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Garza is not worth that much


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#1 SlamminSammy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:29 AM

Ok this is pretty offensive to most of us because it implies that a person playing for the Cubs is worth less than what we want him to be worth but lets face the truth Garza isnt worth that much.

Consider what the big pieces the Cubs traded to land this guy. There were throw ins to but do we really care about them. This is after all about adding impact nearly major league ready talent.

Hak Ju Lee- at the time, a 92nd ranked prospect according to Baseball America. Since

Chris Archer- at the time, a 27th ranked prospect.

When people see this, I don't know why people think we should get more than this kind of offer. The truth is we should get less. considerably less.

At the time Garza was under team control for 3 years 27 years old (i.e. in the thick of his prime years.)

Now he is under control for 1.5 years and 28. That is half as much time and closer to the end of his prime fitness years. Also since a player makes more in arb. years 3 and 4 than 1 and 2, he is making more money per year than he would be when we traded for him.

Those are the factors that make him much less valuable now than then. But there are things that will make him look better. His stats have looked much better since coming to the cubs.

Theres a few problems with the stats. First is that they are regressing a little this year. Some of that can be attributed to bad luck but some of it is on the pitcher too. His FIP is back up to where it was three years with the Rays and makes last season look more like an anomaly than a trend. He does induce more groundballs. considerably more actually and that is a plus. But we also know that he is pitching in the NL central as opposed to AL east.

The biggest jump i between 2008-2010 to 2011-2012 for Garza is his ground ball rate. To get his approximate gb% I averaged his gb% for each of his seasons with the Rays and his seasons with the Cubs. This isnt an exact average but since he pitched roughly the same amount of innnings, its close enough for me.

Rays GB%: appox. 39%

Cubs GB%: appox. 46%

Thats a big jump. But now lets consider the change of competition. He went from the AL east to the NL Central which massively affected his level of competition. So lets compare his gb% against his level of competition. I took the average gb% of his AL east competition back in 08 and the average gb% of the central this year to get an idea of the jump.

2008 AL east GB%: appox 42.5%

2012 NL central GB%: appox 44.72%

So the switch probably contributed to his improvement but he has also probably improved at getting guys to hit the ball on the ground too since he was below average at doing so in the al east and is now above average at it.

So I think it's fair to say he is a better pitcher. Not a lot better but better. I think its safe to say that he is at most 1.25 times better than he was when he was traded.

Where does that leave us in terms of trade value. He was worth 3 garza years at 1.0 production levels or 3.0 Garza units. Now he should be worth 1.5 years of 1.25 production levels or 1.875 Garza units.

Now this all assumes that at the time that he was traded, neither team thought Garza would improve his game and that when he is traded now, neither team will believe his game declines or improves. In reality, I believe people think Garza will decline slightly as he ages and gets more wear so id put his real value closer to like 1.75 Garza units.

So I believe we should expect something worth 1.75/3.0 of what we traded to get Garza. Thats about six tenths of what we traded. I think its also fair to say that Archer was about 6/10 of the value that went to the Rays, if not more. Therefore I think we can expect a prospect of a similar status to Chris Archer. That is about where Jacob Turner is right now according to a lot of rankings so I would be content if we got Turner for Garza. Also if we sent some money by eating more of Garzas salary that would increase the return in my opinion since the Rays didnt do that.

So thats what I think and why people suggesting Castellanos and Turner for Garza seems beyond silly to me and if we get anything more than turner I think it's a good deal for the Cubs. I don't know why this is so Tiger-centric, but I guess those were the most recent rumors I read.

Anybody that has an issue with my methodology, please explain what you think is wrong and how you would adjust my evaluation, rather than "c'mon man, an unproven prospect that will probably burn out for a proven stud pitcher for 1.5 years, thats the dumbest thing I ever heard"

#2 Dumpgobbler

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:40 AM

The compensation you'd receive if you fail resign him is what sets him apart from Greinke and Hamels. Thats very important to teams like the Jays. The extra playoff teams creates more interest. As many as 10 teams have scouted him, and GM's believe he is the most valuable arm on the market. We'll get a good haul.

#3 SlamminSammy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:20 PM

I'm not comparing him to Greinke and Hamels, I'm contrasting a trade now with the trade that got him here. When the Rays traded him to the Cubs, the Cubs would get compensation when he left for free agency too so that argument is a wash.

As for the extra playoff teams I dont think it is possible for us to have a good gauge on the demand for him. Yes, we hear that teams are interested, but do we know what that means? I could make the argument that since Greinke, Hamels, Wandy rodriguez and even Dempster would cost less for teams to trade for, they would bring down the market for Garza if teams are only trying to compete for this year. For example if the Tigers want to hold on to Turner why wouldnt they just trade for Hamels or Greinke for a cheaper price (like you say theyre worth) and slot Turner into the rotation next year when he's ready.

The point of this post was that as much as we want to see lots of demand for all of our players, we have to stay grounded in what history has shown guys to be valued at.

So far there has only been one significant trade made and it was for a completely different position so we dont really know what the market is its all just speculation.

GM's are pretty good at their jobs. Especially the ones in a position to make it to the playoffs. With that being said, they don't give up way more than what they are getting generally. Good teams are good because they don't regularly get fleeced in bad trades where they overpay. So trades rely on how much teams think Garza is worth and the Garza trade from last year is a pretty good indicator of that since Garza hasn't changed that much since coming to the Cubs.

#4 chirogerg1

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:30 PM

You haven't taken into account the new CBA or a potential bidding war between teams that think they are one good piece away.

#5 SlamminSammy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:12 PM

I didn't take into account a lot of things that are impossible to know. Hendry had extra incentive to put a winning team on the field because he'd lose his job. He also likely had to outbid other teams for Garza's services. Hendry may have thought he was one good piece away from keeping his job or making the playoffs.

The new CBA likely lessens his value anyways because prospects are harder to come by through money than established players. I don't take into account things that are impossible to be accounted for. There is no evidence to suggest what the current market does for a pitcher's trade value therefore we have to rely on past evidence.

#6 Luke

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:52 PM

  • Why are you assuming that player value is measured on a linear scale?
  • Why are you only looking at Garza and not at similar trades involving other players that have taken place over the past few years?
  • Why are you ignoring the simple reality that the addition of a second wild card has resulted in more teams than usual being serious buyers at the trade deadline (this is empirically demonstrated by the horde of scouts that have been monitoring Dempster)?
  • Why are you ignoring all market dynamics as an element of valuation altogether?
This is an interesting way of trying to gauge Garza's value, but it is leaving out so many extremely relevant factors that it seems to me to be roughly akin to giving a five day weather forecast based on nothing but what we can see out the window.

#7 Tommy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 05:08 PM

Definitely some interesting points brought up by SlamminSammy. We'll have to wait and see how this all turns out and re-visit this thread at that time.

A lot of good points brought up here - my personal hope is that we get more than what we gave up in the past based on who is doing the selling. Hopefully Theo and Jed are able to pull off some magic come trade time.
- diehard fanclub member #002

#8 SlamminSammy

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:25 AM

  • Why are you assuming that player value is measured on a linear scale?
  • Why are you only looking at Garza and not at similar trades involving other players that have taken place over the past few years?
  • Why are you ignoring the simple reality that the addition of a second wild card has resulted in more teams than usual being serious buyers at the trade deadline (this is empirically demonstrated by the horde of scouts that have been monitoring Dempster)?
  • Why are you ignoring all market dynamics as an element of valuation altogether?
This is an interesting way of trying to gauge Garza's value, but it is leaving out so many extremely relevant factors that it seems to me to be roughly akin to giving a five day weather forecast based on nothing but what we can see out the window.


I dont evaluate it as purely linear. I recognize that there is a good chance that he has improved and is thus better now than in the past. That doesn't make him more valuable by a long shot as I described in my post.

The best way to run a team is to recognize the goal of a team is to win as many games as possible for as cheap as possible, yes? Well, Garza may contribute more wins per year now, but he is also going to give less cost controlled years thus worth less Its the equivalent of taking an integral over his last 1.5 years of control versus over all 3 years of control.

As for looking at other trades, I honestly don't know of any good comparisons that would work. Do you have any ideas of trades involving a player of roughly Garzas abilities with 1.5 years of control? I know the Ubaldo Jimenez trade has been mentioned before, but (and correct me if any of this is wrong) at the time of the trad, Jimenez had been voted as top 3 in Cy Young voting (In COLORADO), was a year younger than Garza, and had a couple cheap team options left so I dont think that is a very valid comparison.

As for there being more buyers, yes there are but I'm also not going to ignore that I don't think teams are that shortsighted. Teams realize that getting any wildcard spot only gets you a 50/50 shot of making the playoffs and that quite likely they want to get enough assets to make a run for the playoffs. You also pointed out that there are hordes of scouts at Dempster's games, not Garza's (although yes I know there are scouts at Garzas games). Teams are looking for cheap shorter term options and know Demp is much cheaper than Garza, prospect-wise.

I already said why I am ignoring many market dynamics. Quite simply, they are too dynamic. You and I have no clue what the CBA changes did to the market, how many teams are legitimately looking to pay big for garza, or whether teams think a shot at a wildcard is worth mortgaging the future. I also don't know what all important market factors could have increased Garza's asking price back when Hendry traded for him. As I said, its quite likely Hendry wanted to make one more splash to save his job and thus overpaid also. All we do know is how trades for similar players worked out and thus all trade rumors should be evaluated as such. We have a trade comparison with the same player who hasnt changed dramatically so I don't see any reason we should disregard this precedent.

As for the Weather forecast. I would compare my analysis to how past years weathers have been. For example, based on what history has shown me the month of April is a much rainier month than July. So if you told me that there would be 30 inches of rain in July when there were only 15 inches of rain based on nothing but a hunch, I would say that makes no sense because July is generally drier than April and April wasn't even that wet. Sure there could be a monsoon on the way that sends tons of rain in July but you or I don't know that, we're not meteorologists with power doppler equipment. So overall my prediction of the weather isn't very precise, given the lack of information available, it is a pretty good guess.

The weather analogy works well. If I get some solid evidence that teams want to pay BIG for Garza, Ill change my opinion. The problem is that information like that doesn't leak because the team would be showing their hand. In fact, even if a team said theyd pay big I don't know if I'd trust that either, since it could be a ploy to attempt to get a rival team to overpay.

#9 Dumpgobbler

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:20 AM

A market has been created over the past few years. TOR pitchers are fetching big packages. Look at the Greinke, Latos, Gio, Ubaldo and Garza deals.

#10 Cubsin

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:55 PM

I would argue that Garza's value will never be higher that it will be for the next two and half weeks. He can help a team win their division or win a wild-card spot, or at the very worst help put more butts in the seats. There are ten teams that could use Garza, and there are not ten similar pitchers to go around.

I won't argue that Garza is better than Greinke or Hamels, but he's clearly more valuable, because (a) he can help your team contend in 2013 and (B) if you offer him a qualifying contract for 2014 and he declines, your team will receive an extra first-round draft pick (11-30) in round 1 and a supplemental first-round draft pick in the low to mid-30's. If you acquire Greinke or Hamels and can't re-sign them, you get two months of service and no compensatory draft picks.

#11 fromthemitten

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

He's at worst an innings eater at best a #1 or 2 starter. He'll fetch a couple top 100 prospects

#12 Cubs Dude

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:23 AM

I agree with Slammin Sammy's overall point that Garza may not get the Cubs as much as we all hope for. He is getting expensive, and currently has an ERA over 4. And I thought they should have moved him in the offseason. The trade rumors haven't helped his performance this year either. But I think we could absolutely get some pitching prospects that will be a hell of a lot better than the guys we got throwing in the minors currently. So that's better than nothing I guess...

#13 SlamminSammy

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:21 PM

He's at worst an innings eater at best a #1 or 2 starter. He'll fetch a couple top 100 prospects



He was the same pitcher 1.5 years ago and only fetched a couple top 100 prospects. Do you really believe his value has stayed exactly the same even though he has less control?

#14 SlamminSammy

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:25 PM

A market has been created over the past few years. TOR pitchers are fetching big packages. Look at the Greinke, Latos, Gio, Ubaldo and Garza deals.



Latos and Gio had i believe 3-4 cost controlled years left when they were traded so they arent comparable. I already said why Ubaldo wasnt Comparable. Greinke had two full years of control and had won a freaking Cy Young. I like Garza, but he doesnt compare to what Greinke was when he was traded.

#15 Crockett

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:48 PM


A market has been created over the past few years. TOR pitchers are fetching big packages. Look at the Greinke, Latos, Gio, Ubaldo and Garza deals.



Latos and Gio had i believe 3-4 cost controlled years left when they were traded so they arent comparable. I already said why Ubaldo wasnt Comparable. Greinke had two full years of control and had won a freaking Cy Young. I like Garza, but he doesnt compare to what Greinke was when he was traded.


It's also a VERY different market now with the extra wild card and the changes to the CBA. Garza having a year of control plus the possibility of compensatory draft picks makes him the MOST valuable commodity. You can't compare Garza to former situations because the entire playing field has changed.




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