God’s Benevolence Watch: Matt Garza Cleared to Resume Normal Activity

In timing that I now suspect isn’t a coincidence, today the Cubs announced that Matt Garza’s recent elbow scan (the one that set off last night/this morning’s kerfuffle) turned up clean. That’s very good news.

Garza has now been cleared to resume his normal offseason workout routine, as I suggested he would be. He’ll get ready in advance of Spring Training, when he’ll hopefully be ready to air it all out. For all intents and purposes, we can now say that Garza is “healthy.”

And, since Garza tweets are the order of the day, you should hear it from the man, himself:

Dude has a way with words. Looking forward to hearing more about his progress.

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

64 responses to “God’s Benevolence Watch: Matt Garza Cleared to Resume Normal Activity”

  1. Jacob

    Hopefully this article is Matt Garza approved.. lol.

  2. JB88

    CONSPIRACY THEORY TIME – What do you think his “freedom” means? That he will be free from the Cubs in 2013???!!! OMG!! AHHH!!!

  3. cubchymyst

    It is time to strip off the cat’s pajamas and have some fun

  4. TWC

    Strap what on tight, Mr. Garza?

    1. Internet Random

      If it’s anything but a helmet, Matt can count me out. (Safety first, yo.)

      1. hansman1982

        Hip waders? Maybe Matt REALLY wants to go fly fishing.

    2. King Jeff

      Banana Hammocks?

    3. baldtaxguy

      Hawk always instructs his viewers to “cinch it up and strap it down….” CONSPIRACY THEORY TIME: Maybe this is Garza reaching out to the Sox FO…to “free” him.

  5. Matthew

    I love Matt Garza, but I still hope in the end he gets the Cubs an elite prospect.

  6. DocPeterWimsey

    A way with words? Yes. A way with grammar? Not so much!

  7. Carne Harris

    I think the God’s Benevolence pic should be this.

    1. JB88

      I’d go with Buddy Christ, but anything from the Monty Python boys is A-OK with me too.

      File:Buddy_christ.jpg

    2. wilbur

      Classic, but rarely benevolent; usually more fickle and Zeusish in his screwing with the mortals.

  8. Curt

    how bout garza for Bauer everyone takes a chance

  9. Chris

    Junior Lake and Ronald Torreyes to the Marlins for Yunel Escobar. Matt Garza, Escobar, Arismendy Alcantara, and other considerations for Justin Upton.

    1. Chad

      Hmm, I don’t like that deal. Personally I would hope that Garza would get us that in an ven swap without having to give up Lake and Torreyes. Also, I would much prefer pitching prospects than Upton. MUCH MUCH prefer.

    2. kranzman54

      Boy I would love it. It just seems like those trades only happen in video games and occassionally Toronto.

      1. Chris

        I’m not sure if the D-backs have ANY interest in Escobar. And a healthy Garza probably also gets us a pitching prospect in return, along with Upton. Given what Miami is doing, Escobar doesn’t feel like he’ll be a long-term player there. And Az needs a SS. The Cubs won’t be able to keep all these middle infield prospects, especially with Castro already locked up long-term. Even moving Lake, Torreyes, and Alcantara, they are still very deep at SS/2B. Marco Hernandez, Baez, Gioskar Amaya, Stephen Bruno, Michael Saunders, Logan Watkins, just to name a few. Barney can certainly hold down the position until somebody else better supplants him. It won’t happen, but I was curious what opinions might be for something like this.

        1. Chad

          I have absolutey no problem dealing Lake and Torreyes, and I hope that the cubs do before the season starts, but to put all that together for just Upton doesn’t make sense to me. Especially if Soriano is still on the team. I think those players mentioned get you more than just Upton’s value and I expect the cubs to look for pitching, not Upton.

          1. Chris

            Why not both? Az does have young pitching depth too. They want a veteran for the rotation, hence Garza. Upton makes the most money of the OFs they have, so they save salary. And they need a ML ready SS for 2013, which I’m proposing could be Escobar. I could see more coming back the Cubs way, like young pitching, but with the injury and only 1 year of control left, Garza is simply not worth what he was at this time last year. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if what I proposed was not enough, rather than too much. But I would certainly welcome getting something else back in return. And while not ideal, having Soriano in LF, DeJesus in CF, and Upton in RF for 2013 would be acceptable. At this point, dumping Soriano just for the sake of dumping him doesn’t make sense. His leadership and mentoring skills, along with his improved defense, are more than acceptable for 2013, if a worthwhile deal doesn’t materialize.

  10. Barry

    I like the way you think, Chris. Either one of the Uptons would work for me.

  11. someday...2015?

    Question for anyone. Would a 3 team deal between the Cubs, Marlins, and D-Backs work where the Cubs get Stanton, the Marlins get Upton and Bauer, and the D-Backs get Baez/Castro, + many more good prospects? Completely unrealistic, and crazy, or not as insane as it sounds?

    1. Chad

      100% crazy.

      1. someday...2015?

        I agree that it’s not at all realistic… Its too bad a deal like that is so unrealistic, because in my opinion a deal like that would improve all 3 teams. D-Backs get their star SS they covet + prospects. Marlins swap Stanton for Upton basically and get Bauer in the process + maybe a few more prospects, and obviously the Cubs get Stanton to go along with Rizzo, Soler, Almora, and Baez or Castro. It would be a rare 3 team deal where everyone would win… Playing gm is always fun=)

    2. Tobias

      I would say unrealistic because Stanton is still young enough and under team control that Marlins can still use him as the centerpiece in whichever way they are rebuilding. Upton and Bauer are not tied together in any trade the D-Backs might want to pursue because the D-Backs can get more in value if they trade each individually. A 3 team trade is the likely trade route for Upton if the Cubs want to go down that road, but at what cost do the Cubs want to do an Upton deal? Don’t get me wrong, Upton is a great talent, but Upton can be a headcase which could not be that big a deal since the Cubs had Milton Bradley only a few seasons ago. (seems like light years ago doesn’t it?) I still believe that 2014 is the more realistic year, but 2013 can be the year that the main pieces are in place or will be in place. The other Upton should be given consideration along with Sanchez.

      1. someday...2015?

        @tobias, great point on Upton and Bauer, and I agree %100. Arizona would definitely get more out of trading them separately. I just wonder what they will be willing to do to get the star SS they want.(We have two.)

        1. Tobias

          I am inferring when you say the Cubs have 2 SS that you are including Baez. I wonder if he is the solution at 3B which is what some scouts predicted when the Cubs drafted him. The Miami-Toronto trade, if approved, might (I will repeat might) be the easier route for the Cubs to acquire Upton because Toronto could deal Escobar to Arizona which Toronto could flip to the Cubs for a package of Jackson, Lake, and a couple middle-tier prospects. Heck, throw in Clevenger.

          1. someday...2015?

            I would love to see Baez patrol third for years to come at Wrigley. I just assume Baez is as valuable as any prospect right now(as a SS) and if that means in any way the Cubs could work out a deal for a player of Stanton’s nature you don’t hesitate in making that deal… All that being said it seems the Cubs are in a win-win situation right now. You can either keep Castro and Baez and have your future left side of the infield, or you can trade one of them for an immense amount of value, and keep the other. Either way I’ll be a happy cub fan.

        2. Kyle

          Unless you are counting Darwin Barney, the Cubs do not have 2 SS’s.

          Javier Baez is an awesome prospect. He has an incredible ceiling. He’s also at A-ball and is considered more volatile, with a lower floor, than many prospects his level. He’s not even 50/50 to be an average major-leaguer at this point in his career.

          1. someday...2015?

            Still a top #5-10 prospect in most baseball circles. Personally I believe it wouldnt even matter in a case like this because a team giving up so much like a Stanton or a Upton would at the least demand a major league ready player(Castro.) I just threw Baez into the discussion because he makes Castro expendable(being a SS), same goes for Castro. Castro could possibly make Baez expendable if he truely can’t make the transition to third. Like I said its a win-win for the Cubs whether you trade one of them or not.

            1. Kyle

              Nobody thinks Baez is a top-10 prospect right now, let alone top-5. He might, if he’s very lucky, break into some top-25s this offseason.

              Baez is in A-ball. He doesn’t make anybody in the majors expendable.

              1. Scott

                BA had Baez as the best prospect in a league with Miguel Sano, Francisco Lindor and Archie Bradley. Not sure if that makes him top 10 (he will be in someone’s top 10), but he is in most people’s top 25.

                - #23 on mlb.com’s September 2012 list

                1. Kyle

                  MLB.com has the worst list of all the lists, by far. I’d rather watch a monkey throw prospect names at a wall and care about the results than that.

                  BA had Sano at 17, Lindor at 37, Baez at 61 and Bradley at 71 going into the season. Sano had a bit of a down season last year, the others should be in line to improve. Last year’s MWL top prospect ended up being No. 18 in the next year’s list.

                  I’ll bet a million imaginary Internet dollars that not one of BA, BP, Sickels, Fangraphs or anyone else in that tier of credibility has Baez in the top 10 this offseason.

                  1. Scott

                    Baez was #61 when he was a probable 3B. Now, most scouts seem to agree he will stick at SS. Again, BA had him rank below each of those players going into 2012 and had him as the best prospect post-2012 in a league they all shared.

                    Also, Archie Bradley was #25 and at least 8 of the top 20 have graduated to the big leagues.

                    I believe Baez is a solid top 25 prospect and would like to see the Cubs hold on to him. However, if another team views him as the top SS in the minors (assuming Profar plays in Texas next year) and is willing to pay that price, we should move him for existing big league pieces.

                    1. Kyle

                      That can all be true, but it doesn’t make him a top-10.

                      I think he’s in the 25-35 range, but if someone wants to argue he’s top-25, I can totally buy that.

                      But he’s not top-10.

                  2. AB19

                    Sickels has Baez listed as his #5 hitting prospect for 2013 (behind profar, tavares, myers, bogaerts). So he is top five, probably 10-15 including the pitchers.

                    1. Kyle

                      Crap, I’d forgotten about that.

                      I stand to lose a large chunk of my imaginary internet fortune.

            2. hansman1982

              Agree with Kyle…you can make the argument that Castro is a top-5 SS in the majors. Unless you are getting Trout, Harper, Stanton, etc… back you don’t trade him away.

  12. Lukewarm Stove: Saltalamacchia, Sanchez, Marcum, McCarthy, Upton, Marlins | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] and the Red Sox’s need for a starting pitcher like Matt Garza (who, despite elbow concerns (clean bill of health!), would cost far, far more than one of those two)), but it’s an interesting discussion. [...]

  13. auggie1955

    As long as we’re on the topic of Matt Garza, I like him, but I don’t have the man-love that a lot of people show. One thing I decided to look up was how many errors/season he had prior to coming to the Cubs. When a ball is hit back to Garza he just can’t be trusted with it. For some reason he can’t pick it up and throw it to 1st. In 2011 he committed 7 errors and in 2012, playing only 1/2 the year, he committed 3 errors. Before coming to the Cubs the most errors in a season he committed was 2. I don’t know if Matt is drinking too much Red Bull or maybe he needs to see a psychiatrist, but something needs to be done about his fielding.

  14. MikeCubs

    This proposal may be more reasonable.

    Cubs give Garza + Baez +.Vogelbach + Dbacks’ choice of MiL pitcher

    Dbacks get Garza + chosen MiL pitcher, Marlins get Baez + Vogelbach + Bauer, Cubs get Stanton.

    Cubs win = Stanton, Dback win = get rid of talented but problematic MiL pitcher in return for quality ML pitcher and pitching prospect to replace Mil pitcher, Marlins win = 2 A+ prospects and 1 A- prospect with a pitcher close to ML ready.

    1. Chad

      You want to give up our #1 ML pitcher and our #1 prospect for Stanton. I know that Baez is unproven, but crap I would sure as heck the cubs could get more than just Stanton for that deal.

      1. hansman1982

        I would done do that trade in a heartbeat.

      2. Cubbie Blues

        You do know who Stanton is don’t you?

      3. Chris

        Chad, the trend I’m noticing is that you may be overvaluing the Cubs players/prospects a little bit. Let me say for the record that I do not believe for a second that Stanton is going anywhere. But Garza and Baez for Stanton would be a steal. Stanton would be under control for a few more years. Garza’s on the last year of his deal coming off an injury. Baez is a very good prospect, that I think is the real deal, who played so-so in Hi-A ball to end the season. It could also be argued that Garza is not the Cubs #1 pitcher, and he certainly isn’t a #1 ML pitcher. Given Stanton’s age and talent level, Garza and Baez don’t seem to be enough for him. It’s a moot point, because Stanton isn’t going anywhere, but I think the Cubs would have to tack on more to get a deal like that done.

        1. Chad

          I may over value the cub’s prospects a bit, but I’m looking at the cub’s stance. It is likely that they can still get a couple of really good prospects for Garza, and right now the cubs are in build the farm mode. Why give up your best prospect that could impact your future? I think it is obvious that at least 1 more, maybe 2 years are going to be wasted. I think that Baez is only going to get better, and even if you decide to trade him his value should get higher. I’m all for trading players and prospects to get better, I’m just not sure those are the two I would trade for Stanton. Also, if you think Soler and Almora have a future in the system we have OF coming up. Would I take Stanton, in a heart beat, but I like Baez a lot, and want to see what he can do for the cubs.

          1. Chad

            Garza + Lake+ B Jackson + Vitters for Stanton, I’m all in.

            1. JR

              That is really not a good offer. BJax and Garza’s value sucks from what it would have been a yr ago. And Vitters and Lake are very flawed. Quantity in prospects doesn’t make up for stud quality. To even get a sniff of Stanton Baez HAS to be involved..

              1. MichiganGoat

                We need to stop with all the Stanton dreaming. 1-the Marlins are not dealing him, he’s cheap and therefore the Marlins will keep him 2-even if the Cubs give up their top 10 prospects we won’t get him another team with better prospects will jump in and out bid us. Stanton is that good and any team would trade their farm to get him.

            2. JR

              Plus what would the Marlins do with Garza?

          2. Kyle

            I don’t think you understand how young and how good Stanton is.

            For reference, Mike Stanton hit HRs at a 50-HR pace last season.

            Mike Stanton is *younger* than three of our top 10 prospects.

            1. Chad

              No I understand this, I’m just that high on Baez’s potential. I don’t care if you trade 7 out of the top 10 prospects that the cubs have. I just don’t want to see Baez, Almora, or Vizcaino get traded, yet. I believe in those 3. Heck if you want to trade:

              Garza, Soler, Jackson, Vitters, Lake etc. for Stanton that’s great, I’m just that high on Baez, that I don’t want to see him get traded.

              1. MichiganGoat

                Stanton is Pujols when he was yong there is not prospect in the works a team would not give up to get him. No prospect is better than what he trending toward.

          3. Chris

            Stanton’s not happening. Not sure why people keep focusing on that one. I don’t want them to give up Baez, but Stanton would be one of the few players I wouldn’t even flinch over. I wouldn’t give up Baez for Upton, hence my suggestion of trying to get Miami involved with Escobar. Going back to my original proposal, Lake, Torreyes, and Alcantara are extremely expendable, and might amount to nothing. If you can flip those guys for Escobar, in some combination, and then Garza, Escobar, and pieces for Upton and maybe one pitching prospect from Az, I think that’s a job well done. Garza has the arm thing, the throwing to first base yips, the temperment to get worked up when errors happen behind him, one year of control left on his contract. The sooner they can send him, the cat, and the pajamas somewhere else for a new long-term core piece, the better.

            1. Tobias

              @Chris and Goat…..some Cub fans believe, not think, believe that Cubs can get anyone in a trade. Stanton is the new shiny object in their trade talks. He’s overtaken Turner and Costellanos in the “we can get these guys” realistically category. I have been guilty on occasion, but I’ve been realistic on who the Cubs could acquire with what the Cubs would have to offer. Cubs could offer Soler, Baez, Almora, and Garza and it wouldn’t bring back Stanton in return and if it would then where would the Cubs future be?

      4. JR

        Garza’s value suck a$$ now and Baez is a stud but still very risky. Bring it on.. No way in hell the Marlins would give up Stanton for those 2.

  15. Fred

    Garza for Olt and Buckel today!

    1. MichiganGoat

      Why would the rangers give up one if their top prospect for a pitcher with one year left and questions about his arm… Sorry Mr Garza.

      1. Mick

        It doesn’t sound like you strapped in tight Goat. Didn’t you hear? It’s going to be one helluva ride!

        1. MichiganGoat

          Ha sorry Mr Garza

  16. Eric

    Hi Matt (incase you’re reading this article). I’m Eric from West Chicago.