Where Will He Sign: Matt Garza
In a new offseason feature BHC writers will explore the possible landing spots for high priced free agents. In the seventh edition of “Where Will He Sign” the staff analysed the possible teams in play for the services of hurler Matt Garza.
Scott Eastment @SportsGeek02: Matt Garza‘s situation is a tricky one to figure out. The Washington Nationals appeared to be in the middle of things, but with the trade for Doug Fister, I think its safe to say they are out of the running. I have heard rumblings that Garza is not opposed to a move back to the Minnesota Twins, but I honestly do not see that happening. I think it comes down the the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles, with the Orioles winning out. The Yankees already signed Hiroki Kuroda and people seem to have forgotten about Michael Pineda in the Big Apple. The Orioles desperately need starting rotation help and I think this is where they make their first big move of the offseason.
James Lumalu @jameslumalu: Matt Garza will sign with the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels acquired pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago in a three-way deal involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox. Even with this deal going down, I can still see the Angels making a play for Garza. By trading away Trumbo, they acquire two players that are pre-arbitration, and are off the hook for Trumbo’s upcoming pay raise. I see Santiago as more of a swingman type and could fill the loss of Jerome Williams. The fact that Garza would not cost the Angels their first round draft pick (since he was traded midseason) in the upcoming MLB Draft also helps the case for signing him.
Marc Keller @mrarmchair: I think Matt Garza ends up right back with the Texas Rangers, where he finished the 2013 season after being traded their from the Chicago Cubs. The Rangers traded for Garza knowing that he was going to be a free agent at the end of the season and that they would not receive any draft pick compensation if he did (Texas couldn’t extend a qualifying offer to Garza). I have it on good authority from someone who knows the Garza family and was familiar with the situation at the time he was traded to the Rangers, that the team was trying to work out an extension with him immediately following the trade. Why they weren’t able to get it done during the season, I don’t know. But the Rangers gave up some pretty highly-touted prospects to get Garza and you can’t just let him walk and not receive anything in return. The Rangers are in dire need of starting pitching help to go along with rotation ace, Yu Darvish, and with the Rangers having an influx of new revenue stemming from their recent television deal, they can afford to pay above-market value to retain Garza’s services. He would be a very capable #2 or #3 starter for the Rangers, depending on whether or not they do in fact pull the trigger on a David Price trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Brendan Panikkar @Panikkar37: Matt Garza is one of the best free agent starting pitchers out there. The market for starters hasn’t really taken off yet due to the pending posting of Masahiro Tanaka. However, Matt Garza has proven throughout his career that he can pitch in the AL or the NL and be effective. Many, if not every team in the MLB is always looking to improve their rotation and many teams have been linked to Matt Garza. It really is unknown as to what Garza will command on the market but I expect something maybe like what A.J. Burnett got from the Blue Jays back in 2005/2006 off-season and what Ubaldo Jimenez is reportedly seeking. I see Garza signing for 5 years, around 50 to 55 million in which case, I have Garza going to the Toronto Blue Jays at that price. Garza has been an AL East killer during his days with the Tampa Bay Rays and could be a fit with the Blue Jays with that asking price. Anything higher and he’s elsewhere but I will say Garza to the Blue Jays.
Paul Jack @PaulJackSports: Matt Garza is 30 years old, you want a pitcher at 27-34 so he has a good 4 to 5 years left in his window. He had a nice run of 30+ starts from 2008-2011 however the last two years have been 103, and 155 innings. His attitude has been questioned as he is a fiery guy. Also I think there is a reason he has been on 4 teams in 8 years. Pitchers these days are getting big money so I’m saying Garza will get a 5 year 65 million dollar contract despite his fiery attitude and inconsistent health lately. What team will sign him? I’ll say he stays in Texas as the Rangers have yet to sign any big names this year. Texas has a solid top 4 starters however the #5 starter Nick Tepesch is shaky at best, Garza would give the Rangers a heck of a top 5 starters.
Adrian Garro @adriangarro: Matt Garza is looking to cash in. The Los Angeles Angels were absolutely desperate for starting pitching depth before yesterday’s acquisitions of Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago, so you can probably count them out now unless Jerry Dipoto wants to add another expensive free agent arm to the suddenly loaded rotation. Last night, the Minnesota Twins emerged as being a ‘serious’ threat to sign Garza. Having recently reached an agreement with Ricky Nolasco, the Twins are seeking to create a solid rotation around Nolasco and Phil Hughes – and Garza would be that ‘big’ signing to revamp the team’s rotation in a major way. Last season was a disaster for the Twins pitching staff, so bringing in three pricey new free-agent arms might be just what the team ends up doing. Opposing teams be warned, however: don’t try bunting off him.
Clayton Richer @MLBHotCorner: If you asked me this question 6 weeks ago, I would have given my “homer” choice as the Toronto Blue Jays due to their unbridled need for starting pitching and Garza’s proven track record in the always competitive AL East. However as of today, I don’t see the Jays dolling out the necessary funds long term to secure the services of Garza. In light of yesterdays blockbuster 3-team transaction, I am going to side with the Arizona Diamondbacks as the winning recipient of Garza. The bold move acquiring Mark Trumbo proves the desert dogs are serious about competing and are rumored to be in the hunt for a front of the rotation hurler. The feisty right-hander made $10,250,000 million last season and you can guarantee to double that figure over the course of 5 or 6 years to get him signed on the dotted line this time around. Diamondbacks at 5 years, $90-100 million.