Matt Garza expected to return in early May

Matt Garza - USA TODAY Sports

Cubs righthander Matt Garza is expected to return to the Chicago rotation in early May

Chicago Cubs righthanded pitcher Matt Garza, who has been on the shelf this spring with a strained left lat muscle, is targeting early May for his return to the Cubs rotation.

This is noteworthy for Rangers fans primarily because Garza is a free agent at the end of this season and the Cubs are not expected to be competitive in 2013, meaning he is a likely candidate to be dealt come June or July.

The Rangers have had interest in Garza in the past, reportedly offering up a package headlined by Derek Holland to Tampa prior to the Rays dealing Garza to the Cubs in the 2010-11 offseason.

Garza is a former first round draft choice of the Minnesota Twins, who was traded to the Rays prior to the 2008 season in a multi-player deal that sent Delmon Young to Minnesota.

While the Rangers appear to be set in the rotation once Colby Lewis returns in early May, if someone in the rotation struggles or gets hurt during the summer, expect the Rangers to engage in trade talks with the Cubs over Garza.

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