He was close on Thursday, but Matt Garza was not a Brewer just yet.

On Thursday evening the team took the rare step of releasing a statement to respond to reports, including from Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and FOXSports.com, that the sides were in agreement on a four-year, $52 million contract, pending a physical. Rosenthal later reported that Garza had indeed undergone his physical.

But instead of officially announcing what would be the richest free-agent contract in Brewers history, the team issued a statement at 6:11 p.m. CT that read: "Despite media reports, negotiations between the Brewers and Matt Garza are ongoing, but there is no deal yet."

The nature of the holdup is unclear. Assistant general manager Gord Ash declined to comment, as did a representative of Garza.

One source said that the sides simply need more time to hash out the final terms of the agreement. So for at least one more day, the Brewers are the only team in baseball that has not signed a single Major League free agent.

If the contract is eventually finalized, Garza would bolster a rotation that was among the best in baseball during the second half of 2013. Garza, 30, began the last three seasons with the Cubs before a July trade to the Rangers and has a 3.84 ERA over parts of eight years in the Majors.

He would join a rotation previously expected to include Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada and Tyler Thornburg, but Gallardo is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract and could become trade bait with Garza in the fold. Thornburg is still relatively unproven and could wind up in a relief role.

That depth could come in handy, because Garza has dealt with some health concerns. He spent time on the disabled list in each of the past three seasons, including six weeks in 2013 with a strained rib cage. In 2011 and 2012, he missed starts with elbow issues.