Wire Taps: Washington Post Report Says Washington Nationals Have "Kicked The Tires" On Chicago Cubs' Starter Matt Garza

Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Though the Washington Nationals have played down rumors of interest in starting pitching on their behalf, several recent reports have said the Nats are in the market for a starter and the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore reported they've "kicked the tires" on the Chicago Cubs' Matt Garza.

Before Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson even told reporters that Ross Detwiler might miss his next start with a flare-up of a lower back issue, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweeted this morning that he too was hearing that the Nats are in the market for a starting pitcher:

New York Post writer Dan Martino quoted an unnamed "rival executive" in an article last month who said that the Nationals, who had just put Dan Haren on the DL with shoulder issues, were definitely in the market for pitching.

"'They're calling everybody, trying to do something,' the exec said. 'They’re looking for pitching, and they’re being really aggressive.'"

Asked directly if the Nationals were looking for starting pitching, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Mike Rizzo Show, told hosts Danny Rouhier and Grant Paulsen this past Wednesday that he didn't "anticipate" going after a starter. "We think Dan Haren is going to pitch well for us down the stretch," Rizzo said, "We feel that we've got great depth in our minor league system with Taylor Jordan, Ross Ohlendorf and Nathan Karns," who've all come up and contributed at the major league level already this season.

"We think that it's as good a rotation as any in the big leagues," the Nationals' general manager said, "and Davey's got great confidence in 'The Big Three' and Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler, as do I."

When Johnson said this morning that Detwiler might end up on DL, he told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore that it was "premature" to talk about trading for a starter. After Sunday's game Johnson confirmed that Detwiler would indeed go on the disabled list with Dan Haren taking his next turn in the rotation and Taylor Jordan hanging around longer than he may have otherwise. Meanwhile, the WaPost's Mr. Kilgore wrote on Saturday afternoon that a "person familiar with the situation" said the Nationals had already, "... kicked the tires on Cubs right-hander Matt Garza."

In the article, the Washington Post reporter cites a Baltimore Sun report on Twitter by Eduardo A. Encina, who wrote that a, "Source said this week #Orioles were interested in Matt Garza b4 dealing 4 Feldman, but #Cubs wanted pkg that incl. Schoop & E. Rodriguez," as an example of what it might cost any team that's interested in Garza, who is a free agent this winter, should they try to pry him away from the Cubs.

Schoop and E. Rodriguez are, of course, infielder Jonathan Schoop and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, two of the Orioles' Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America, both of whom made ESPN.com's Keith Law's list of the top prospects in baseball for 2013. The Nationals' prospects who might be roughly equivalent, as in on BA and Law's lists if not necessarily equivalent talents? Anthony Rendon was the top-rated infielder on both lists, he's not going anywhere. Brian Goodwin, Lucas Giolito (who did have Tommy John surgery of course), Nathan Karns, A.J. Cole?

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