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Olney: The Rays would prefer to trade Garza next summer

Jan 5, 2011, 9:46 AM EDT

Matt Garza throwing

After the back-and-forth on the Adrian Beltre deal I’m not 100% inclined to believe those who naysay a potential transaction, but this is worth noting: contrary to reports last night, Buster Olney says that the Rays are not close to trading Matt Garza and would rather trade him next summer at the deadline instead.

We’ve known the Rays and Cubs have been talking, but I’m a little dubious about those teams matching up well in a trade. The Cubs’ system is not fat with prospects, and it seems like the Rays could do better elsewhere.  If Olney is right, they’ll try to do so next year.

It may be the smart play from a competitive standpoint too. I mean, I think the Rays are going to finish third in the division as we sit here today, but it’s possible that the Yankees will stumble out of the gate and the Rays could outperform expectations. If so, they’d probably prefer to have the pitching depth for a run at the playoffs, wouldn’t they?

  1. BC - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Craig, I agree. They want to see if they are in contention. If they’re 10 or more games out in July, then trade him.
    Though I think its a possibility the Red Sox could stumble out of the gate unless Beckett and Lackey at least partially get their act together.

  2. sknut - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Garza is an interesting guy, I am not sure he has even tapped his true potential. I don’t think the Cubs are a good fit. And yes the Rays would be better off holding onto Garza, heck maybe they could bleed the Yankees if they aren’t in it and the Yanks need another pitcher.

  3. jasoncollette - Jan 5, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    They could also take the $5m saved by trading Garza, give Hellickson a rotation spot, and use the money to buy some lumber at 1B and DH that’s still out there. Hell, they could even bring back Balfour to help solidify the bullpen with the cash savings. The best time to trade Garza is now as the Rays are still in the driver’s seat; they lose more leverage the closer the get to next off-season as his arb price escalates.

  4. Ick McWang - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    garza wouldn’t make it under the intense pressure in a Chicago or New York. As great as he can be, his lack of composure after a bad call or bad luck was very noticeable (hes much much better this past year at containing himself then the past, but you can still see. he spits all the time, but when he is worked up its like a never ending spit. I have no idea where all the saliva comes from)

    and as a die hard rays fan who knows the roster front and back, i really don’t think chicago has anything we would want except MAYBE Soto, and I don’t see Chicago trading him, plus we have two catchers under contract for next year already in a payroll reduced year, so…. I doubt it.

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