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Brewers sign Matt Garza to four-year, $52 million deal

Jan 23, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Getty Images

Now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market the other starting pitching dominoes can begin falling and Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Brewers have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Matt Garza.

That’s quite a bit less than most projections pegged Garza for at the beginning of the offseason and basically the same as the four-year, $49 million deal Ricky Nolasco got from the Twins.

Garza, who was traded from the Cubs to the Rangers in July and won’t require forfeiting a draft pick to sign, threw 155 total innings with a 3.82 ERA and 136/42 K/BB ratio last season. He’s struggled to stay healthy in recent years, but has generally been a solid No. 2 starter and is still only 30 years old.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    Twins fan chiming in real quick here: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!

  2. historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    Sexist tweets come as a bonus! He’ll fit right in among the Wisconsinites. he he

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      What the hell does that even mean?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        It means I don’t think the people of Wisconsin will appreciate him tweeting crap about other players’ wives. Enjoy!

      • drewsylvania - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Your explaination doesn’t go along with your original statement. He may have made sexist comments once but you also imply that that is more acceptable in Wisconsin than other places. Your retort says the exact opposite. I know you were making a joke but it missed.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Sorry, I assumed the sarcasm font was detectable without the “/s.” I will remember for next time.

    • drewsylvania - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Ye downthumbers have short-term memories.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        I don’t think the downthumbers are mad about whatever stupid tweets the guy made and my reply certainly wasn’t refuting those facts. The problem is with the implication that Wisconsin is more tolerant of sexism than other places and I dont know where that would come from. Call us fat, drunk, cheese hat wearing, beer drinkin’, Packer fans and I’ll laugh and nod in agreement but the joke that was used I dont see a basis of.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Sorry, guess I missed the sarcasm. It appears most others also did. Have to lay it on a little thicker next time.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        I guess. The premise of the joke is that Wisconsin tends to be more liberal and would NOT put up with that crap like Texas would.

  3. spudchukar - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Good for the Brew Crew. In my mind they are now in the mix for a wild card spot. Another starter signing and they could be in the NL central mix. I’m not as high on Davis in left, and the Overbay/Reynolds signings aren’t particularly overwhelming, but the core offense is dangerous, and if they can get Gallardo to bounce back and Peralta harnesses his wildness then there is no reason why they cannot compete for the division in 2014

    • gibbyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Even with all those ifs in no way do they figure to compete with St.Loo………Cards and dodgers are as much of a lock as can be to win their divsions..but goos luck to the Crew just the same

      • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I see no value in dissin’ the opposition. Sure the Cards look more complete on paper, and as I said I still think the Brewers need to add another starter to be in the thick of things, but a line-up that includes Gomez, Segura, Braun, Ramirez, and Lucroy, and a 1,2, and 3 of Gallardo, Lohse, and Garza sounds like nothing I would want to face in a series match-up.

      • missingdiz - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Did the Pirates and Reds turn into pumpkins?

      • gibbyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Not ‘dissin’ just making an observation..and I did say even with all the ifs it doesnt figure to happen. No such thing as a lock of course but Cards and Dodgers do figure to walk into the PS

      • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        No the Reds and the Pirates, will both be right there, and the Cubs will be better too, but a year or two from prevailing. That said the Reds have to do something yet in center, and the Pirates at first.

  4. uyf1950 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Garza should do well in the NL Central division. I guess the $13MM AAV is a result of the real concerns about Garza’s ability to stay healthy.

    • dondada10 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Agreed, but the 4 years suggests otherwise. Weird.

    • spudchukar - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      If Garza can “do well” in the NL Central, then he can do well in any other division too.

  5. tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Dang, if I had to choose between Nolasco and Garza for my Twins, it’d be Garza.

    There were even recent rumors that they were still “in” on him, but I doubted it. Had they not given Pelfrey that stupid contract, it could have happened, but there wasn’t a rotation spot open for him.

    Good for the Brewers. He’s going to be an awesome pitcher for them.

    Gallardo, Garza, and Lohse? Not bad.

    • tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      Also, odd note to include here:

      Historiophiliac, Paperlions, UYF, Sabathiawouldbegoodinthe8th, Fanofevilempire, Spudchukar, Proudlycanadian, dirtyharry, Old Gator, Raysfan, and chacochicken, you guys are all fun to read every day. I come to this site and read the stories, and rarely comment, but you guys are a blast. Keep up the good work!

  6. proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    $13 million a year and no loss of a draft pick. It will be interesting to see what the other 2 guys who will cost a draft pick will get.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    I get it in a way, but I wish my reality was such that two numbers with a difference of $3MM could be considered “basically the same.”

    • gibbyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Isn’t that the truth !! Shows how far from reality that world has gotten.

  8. garylanglais - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Additional perspective:

    2012: $9.5m
    2013: 10.25m

  9. happytwinsfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    that was pretty quick. i wonder if garza was hoping the yankees wouldn’t get tanaka and would then turn to him.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      That could be, I thought the Yankees would consider him and he pitched in the AL East.
      The four years is a lot, don’t think the Yanks would have done that. He could eat 200 innings.

  10. kelshannon19 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    The Brewers are the worst franchise in baseball. First of all, their ML team is absolutely god awful. Just pathetic. Even worse than their ML team is their farm system, which is 2nd to last in baseball. Why in the heck are they committing 4 years and X amount of dollars to Matt Garza? They won’t be good for years! They won’t rebuild and they don’t sign enough free agents to stay competitive. Signing garza is counter productive. They are the Astros from 2006-2010.

    • tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Switch to decaf.

    • uwsptke - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:46 PM


    • daltongangsb - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Wow, “worst franchise in baseball”??? I actually think they run a nice little outfit considering their smaller cash flow. They can’t throw around cash like New York, LA, Chicago, and the other fortunate franchises in bigger markets. Garza is probably as good as the Brew Crew can hope for and the fan base should be excited they finally have a decent rotation. You don’t have to go far(just south of the Wisconsin border) to find a worse franchise.

      • m3dman3 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Yes they do have the cash that other teams have. They just choose not to spend it on players.

      • daltongangsb - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Team revenue for the Brewers last year was $201 million, good for 20th in the league. Dodgers pulled in $245mil(6th) Cubs $274mil(4th) Yankees $471mil(1st). Hence, “smaller cash flow”. Just to clarify.

      • uwsptke - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        m3dman3 – maybe you missed the story about ten years ago announcing new ownership. The Seligs no longer own the team, so gone are the days of the $11 mil payrolls. They actually use their luxury tax proceeds on the team (the intended purpose), as opposed to teams like the Marlins that come under scrutiny for lining their owners’ pockets.

        But let’s not pretend they (and other small to mid market teams) are on the same playing field as these teams with huge TV deals. It takes the Dodgers about two weeks to make the same TV revenue that the Brewers get all season.

      • sawxalicious - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:25 AM

        @uwsptke: The luxury tax is NOT distributed to other teams for payroll purposes…”revenue sharing” is distributed – – –

        As explained by Fangraphs: “Technically called the “Competitive Balance Tax”, the Luxury Tax is the punishment that large market teams get for spending too much money. While MLB does not have a set salary cap, the luxury tax charges teams with high payrolls a considerable amount of money, giving teams ample reason to want to keep their payrolls below that level.”[3]

        The threshold level for the luxury tax will be $189MM in 2014 (up from $178MM from 2011-2013) and will remain at $189MM through 2016. From 2012 through 2016, teams who exceed the threshold for the first time must pay 17.5% of the amount they are over, 30% for the second consecutive year over, 40% for the third consecutive year over, and 50% for four or more consecutive years over the cap.[4]

        Only five teams have ever exceeded the luxury tax threshold, the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Detroit Tigers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the New York Yankees. Only the Red Sox and Yankees have exceeded it twice, with the Yankees having contributed 95% of the total contributions.

        The luxury tax is separate from revenue sharing, which is a system to balance out the income distribution between large and small market teams by dividing money from merchandise sales and media contracts. The money generated from the luxury tax is not distributed to the rest of the league, as is the case with the NBA, but rather is used for other purposes. The first $5 million is withheld to cover potential refunds, and is contributed to the Industry Growth Fund (IGF) if no refunds are forthcoming. The remaining money is divided as follows: 50% funds player benefits, 25% funds developing baseball in countries without high school baseball, and 25% goes to the IGF.[5]

    • brewcitybummer - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      There was an interesting little thought experiment on the BP daily podcast about a week ago where Ben Lindberg and Sam Miller were asking which Major League team would you pick to have in your favorite team’s division from this point forward.

      The consensus number one pick was the Brewer’s because of the short team mediocrity combined with the long term factors of laughable farm system, poor TV deal, small market and lack of potential for meaningful economic growth in the market. As a Brewers fan and someone who has lived here my whole life, I think they are probably right.

      It also occurred to me that it would be a pretty good blog post for someone looking to drive up page clicks on a slow news day (AHEM).

  11. artthoumad - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    so if the brewers still aren’t playoff bound in two years, should we expect Garza to get traded for prospects yet again?

  12. kappy32 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    That’s it?!?!?! 4 years @ $13 million for one of the best pitchers on the FA market? That’s a steal.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Totally agree. That was my first thought. Second thought — I bet he got offers for more per year but no one else wanted to go 4 years because of his injury history.

  13. kevjones75 - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Brewers 2014 is starting to look a little interesting.

    Suddenly you have a lineup that looks something like—1)Gomez, 2)Segura, 3)Braun, 4)Ramirez, 5)Lucroy, 6)Overbay, 7)Davis, 8)Gennett, 9)Pitcher

    Rotatation—1)Gallardo, 2)Lohse, 3)Garza, 4)Peralta, 5)Estrada.

    Not sure what the bullpen is gonna look like? But, it might be enough for me to subscribe to Extra Innings again this year.

    Dump Weeks for some bullpen help.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      We’d love to dump Weeks but with his $11 million salary with the numbers he’s put up his value isn’t real great.

    • mjames1229 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      Or at least give Weeks a first baseman’s glove and give him a shot there.

      I mean, we already own him. And if he fails, we are no worse off than we are now.

      • brewcrewchamps - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        Rickie weeks has a pretty awful glove. Sticking him at first, where you need a good glove, is not the best idea. I don’t know why people keep suggesting it

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        Yeah the whole Weeks at 1B is a terrible idea. I just dont get why people think he could go to a new position which he’s never played and it would somehow turn into a good idea because he cant even play the position he’s always played well. Not to mention he can’t damn hit! Their current 3 man platoon isn’t going to be the envy of the league but Weeks there would be even worse.

      • sawxalicious - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:37 AM

        Doug Melvin: We want you to play 1st base for the Milwaukee Brewers.
        Ricky Weeks: OK, well, I’ve only ever played second base.
        Doug Melvin: Scott, you’re not a second baseman any more. If you were our call wouldn’t be the only one you got when your contract expired.
        Ricky Weeks: Yeah, hey, listen, no I, I appreciate it.
        Doug Melvin: You’re welcome.
        Ricky Weeks: But the thing, thing is is that…
        Doug Melvin: You don’t know how to play 1st base. Ricky…
        Ricky Weeks: That’s right.
        Doug Melvin: It’s not that hard,Ricky. Tell him Garth.
        Garth Iorg: It’s incredibly hard.

  14. greej1938l - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Worst franchise in baseball? What’s you’re problem man?

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