Marlins getting in on Garza action now

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Marlins getting in on Garza action now

Those who are expecting Matt Garza to stay with the Cubs may want to re-think their stance.

A half-day after the Tigers were reported to have interest, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports writes the Miami Marlins are now interested in the 28-year-old starter. This coming after the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays have all displayed varying levels of interest.

Rosenthal says the Marlins are looking to continue their active offseason by trying to add a complementary pitcher to ace Josh Johnson and top free-agent pickup Mark Buehrle.

After losing out to the division-rival Nationals for Gio Gonzalez, the Marlins may feel more pressure than ever to acquire another starter.

According to Rosenthal's sources, the Marlins are willing to give up Christian Yelich, one of their top prospects. Yelich, a 20-year-old outfielder, was the Marlins' first-round pick in the 2010 draft and put up monster numbers at Single-A in 2011, his first full season in pro ball.

The Marlins also may be willing to give up third baseman Matt Dominguez, first baseman Gaby Sanchez, outfielder Chris Coghlan and reliever Jose Ceda.

Not all of those guys would be in the deal for just Garza, obviously, but a package of several could be in the discussion.

After the Cubs have traded for Ian Stewart, it would appear Dominguez is not too high on the team's wish list. But then again, if Stewart continues to struggle at the plate, it would help to have such a guy waiting in the wings. Dominguez could also use more seasoning in the minors.

Coghlan had a stud rookie season, but has dropped off the map since then, thanks in large part to a variety of injuries.

The Cubs have been linked to Sanchez already this offseason and he could be a good option as the first baseman of the future.

Ceda has only dabbled in the Majors, but dominated in the minors and at 24, could turn into a closer someday.

Yelich would be the main part of any deal, one would figure, as he seemingly has the highest upside of those players mentioned.

The problem with this all is the Cubs would be giving up by far their best pitcher and receive no starting pitching in return, if this report is accurate. That fact alone may mean it could be harder for the Marlins to acquire Garza, as it would put Theo Epstein and his crew in a tight spot pitching-wise both immediately and down the road.

Carlos Zambrano might be a better fit for Ozzie Guillen's Marlins if they're interested in one of the Cubs starters.

Cubs expect Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell to be ready for Opening Night

Cubs expect Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell to be ready for Opening Night

MESA, Ariz. – The Cubs expect Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell to be ready for Opening Night, downplaying any health concerns about their All-Star middle infielders. 

One week out from facing the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, manager Joe Maddon spent part of Sunday's media session saying how he had no concerns with his World Series MVP's stiff neck and his franchise shortstop's stiff back.

"You can tell with 'Zo,'" Maddon said at the Sloan Park complex. "He'll come around and let me know specifically if he feels it's going to be anything longer than that. He's talking either tomorrow night or the next day."

Zobrist, who spent nine seasons with Maddon's Tampa Bay Rays, hasn't appeared in a Cactus League game since March 19. Maddon also signaled Russell is close to returning to action after being a late scratch from Friday's lineup.

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Not like this, but the Cubs already planned to schedule extra rest for Zobrist, given his age (36 in May), the playoff stress on his body from back-to-back World Series titles and emerging options like Javier Baez on a mix-and-match team. 

All along, Maddon hasn't worried about finding enough at-bats for Baez, knowing that injuries are inevitable and the Cubs have insurance policies up and down the roster that should pay off across a 162-game season. But in this case, it doesn't sound like the Cubs are testing that theory with Zobrist and Russell.

"None of this stuff is really threatening," Maddon said. "The trainers have no real strong issues with anything. It's almost like you'll be overly cautious right now. And that's all we're doing."

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

Brett Anderson’s personality mixing well with Cubs: ‘I don’t hate anybody yet’

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Joe Maddon's T-shirt slogans can get a little old at times, but the Cubs manager found a new audience in Brett Anderson, who liked the idea of "Be Uncomfortable" after signing a one-year, prove-it deal with the defending champs.

"It's been awesome so far," Anderson said. "That's my running joke – we're a month into it now or whatever it is – and I don't hate anybody yet.

"That's a testament to the group as a whole – and maybe me evolving as a person."

Yes, Anderson's sarcasm, social-media presence and groundball style fits in with a team built around short-term pitching and Gold Glove defense. The if-healthy lefty finished his Cactus League tour on Saturday afternoon by throwing four innings (one unearned run) during a 7-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in front of 13,565 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Anderson will open the season as the No. 4 starter after a camp that has been remarkably low-key and drama-free.

"I'm kind of cynical by nature, but it's a fun group to be a part of," Anderson said, "(with) young guys that are exciting and happy to be here. And then obviously the mix of veterans, too, that are here with intentions of winning another World Series."

To make that happen, the pitching staff will have to again stay unbelievably healthy. Anderson rolled with a general question about how he physically feels now compared to where he's usually at by this time of year.

"Obviously better than last year, because I was walking with a gimp and all that stuff," said Anderson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a bulging disk in his lower back last March. "No, my body feels good, my arm feels good and you're getting into the dog days of spring training where you're itching to get to the real thing."