Yesterday we discussed Matt Garza’s near-term future with the Chicago Cubs – a trade or an extension being the two presumed avenues – and, incidentally, the Cubs’ General Manager, Jed Hoyer, was also ready to discuss the same.
“We have a good relationship with Matt,” Hoyer told CSN out in Mesa yesterday. “We need more Matt Garzas. We’ll sit down to talk to him about a deal. We’re hoping to get something worked out, but you never know and we’ll keep it private when we do.”
Hoyer’s comments are consistent with things Theo Epstein has said about the situation. Namely, the Cubs would like to have a bunch of guys “like” Matt Garza. Whether that means they’ll actually be able to keep Garza for a long time (he’s under control through 2013 right now), or whether they’ll be bowled over by a trade offer, remains to be seen. The Cubs are undoubtedly open to either avenue.
For Garza’s part, he’s hoping to stay in Chicago.
“It’s a huge compliment to be wanted by other teams, but at the same time, you want to be in Chicago to turn things around,” Garza told CSN. “I fell in love with the city, the ballpark, the fans.
“This sport should be a family industry. It’s like having a 9-to-5 job then. My big performance is by 1 [p.m.] and then I’m home having dinner with my kids by 5:30. I love being home with my kids. Getting to be with them is a huge plus.”
If you love it so much, might I suggest a “hometown discount,” Mr. Garza? Just kidding. Kind of.
As for the specifics of an extension, Garza says he’s interested, but will remain largely mum.
“What player doesn’t want the front office to commit to them? For me, it’s nothing but compliments. The way it goes is the way it goes. It’ll be behind closed doors. It’s huge for me. It would be huge for my family …. I’m ready to help the Cubs win.”
The Cubs aren’t likely to want to go much longer than five years in an extension for Garza, preferably subsuming his last remaining year of arbitration eligibility (2013), if not this year as well. By the end of such an extension, if it were tacked onto his current team control, Garza would acquire 10/5 rights (10 years in the league, the last five with the same team), which would allow him to block a trade. Since the Cubs’ front office is generally opposed to handing out no-trade clauses, you’ve got to assume they’d rather not push up against 10/5 rights if they can avoid it.
As for the dollars in an extension, it depends on how many of his arbitration years are included. But, $15 million annually is not at all out of the question.