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Nationals interested in Cubs' Matt Garza, have 'kicked the tires' on trade

(Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is expected to be the top pitcher available on the trade market. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals have "kicked the tires" on a trade for Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza, The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore reports.

The teams have discussed a trade, but the Nationals have not made a formal offer, according to the report.

With Ross Detwiler and Dan Haren both on the disabled list, Washington is in need of pitching help and could use an upgrade in Garza, who has a 3.45 ERA and 52 strikeouts in nine starts this season.

The right-hander has allowed three earned runs in his last 30 innings pitched, spanning four starts, and is expected to be the top pitcher available on the trade market.

JAFFE: Trade deadline watch: Top targets at each position

From the report:

The Nationals have shown interest in Garza in the past. Before the Rays traded him to the Cubs before the 2011 season, the Nationals expressed interest in dealing for the right-hander, a person familiar with the situation said. The interest, the person said, was not aggressive, but not insignificant.

...

Garza, 29, is eligible to become a free agent this winter. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, any team that trades for Garza would not receive a compensatory draft pick in the event he signed elsewhere.

The price to acquire Garza would be steep. The Baltimore Sun reported the Orioles had offered infielder Jonathan Schoop and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez for Rodriguez. Both prospects ranked among the Top 100 in baseball coming into the season, according to ESPN’s Keith Law list.

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