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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.

  • die hard

    Find Dombrowski’s phone no in rolodex and please get him on the line was likely his first move after getting back to his office. Garza to Tigers is a deal waiting to happen. The question is when and for whom

    • ferrets_bueller

      The Tigers have no one I want for garza. No one. Jacob Turner is, IMO a massively overrated prospect, and Castellanos is still a crap shoot.

      • Peter O

        I’m not sure how a 6’5, 215 lbs kid who can throw in the mid 90′s with a plus curve and change is overrated. He spent time in AAA last year as a 20 year old.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Easy. He doesn’t have the stuff to be a number 1. His ceiling is at the very, very best a #2, and a lot of people, BA included, think his just as likely to be a #3.

          • Quintz

            Didn’t you just describe Matt Garza. In an average rotation Matt Garza is at best a number 2 and more than likely a 3. There are about 5-7 teams where he’s a number 4 or 5. I love Garza, but he isn’t an elite pitcher, not even close. He falls in at about the 30th best pitcher in baseball. Just cause he’s our number 1, doesn’t make him more valuable to another team.

            I don’t know if Turner will pan out, but to say him being a number 2 or 3 starter is some sort of a bust is insane. I don’t know what some of y’all want for him?

            • ferrets_bueller

              I think Garza is a solid #2, with a slight bit of potential to be better. But he is most definitely a solid #2. Which is the point- a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. If you trade him, you better get a hell of a lot better return than Turner, otherwise its pointless. Detroit has nothing to offer, unless you’re gettuing Turner and Smyly, plus ???

            • Beer Baron

              Garza is a low end 1 or solid #2 on an “average team”. On a few stocked teams (Phils, Giants, Angels) he’d be a 3 or 4, but that is more a reflection on how good those teams are than anything about Garza. I agree that expectations are too high, but on the other hand prospects and projections are a very iffy business – I think you need more than one prospect with some questions to give up a pretty sure (if not spectacular) thing. At this point, barring an unbelievable offer, I say they sould extend Garza because what he is is still better than anything the Cubs have now or will have over the next few years.

              • ferrets_bueller

                I really dislike defining pitchers in this manner- to me, thats not what being a #2 means. Teams like Philly and SF have multiple #1s- if he was there, he’d still be a #2, he’d just be the 3rd or 4th guy to pitch. That doesn’t means he’s not still a #2 starter. He’s a number 2, regardless of where he pitches. He might not be THE #2. but he is still A #2.

                • DocWimsey

                  Really, the way I’d want to classify pitchers is, given their typical start (in particular, HR, K, BB & GB/FB rates), then what is the probability that a team with league average offense will win a game?

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  Agreed. Just because there are 30 teams doesn’t mean there are 30 aces or 30 #2′s.
                  The Cubs, for instance, have one #2, a bunch of 4/5′s, and maybe a 3 if you want to peg Dempster in there.

              • Quintz

                Y’all are nuts. Garza as a 1 makes me laugh, then I stop laughing, cause he’s our 1 this year. Sometimes when people put the blue glasses on, that’s all they see, and that’s cool. I like the enthusiasm and any amusement I get out of the blue glass evaluations make my day very enjoyable. While optimism about one’s home team is very dumb, it’s something I genuinely envy in others.

                MLB network is doing a top 100 players (pitchers and hitters) right now and the Cubs have 1 player in top 100……1…..and he’s number 98 (Castro). Trading Garza (who wouldn’t sniff that list) for prospects seems like a prudent move for a team with almost no major league talent and a below average minor league system.

        • Peter O

          Agree to disagree on that one. Mid 90′s heat, two plus secondary offerings, and a BB/9 below 3 for a 20 year old? I’ll take two please.

          • ferrets_bueller

            “two plus secondary offers”

            I’m not sure where this conception came from, but thats what I mean by ‘overrated.’ He has two average second/third pitches, and on top of that, his fastball isnt entirely a plus pitch- its not really a swing and miss type. But its close.

            • CubFan Paul

              ferrets the kid hasnt turned 21 yet. he doesnt have to joing the rotation now but having him as a 5th starter on a rebuilding club (Cubs) it makes total sense. His stuff will come along; i think you’re ignoring his “upside”

  • Peter O

    I think it’s going to take at least Jered Weaver money to keep him in Chicago. 5 years/$85M. Remember, Weaver took a hometown discount to stay in LA as well.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Weaver, though, was a clearly superior pitcher.

      • Edgar

        Im thinking a Weaver season like last years is coming for Garza. I cant remember a player who has been so open about their situation and not complain. He always finds ways to say the right things.

        • Quintz

          My God, we have all lost our minds about Garza. Jered Weaver is in a different class than Matt Garza (and Garza is in a nice class).

      • Peter O

        Not by a lot, and he took a discount to stay in LA. I think he could’ve received $100M+ if he had gone to FA.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Sure. And I’m not saying Garza isn’t awesome. He is. I’m just not sure Weaver’s the comp I’d be going to.

          • CubFan Paul

            yea, Weaver shouldnt be a comparison because of Garza 2 remaining arb years (right? or did Weaver have one arb year left? (2012)). the most Garza will get annually (AAV) is $12M-$13.5M

    • Dave

      Garza’s comparable is John Danks who just signed an extension for 5 years $65.

      • JR Cubs

        That sounds about right. Did Danks get a full no trade clause? Seems like that may be one of the hangups with Garza.

      • Peter O

        Garza’s comparables from PECOTA are Josh Becket, Adam Wainwright, and John Lackey. Lackey got 5 years/$82.5 from the Red Sox.

        • Beer Baron

          Great — all three were hurt last year.

          • Peter O

            Good call. If those are his closest comparables, how much of an injury risk is Garza?

    • Peter O

      Not last year. Weaver last year had a 7.56 K/9, 2.14 BB/9 and a 3.20 FIP. Garza had an 8.95 K/9, 2.86 BB/9 and a 2.95 FIP.

      Weaver’s been better over his career (3.64 FIP vs. 3.98 FIP), but its not by a lot.

  • JR Cubs

    Considering Yadier Molina just got a 5 yr. 75million contract. Wow… Garza at the price doesn’t sound that bad…

    • ferrets_bueller

      Molina is a game changing catcher, I’d pay him whatever he wants. There is not a single catcher in baseball right now I would take over him.

      • Andrew

        Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, there are better catchers than Molina. Not saying his contract wont be worth it, just saying there are catchers I’d rather have.

  • die hard

    Hows this trade sound? Garza for these 3 Tigers prospects from:

    http://baseballinstinct.com/2011/11/29/detroit-tigers-2012-top-ten-prospects-list/

    3. Drew Smyly LHP 6/13/1989 H: 6’3″ W: 1990 – A 2nd round pick in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of Arkansas, Smyly wasted no time in proving that he belonged. He started his season at Advanced-A Lakeland, but ended the season in Double-A Erie sporting a 1.18 ERA, giving up 6 earned runs and walking 15 and striking out 53 hitters in 45 innings pitched. He got it done with a low-90s fastball and advanced command and control of his curveball and change-up. Due to this season’s efforts Smyly was named Tigers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

    4. Eugenio Suarez SS 7/18/1991 H: 5’11″ W: 155 – Suarez signed as an undrafted free agent from Puerto Ordaz, Edo Bolivar, Venezuela as an 18-year-old. In 2011, after a short stay tearing up the Gulf Coast League, hitting .341 and scoring a .295 ISOP, Suarez was moved to the NYPenn League and finished the season there hitting .250 with 51 hits, 11 doubles, 5 triples, and 5 homeruns in 204 at bats, along with 9 stolen bases. He’s also a slick fielder at shortstop with good speed on the basepaths.

    7. Danry Vasquez OF 1/8/1994 H: 6’3″ W: 169 – Only 16 years old when the Tigers ponied up 1 million dollars to this Venezuelan outfielder, now he’s still just 17, but has completed his first year of professional baseball with a .272 batting average, 56 hits, 8 doubles, and 2 homeruns to go with 7 walk and 34 strikeouts in 206 at bats. Sure the only 7 walks is a problem and the .306/.350/.655 in nothing to write home about, but the kid shows some strong discipline by limiting his strikeouts to 34 in 206 at bats while making good contact with a 17% line drive rate. That said, Vasquez has a long road to the majors yet. Detroit shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to move him.

    • A_Mazz_Ing

      No Turner, no thanks. Any trade with the Tigers starts with Turner and you try to get Smyly as well.

      • die hard

        being greedy could pass up potential future stars. getting these 3 will allow for trade dividends to be enjoyed over several phases as the first is ready now, the second in 2 years and the last in 5 years.

      • BD

        Agreed- go for both pitchers, forget the 3B.

  • cubsin

    The Cubs need starting pitchers, not more shortstops or outfielders. That’s their primary need now, along with 3B and arguably 2B. If we trade Garza and let Dempster walk after 2012, our primary needs will be #1 starter, #2 starter and #3 starter.

  • Cliffy

    Brett do your sources have any info why we haven’t heard more on Concepcion?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope. Not a peep. No one seems worried, though.

  • TeddyBallGame

    Agreed for the most part “cubsin”. We need pitching and need a lot of it. Not only for future players on the Cubs squad, but for trade bait in the coming years. If we don’t get what we want for Garza, then re-sign him. I believe that if we don’t re-sign Garza, the front office will make sure we walk away feeling like the Cubs got the better end of any trade.

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