Matt Garza Actually Requested $12.5 Million in Arbitration, Not $10.225 Million

In a correction to the figure reported earlier this week, Matt Garza’s requested salary for 2012, in his third year of arbitration, was not a very high $10.225 million. Instead, it was a very, very high $12.5 million.

Bruce Levine reported the correction, and Jon Heyman explained that he misread the chart previously ($10.225 million is the midpoint between Garza’s ask – $12.5 million – and the Cubs’ offer – $7.95 million).

Buster Olney earlier tweeted that “[in the v]iew of rival executives: Matt Garza’s $10.225 million arbitration request greatly complicates any interest in him as a trade target.” I responded to Buster that the suggestion made no sense, given that the midpoint between that request and the Cubs’ offer was about $9 million, a salary most expected Garza would get for 2012. He added that teams want cost certainty, and “aren’t wild” about the idea of having to pay Garza $10.225 million in 2012. I wonder if Olney had his info right, but his number wrong.

The difference may seem slight, at first – it’s just $2 million. But you must remember, whatever salary Garza gets in 2012 will directly impact his salary in 2013, and will directly impact the starting point for negotiations on an extension.

This is kind of a big deal.

I’ll be going into greater detail on the case for each number soon, but, in short, Garza’s request is quite bold. Recall, if the case were to go to arbitration, only one number can be chosen – either the Cubs’ offer, or Garza’s request. There is no middle ground. Historically, teams have won arbitration cases at an approximately three to one rate, and Garza’s ask is very aggressive. It’s hard to see him winning, and instead looks designed to produce a high settlement from a President (Theo Epstein) whom Garza knows has never taken a player to arbitration.

Very shrewd. Very risky.

It could also be the case that Garza doesn’t particularly want to be part of a rebuilding team, and is trying to give the Cubs a nudge about getting him off the team – which would be unfortunate for the Cubs. The high request might make the Cubs more willing to trade Garza, but it makes him slightly less attractive on the trade market. The more I think about this, the more it is a bit of a bummer.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

126 responses to “Matt Garza Actually Requested $12.5 Million in Arbitration, Not $10.225 Million”

  1. Leo Deleon

    Soriano please just go away!

  2. Andy Nelson

    Doesn’t this move put all of the options on the table, including a long-term extension? If your supposition is right that a high bid actually make him harder to trade (or less valuable), than maybe his number was meant to induce a 2,3,5-yr offer so that he can earn a little more this year and buy-out his arbitration and maybe some more guaranteed years now? Maybe he really likes Chicago?

  3. loyal100more

    i think if you could ink garza now for say 60M 5 yr we’re still very much sticking to the rebuild process.

  4. Tony S

    Garza + Byrd to Boston for Middlebrook, Barnes, Coyle and Kukuk?

    1. loyal100more

      and comp. dealt with and done.

  5. Leo Deleon

    I doubt he loves Chicago. He’s heard boos the last couple yrs every time he runs out to left. He knows that by going to Baltimore he’s admitted his career is over. If he wants to play for a contender he’s staying because we’re just that right?

  6. Duke11

    With Marlon Byrd losing 40 pounds, does it make more sense to wait until mid season and see if it has improved his trade value at all. Could increase his speed slightly in the outfield.

    1. JR 1908

      Byrd lost 40 lbs?? If that is true I would say wait until the season starts to trade him. I always felt he was a little hefty for the outfield.

      1. Duke11

        Yeah, I figure as long as we are waiting several months for Jackson anyway, might as well see what Marlon can do to increase value.

  7. loyal100more

    plus marlon is relatively cheap, and in my opinion a decent player. if hes taken off some weight, trimmed down a bit, and comes to ST looking sharp, hed make a great guy to keep the position warm for brett jackson.

    1. Duke11

      I am guessing with a few hours of Muay Thai a week he is in pretty good shape.

  8. Leo Deleon

    Out of all the prospects the Cubs have been rumored to in exchange for Garza who is the best?

  9. Tony S

    I would still pull the trigger on that trade now. Byrd might be lighter but his fielding has never been in question and if he has lessened his weights program to lose weight then his already minimal power may decline further?
    Perhaps he is just tailoring his physical condition to the type of player he now is. A good fielding outfielder with mediocre power but a decent average. I cant see there will be much of a spike in performance so i’d be happy to pull the trigger now.

    1. Duke11

      It wasn’t a lessening of weights- he found out he was allergic to milk and wheat and started using Muay Thai training. This is according to an article on

    2. loyal100more

      im yet to hear anything in the way of a trade for byrd… though ive heard a little talk has come his way

  10. Leo Deleon

    Big Z lost 40 pounds then he went nuts. Lol

  11. loyal100more

    hopefully marlon doesnt sock somebody in the clubhouse, or take out a cooler.

  12. Mikeyman23

    Big Z was nuts before he lost the 40lbs loyal..haha

  13. die hard

    Seattle would take Garza to replace Pineda for their minor league arms and have good arms like these as described in scouting report:

    2) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Grade A-: A future number one starter, if he stays healthy and builds on what he did in 2011. Combination of stuff, athleticism, and better-than-expected polish makes him special in my view.

    3) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Grade A-: Less risk than Walker, but upside not quite as high. He still projects as a number two starter for me and he won’t need long in the minors.

    4) James Paxton, LHP, Grade B+: Borderline A-. Like Hultzen, he can be a number two starter with his plus stuff from the left side, although his command isn’t as refined as Hultzen’s. Can you imagine if the Blue Jays had signed Paxton in 2009? How good would that system look if they had another ace-quality arm?

    1. loyal100more

      the talent is there but i have heard nothing in regards to garza from seattle. i did notice that supposedly there is a new team in regards to garza. any idea who that team is? by the way good research, always good to get caught up on these young guys.

  14. Cheryl

    I’d trade him and be done with it. He may not like the thought of Marmol as closer and want out. If he doesn’t get what he asked for, he will be unhappy, If he’s wanting an extension and trying to force the issue and doesn’t get one, he will be unhappy. Or, maybe he doesn’t want to be part of a rebuild mode. To me it seems like he wants out.

  15. Mike F

    If Detroit were willing include Turner and either Smiley or Oliver, maybe this is something to discuss. But any trade to Boston or inclusion in anyway of Garza or a prospect like Jackson is and amounts to insane banter. Some of you are so infatuated with the idea of rebuilding, you’re putting yourselves in an altered state. The object of trading assets is getting something of greater value back. Turner might fit the argument, most of this other nonsense doesn’t.

    As far as Larry the Weasel and Boston, it’s clear Cerington is just a bag boy for Larry and they have a nut case with a huge ego for a manager to prove it. If Kenney so bungled this thing, that the Cubs are in danger of losing major assets in compensation for Theo, then this whole damn mess is on Ricketts. The idea that the Cubs would now be faced with some compensation that is tied to Garza or a major asset makes me want to puke. I have no doubt as I said from day one, if this went to the used car king, McNutt might be cheap, and it looks clear that may indeed be how this plays out. Kenney is a moron who pushed to sign Soriano and some of the other garbage. That he couldn’t even competently negotiate this on the front end is just further proof of how incompetent he really is.

    In the end, the object is to not be in a position of counting on junk like Wells or acting like Rodrigo Lopez is something he isn’t. Garza should be dealt if you can get a grade prospect and some B’s like Turner and Smiley, not to trade just to trade.

  16. Cheryl

    I’d prefer your approach to a trade, Mike. But Garza may have succeeded in closing a lot of doors. He’s put the cubs on a spot and I’m sure he knows it. There may not be many suitors to choose from after this.

  17. 2much2say

    This is a good thing. 7.95 mil vs 12.5 mil? Garza will lose this one and set himself up for a low arb in 2013. His trade value will be higher.

    1. Cheryl

      Maybe his value will increase after he loses in arbitration like you say. But I did see on another bog that there is a suggestion that Soriano and Garza might find a home in Detroit. Don’t know if that’s feasible or not.

  18. 2much2say

    The best chance is with the Yankees for Burnett. Soriano and 20 mil gets it done

    1. LouCub

      Theo and Jed would probably release Soriano instead of taking on another crap contract for him…I would not worry so much about the Cubs having to give up lots in compensation for Theo…If Bud gives Boston something significant after Theo was given a raise and promotion(something (the promo) he never would have gotten with Lucchino in Boston then he is setting a HORRIBLE precedent in baseball.It will never happen…It’s like when after all this comp bs started and Lucchino was playing hardball with the Cubs the BoSox wante dto interview John Farrell from Toronto and the Toronto Gm said sure just give us Clay Bucholtz..Boston deffered…Ozzie comparisons should not be made because the Marlins tampered the Cubs did not..

  19. 2much2say

    Remember who said it first
    January 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink | Reply
    The best chance is with the Yankees for Burnett. Soriano and 20 mil gets it done

    1. loyal100more

      great idea! is anyone listening up there…. great proposal.

      1. Mick

        It’s going to take more money than that in my opinion. I bet we’d have to pay his entire 2014 salary plus the difference in salaries for 2012 and 2013 which would be $2.5 million per.

        1. loyal100more

          thats pretty close to a match given the yanks need for a DH bat. not to mention they make a payroll friendly deal for that need. if he stinks then they can waive him… much like we would be forced to do with burnett if he didnt contribute at all. but i think burnett is a better fit for our club bad contracts considered of coarse.

    2. JulioZuleta

      That saves you $1 million and blocks a spot in the rotation with an old, ineffective player. I would prefer they just release him.

      1. loyal100more

        if they dont trade him… he probably leads the team in HR and RBI!… why would you release him? no logic in that… plenty of creative solutions within the 40 man roster.

        1. JulioZuleta

          I said I’d rather release him than save just $1 million and take back Burnett, who will take up a spot in the rotation that should be used to see what we have in some of the younger guys. It’s not like Burnett will make us a playoff team, and I think there’s more value for this team in Soriano than there is in A.J. Burnett plus $1 million.

          I think Soriano is still a valuable player, he’s just not in a good spot. He should belongs as a DH, which the Cubs can’t offer, and we also have Brett Jackson, Sappelt, Szczur (not this year, but soonish) and possibly Cespedes. I personally like Soriano, and I 100% agree that if he starts every day he’ll lead the league in HRs. I don’t want them to release him yet, the AJ deal just isn’t the answer.

          1. loyal100more

            i see where your going… the same place as all of us fans… what the f–k do we do with sori?! you know if it wasnt for the money(thats a huge if!) we wouldnt have any issue with this guy… sorry alfanso! we still love you, we just HATE your contract!

            1. JulioZuleta

              Yeah, pretty much. It sucks, he seems like a good guy and a good teammate, not to metion he’s been fairly effective for us. It’s not his fault the Cubs wayyyy overpaid. I’ll always remember his positively, but be very happy when his contract is gone.