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Cubs acquire Garza from Rays in multi-player deal

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Garza in a multi-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

Garza, who became the first member of the Rays to pitch a no-hitter when he blanked the Detroit Tigers last season, was the centerpiece of the eight player deal that also saw outfielder Fernando Perez and left-handed pitcher Zachary Rosscup move to Chicago.

Headed to Tampa are prospects right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, infielder Hak-Ju Lee and outfielders Sam Fuld and Brandon Guyer.

"It's not every day a premier and proven big-game pitcher entering his prime becomes available, and we couldn't be more thrilled to add Matt Garza to our pitching staff," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said in a statement.

"It is impossible to acquire a pitcher of Matt's caliber and not give up some quality talent and Tampa Bay certainly is acquiring solid prospects in this deal.

"But Matt brings a tremendous arm to help solidify a formidable pitching rotation not only for 2011 but for many years to come."

Garza posted a record of 15-10 last season with a 3.91 ERA and is 34-31 in 95 big-league appearances over the last three years but is also a proven post-season performer.

The 27-year-old right-hander earned American League Championship Series most valuable player honours in 2008, leading the Rays to the World Series.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Indianapolis; editing by Steve Ginsburg)