A Couple Matt Garza Bits – His Time with the Cubs, and the Rangers’ Perspective

matt garza chinFor better or worse, Matt Garza’s name will be included in trade rumors probably until he’s traded or until the Trade Deadline passes. (Or until he’s extended, I suppose.) As a player under contract for 2013, only, on a team that does not projected to be a playoff contender in 2013, trade rumors are simply the reality.

With that in mind, there are a couple of Garza-related bits I wanted to share.

First, a backdrop piece from MLB Trade Rumors, which looked at the key “non-moves” of 2012. Obviously, that included the lack of a midseason Garza trade:

This may have been a non-move that was forced by circumstance, rather than a conscious decision by the Cubs to stand pat. Garza was the subject of many rumors heading into last July’s trade deadline and he may well been dealt had he not suffered a stress reaction in his pitching elbow in late July, an injury that sidelined him for the last two months of the season. Garza has begun throwing again and says he will be ready for Opening Day. If he’s healthy, the trade winds will undoubtedly again swirl around Wrigley Field as Garza is just a year away from free agency.

The Cubs will get lesser value for Garza now or in July than they would’ve last year (when Garza was still controllable for a full year and two months) but one wonders if the club will look to move Garza at all. The signing of Edwin Jackson was a sign that the rebuilding Cubs may be looking to contend sooner rather than later, and if Garza is healthy and effective in early 2013, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could look to extend the righty. A trade would only be pursued if Garza indicates that he wouldn’t be willing to re-sign, or the Cubs could simply trade Garza at the deadline and then try to bring him back in free agency.

So far, we haven’t picked up on many – if any – indications that Garza and the Cubs are mutually agreeable to a long-term extension. Assuming Garza proves he’s healthy in Spring Training, I remain equally open to the idea of a trade or a reasonable extension, but the situation is still a difficult one for the Cubs. And, frankly, for Garza.

If the Cubs do look to deal Garza in the Spring, a popular destination (one frequently cited by Bruce Levine) could be Texas. Depending on how the rest of the offseason shakes out for the Rangers (is Lance Berkman it?), they could be looking for an upgrade somewhere come Spring Training. It could be in the rotation, and by the Spring, there tend not to be too many upper end options available in trade. In other words, I will go so far as to say that a Garza/Rangers trade in the Spring is not at all implausible.

And it looks like Rangers fans are confronting that possibility as well. I often find it interesting to see another fan base’s take on a Cubs player when trade rumors swirl, and the Dallas SB Nation site recently had a piece on the possibility of a Garza trade. Among those thoughts:

Garza made just 18 starts for the Cubs in 2012, pitching 103 and 2/3 innings, striking out 96 and walking 32, while posting a 3.91 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Without question, Garza is a talented pitcher, and is a capable No. 2 starter in most rotations, and an excellent No. 3 starter.

Elbow injuries, however, are scary, and that’s exactly what prevented Garza from pitching in August and September, and it’s what precluded the Cubs from trading him down the stretch. Garza, though, was given a clean bill of health from doctors earlier in the offseason.

Acquiring Garza wouldn’t satisfy a need for the Rangers, but instead, it would give the Rangers depth in the rotation, and, health permitting, too many pitchers come August.

Whether or not Texas ends up being seriously interested in Garza come March remains to be seen, but given Texas’ interest in Greinke and previous interest in James Shields, it seems likely that the Rangers could very well show interest come spring.

So, again, a Spring trade here is plausible. And it also sounds like, if this piece is to be credited, Rangers fans would view a Garza acquisition in a highly favorable light. That, in and of itself, means relatively little. But it’s reflective of an attitude about Garza’s ability and attractiveness outside of our own bubble.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

MLBits: Hader’s Unprecedented Usage Rules Over the Years, Cruz’s Laser Show, Walk-Offs, More

After the Milwaukee Brewers won an arbitration hearing against Josh Hader in 2019, the reliever decided to protect himself until a team decided to give him a long-term commitment with unprecedented self-imposed usage rules. That and more in today's MLB...

Adbert Alzolay Went for a Second Opinion on His Forearm Injury

[ankin_law] From a very happy post about the Chicago Cubs' bullpen to a more unhappy one. Adbert Alzolay, placed on the Injured List about 10 days ago because of a forearm issue, is now getting a second opinion from a...

More on the Kyle Hendricks Bullpen Transition

Of all the Chicago Cubs' starting pitchers in the modern era (1901-today), only 18 have thrown more innings for the team than Kyle Hendricks. Only 16 pitchers have won more games than Kyle Hendricks. And only 12 have delivered more...

The Cubs’ Bullpen is on Quite a Roll, Leiter and Neris, Davis, Smyly’s Rehab, and Other Cubs Bullets

I have been doing physical therapy for my back once I fully recovered from the surgery, and I am learning so much more about how to better take care of my back. It makes me so mad I didn't seek...

Wake Up and Watch the Cubs Come Back Twice, and Walk It Off on the Braves

Twice the Cubs trailed last night against the Braves, and twice they came back to tie it up. They weren't the most dramatic of comebacks - two runs, and then one run - but it still makes for a very...

Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 4, Braves 3 – May 21, 2024

Woo hoo! That was one of those nights where the game could've gone either way in so many moments, and I'm just going to celebrate the fact that the final bounce was an especially tall one in the Cubs' favor....

Chicago Cubs Walk It Off on an Extreme Nico Hoerner Bounce!

It was a really rough night at the plate for Nico Hoerner in his return to the lineup, but it only takes one moment to shake all of that off. With the Cubs and Braves going to extras, Hoerner had...

PCA Optioned to Triple-A, PCA Immediately Hits a Bomb

The Chicago Cubs made a handful of roster moves on Monday, which surprisingly included optioning Pete Crow-Armstrong back to Triple-A. The standout prospect was sent down alongside Miles Mastrobuoni to make room for Dansby Swanson and fellow intriguing prospect Luis Vazquez....

Pre-Gamin’: Braves at Cubs (6:40 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — It's a rematch! The Cubs won only one game during their series in Atlanta last week, and it was started (on both ends) by the guys on the mound tonight: Javier Assad and Charlie Morton. Let's hope...

Cubs Injury Update: Alzolay’s Second Opinion, Wicks Takes a Big Step, Smyly, Palencia, More

[ankin_law] She's obviously not the only one out there on the beat, but Meghan Montemurro (Chicago Tribune) has been all over the Cubs (many) injury updates this season. And for that, we thank her greatly! Among her latest updates is...

Latest News

Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Probable Starting Pitchers – May 22

The Arizona Diamondbacks (23-26) visit the Los Angeles Dodgers (33-18) for a road game on Wednesday at 10:10 PM ET.The probable starters are Tyler Glasnow (6-2) for the Dodgers and Ryne Nelson (2-3) for the Diamondbacks.Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks Pitcher Matchup...

Athletics vs. Rockies Probable Starting Pitchers – May 22

The Colorado Rockies (15-32) bring a four-game losing streak into a road matchup against the Oakland Athletics (20-30) at 9:40 PM ET on Wednesday.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Athletics will send Mitch Spence (3-2) to the mound,...

Braves vs. Cubs Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Marcell Ozuna (14 games) will look to add to his hitting streak when the Atlanta Braves (27-18) and Chicago Cubs (27-22) meet Wednesday at 7:40 PM ET, live on BSSO from Wrigley Field. Ozuna and the Braves are favored by...

New Orleans Pelicans Draft Picks: List of 2024 and Future Draft Selections

The Pelicans were swept out of the first round in the 2024 NBA Playoffs by the Thunder after a rough stretch to end the season including an injury to Zion Williamson. Now, they move to the offseason and the draft....

Don’t Look Now, but Lukas Reichel is Having A Really Good World Championship

Lukas Reichel had what I think everyone, including him, would consider to be a disappointing 2023-24 NHL season. In what was supposed to be his first full season in the NHL, he produced only five goals and 11 assists in...

Adbert Alzolay Went for a Second Opinion on His Forearm Injury

[ankin_law] From a very happy post about the Chicago Cubs' bullpen to a more unhappy one. Adbert Alzolay, placed on the Injured List about 10 days ago because of a forearm issue, is now getting a second opinion from a...

New OL Shuffle, Fields Update, Rodgers Speaks, Taylor Swift and NFL Schedules, and Other Bears Bullets

Allergies are really kicking my butt this week. Anyone else having that issue? It can't be just me... Sure, Russell Wilson has the inside track on being the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting at quarterback. But former Chicago Bears signal caller Justin...

2024 MLB Mock Draft: Power & Pitching Dominate The First Round

On to another 2024 MLB Mock Draft! With every game played in college baseball, a select group of players are witnessing a considerable rise in their value for the upcoming Major League Baseball draft. Throughout the baseball world, numerous mock...

Phillies vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies (35-14) host the Texas Rangers (24-25) at 6:40 PM ET Wednesday for a sluggers' duel between two of the best home-run hitters in baseball. Bryce Harper has racked up 11 homers this season (No. 8 in the...

Padres vs. Reds Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Jurickson Profar (10 games) will look to add to his hitting streak when the San Diego Padres (25-26) and Cincinnati Reds (20-28) meet Wednesday at 6:40 PM ET, live on BSOH from Great American Ball Park. Profar and the Padres...

more cubs news