LOS ANGELES While Ryan Dempster sat in the executive offices at Clark and Waveland, hearing firsthand that the Dodgers didnt have that much interest before ultimately accepting a trade to the Rangers, Matt Garza wasnt plugged in at the deadline.
Garza was at the hospital on Tuesday with his wife, who gave birth to their fourth child, a daughter they named Summer Grace. He has never seemed overly concerned by the nonstop rumors, but this time he definitely had bigger things to worry about.
I was knee deep in wait, Garza recalled on Friday. Just wait, wait, wait. Epidural, hold, wait, hold. The deadline came at three oclock and I didnt even know. (My wife) said: Hey, its 3:05. Oh, snap: I looked up to see who got moved.
The Cubs certainly listened to offers for Garza who hasnt pitched since July 21 but a right elbow injury complicated those plans.
I figured I wasnt (going to be traded), Garza said. Just because of the situation I was in I hadnt thrown for a number of days. If youre trading for me, youre kind of getting a blind pick. Thats the way people felt. Thats the way it would look. But it is what it is and Im happy to be where Im at.
The Cubs still arent quite sure when Garza will be back in the rotation. They cut short Fridays bullpen session at Dodger Stadium after Garza felt stiff, though he said that was to be expected after three days off.
Garza will try to throw another bullpen on Saturday, and hopes to start three days later in San Diego, but that is an aggressive and optimistic timeline. If Garza goes on the disabled list, Casey Coleman could be available from Triple-A Iowa as a spot starter.
One theory about a rotation now filled with question marks had the Cubs building around Garza and Jeff Samardzija. But it was revealing that team executives kept saying how the timing of the injury was unfortunate, preventing them from fully exploring the trade market.
Garza said he didnt hear about the comments made by team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer during their deadline postmortems.
Ive been go, go, go, go, Garza said. I really havent been paying much attention. Im just clearing my head a little bit.
Epstein couldnt say for certain that Garza would have been traded, though he did confirm that contract negotiations earlier this season went nowhere. Epstein indicated extension talks could be restarted in the offseason (presumably not while Garzas playing Golden Tee in the Cubs headquarters break room).
The windows always open, Garza said. Dont ever shut a window. Just leave it open, and when an opportunity arises and thats where we both see eye to eye, thats where we go.
Garza wont be a free agent until after the 2013 season, which will make him a trade target again this winter. He said an elbow scare and a growing family havent made him rethink his future or consider where he stands in the organization. Hes still open to the Cubs.
Yeah, why not? Garza said. Theres reasons why Im still here. I dont know what they are nobody does so just play it by ear and see where it goes.