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Matt Garza already drawing trade interest from six teams

Jun 24, 2012, 12:05 PM EDT

matt garza getty Getty Images

Nick Cafardo’s Sunday notes column in the Boston Globe is always a must-read. And it only gets better as MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

Cafardo reports today that “about six teams have been on the phone” consistently over the past few weeks with Cubs president Theo Epstein concerning the availability of right-handed starter Matt Garza.

Those six clubs: the Braves, Tigers, Cardinals, Red Sox, Jays, and Royals. With plenty of room for more.

Garza, 28, has registered a solid 4.07 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 72/22 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings (13 starts) this season for last-place Chicago. He’s making a $9.5 million salary here in 2012 and will eligible for arbitration for the final time heading into 2013. Epstein and Co. are obviously looking to get prospects in return.

  1. redguy12588 - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Hmmm. The lack of control for Garza definitely hurts his trade value. I wonder why the cubs just don’t keep him and sign him to a long term deal. They have a lack of pitching prospects in their system and Garza is still young.

    • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Same reason Tampa didn’t keep him. He’s a head case, and selfish.

      • Cris E - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        That was reportedly why MIN sent him to TAM too.

  2. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    makes no sense why the cubs would want to move this guy, his contract is affordable, this is why the cubs never win. making dumb moves like this

    • Alex K - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      They aren’t close to contention right now. If Garza can bring back 1-2 very solid younger pieces then it doesn’t make sense to keep him around.

      • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        I don’t suppose they’d be interested in Tweeter anymore. Sigh. And the Feesh don’t have all that much on the farm these days, either. Maybe Theo needs some tractors and ploughs?

    • monarch897 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      This is exactly why Epstein kept him knowing that the Cubs weren’t going to contend. This guy and Dempster for that matter are going to cement the future for Theo and the Cubs.

      Trade Bait!

  3. xavier46 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I just do not see Garza as the ace of a staff. He’s more of a 2nd, maybe 3rd starter. Would I be happy to have him on my favorite team, yes. Would I give up top prospects, no.

  4. illcomm - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Since when is a 4.07 era solid.

    • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Average NL ERA = 3.96

      Average NL starter ERA = 4.02

      With the exception of last year, when he was very good, Garza has been an average to slightly above average starter his entire career. While I wouldn’t mind having him on my team, I sure wouldn’t want my team to give up any high ceiling prospects for him…he’s just not that big of an upgrade for a rotation.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        It depends on the specific team, but ERA-lgERA analysis ignores the fact that Garza typically gives you about 200 innings per year, which is more than the average starter. There’s a reason he’s averaged over 3 fWAR/season the past four years. Depending on where your team is on the win curve, it could absolutely be worthwhile to give up a blue-chip prospect for him.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        For example, I think it would make a lot of sense for the Blue Jays to be willing to go beyond the equal-value price on Garza if the auction price is driven up. Matt Garza would probably be a 1.5-2 win upgrade over, say, Henderson Alvarez over the rest of the season, and those wins would be pretty important to the Jays.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Yes, but will those 2 wins really mean anything (i.e. will they be the difference between making and missing the playoffs)? Probably not. The Blue Jays are a team that will always have to build through the minors and supplement with FA signings, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to give up quality prospects for a player that won’t be cheap and will be a FA after 2013.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        I find it incredibly likely that the Blue Jays will be within two wins of a playoff spot. As of right now, coolstandings has every non-Yankee team in the ALE with expW between 83.4 and 84.8, with the Angels at 87.1. You don’t think that the Jays boosting their expW from 84.7 to 86.7 would be incredibly valuable? Eyeballing things, those two wins probably give the Jays an 8-10% boost in playoff probability, much moreso than adding two wins would for an average team in an average playoff-leverage situation. Combine that with the fact that Garza is likely to provide a context-neutral surplus over his contract for the next year and a half and acquiring him now allows his new team to still recoup draft picks after the 2013 season, and I think there’s plenty of reason for a contender with a hole on its pitching staff to chase Garza.

      • paperlions - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        To sum up, the best case scenario is that Garza would increase the likelihood that Toronto could be in the play-in game by about 10%….meaning they would have about a 5% better chance of making the playoffs (an actual series of games) than without Garza. What would give up for that 5%?

        If they keep him all of 2013, he will cost about $15M…and after that they can get some compensation only if they make Garza a substantial offer (= to the average of the 125 richest MLB contracts) and he turns it down, and teams now will only get sandwich round picks as compensation.

      • xavier46 - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Kevin S. – “incredibly likely” that they will be within 2 games of a playoff spot? Wow.

        The last time they finished within 2 games of a playoff spot was 1993 (when they won the east). They are currently in last place.

        I’m not using any sabermetrics to back up my argument, nor am I trying to hammer the Jays – I do not see forsee a situation where they finish within 2 games of a playoff spot, with or without Garza. The Yankees, Angels, and Rangers are not slowing down. When (maybe if) the Red Sox get healthy, they should rise. Who knows about the O’s. The Rays have proven they can’t be counted out.

        <20% chance the Jays finish within 2 games.


      • seandconner - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        to the guy who asked does 2 games matter? It sure does when you are trying to get home field or when you are trying to clinch so you can rest your stars an extra day or two. Can you really put a price tag on a championship?

      • paperlions - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        When you are going to finish 8 games back, 2 games don’t matter.

    • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM

      Since it’s on a Cub’s roster!

  5. illcomm - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    He is at best a number 4 starter on most teams.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      He’s 57th among qualified starters in ERA, making him a weak 2nd or strong 3rd starter, and that’s assuming that this, his worst season in five years, is the level he’ll pitch at going forward and not the superior level he displayed from ’08-’11. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having Matt Garza as your second-best starter.

    • sabatimus - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Garza isn’t is consistent enough to be a top starter, but he’s certainly better than a #4. The man has some SCARY stuff when he’s on.

      • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        Agreed. He kind of reminds me of Yovanni Gallardo. For years we have been wondering when he will take the step and become the ace we need him to be but he just never seems to take the next step. That being said he is still extremely valuable and a good #2 pitcher for us especially when he has his stuff working.

  6. ndnut - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Bring him back to Twins Territory, Mr. Ryan! Do it!

  7. SteelyMcBeam6 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Wouldn’t mind at all of the red sox traded for garza. But then he would probably just end up on the DL

  8. bronco1991 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    With the injuries in the jays lineup AA should be looking into garza. If we wanna stay competitive in the al east we need pitching help

    • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM


  9. rooney24 - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Have to wonder if the guy might be a pain behind the scenes, if these teams keep trading him. I seem to recall he had some issues with the coaching staff in his time in Minnesota, although he may have just been young and stubborn at that point.

    • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      He’s a real head case and teammates do not get along. That’s why Tampa got rid of him ASAP!

  10. buffalo65 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I am the real Kevin s. the jays will get some pitching help soon and they will contend, but it won’t be with Garza.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

      The Cubs pitcher that would help the Jays the most is Dempster and he is on the DL.

      • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Dempster will not play for minimum wage so Toronto is out.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        LOL! Haven’t you heard of the “home country discount”! He would be happy to play here even if it was only for half a season.

  11. lax12345 - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Do the Yankees need him?

    • pisano - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      Hell no, besides them not needing him, he’s awful to watch. This guy spits more than he pitches, when he was with the Rays and was pitching I wouldn’t watch his starts, it’s just disgusting to watch his incessant spitting.

    • rico7207 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Not a chance. They do not take on head cases as teammates.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        A) You’ve got no evidence of Garza being a head case besides the fact that he’s been traded twice. That’s one fewer times than Cliff Lee. I guess he’s really just an overrated asshole, too.

        B) Are you insane? The Yankees don’t take on headcases? Have you paid *any* attention to the team over the past thirty-five years? They’ll take anybody if they think the talent will play on the field.

  12. foreverchipper10 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Welcome to Atlanta where the players play.

  13. spikeintn - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Garza, LaHair, & W. Castillo to Rangers for Olt, Kirkman, Scheppers, Borbon, Perez, and Buckel. That’s four up-side pitching prospects, a useful piece in CF, and a multi-year All-Star at 3B for many years fr Chicago. Texas gets it’s first WS.

  14. voight444 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    how about Wandy Rod, with Houston. Think he would big a great pitchers for the Jays.

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