All quiet on Garza front

As the workweek came to a close Friday, Matt Garza was still officially a free agent.

On Thursday, reports surfaced that Garza and the Brewers had agreed in principle to a four-year, $52 million pact and that Garza had undergone a physical exam. But a press conference at Miller Park never came to pass, and throughout the day Friday as rumors flew on social media, both sides remained mum about the nature of the perceived holdup.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin did not immediately respond to a telephone message, and assistant GM Gord Ash said he couldn’t comment. Garza’s agent, Nez Balelo, also declined to comment.

One source privy to the negotiations said there was no update as of mid-afternoon, and advised to “stay tuned.” He declined to say, even in general terms, what was impeding the deal.

Brewers officials had said earlier this winter that they were comfortable with a starting rotation comprised of right-handers Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada and Tyler Thornburg, with Thornburg earning fifth starter duties based on a strong finish to 2013, and fellow prospects Johnny Hellweg and Jimmy Nelson waiting in the wings. So it came as a surprise to many, including Lohse, when word spread Thursday morning that the Brewers were nearing a deal with Garza, 30, who would add experience to the top half of that group.

If an agreement is not completed before then, the Garza matter figures to hang over the Brewers’ annual “On Deck” event in downtown Milwaukee on Sunday. The event is free to fans this year.

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Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy

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