of the season to start tonight against the Yankees.
Opening day starter Matt Harrison made only two starts in April before surgery twice on a herniated disk in his lower back. Nick Tepesch, one of three rookies who have made a combined 39 starts for Texas this season, went on the DL just before the All-Star break with elbow soreness. Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz are both still rehabbing from right elbow surgery last year.
Garza has a 63-62 career record in 181 major league games (178 starts) with Minnesota (2006-07), Tampa Bay (2008-10) and the Cubs (2011-13). He was a first-round draft pick by the Twins in the 2005 amateur draft.
The 24-year-old Olt played in 16 games for the Rangers at the end of last season.
But the Rangers have Gold Glove-winning third baseman Adrian Beltre under contract through 2016.
Grimm was 7-7 with a 6.37 ERA in 17 starts this season.