Trade Match Series-Matt Garza

Whether or not a trade happens between two teams can come down to many nebulous factors, from the relationship between the two GMs, how clubs value players, and the level of motivation a team has to move someone. But one important element that can be looked at objectively is how the teams match up. This is a series where I’m going to look at how the Yankees match up with the other team for their prospective trade targets.

What do the Cubs need?

A lot. 1B Carlos Pena and 3B Aramis Ramirez are both free agents. After Garza their starting pitching consists of Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Rodrigo Lopez and Casey Coleman. They don’t have an everyday RF, having traded the disappointing Kosuke Fukudome last July and relying on a platoon of Reed Johnson and Tyler Colvin for much of the rest of the year. They don’t need relievers with Carlos Marmol as their Closer and Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall and Jeff Samardzija as their set up tandem.

Who do they have in their farm system?

OF Brett Jackson is their top positional prospect, and after killing it (.297/.300/.591) in 48 games in AAA last year he may be ready as soon as midseason 2012. CF Matt Szczur had a nice year in his debut in low-A, but struggled after being promoted to High-A Daytona. After that, not much to get excited about. Josh Vitters was supposed to be their 3B of the future but he’s been a big disappointment, struggling mightily each time he’s climbed the ladder in the minors. He’s a few years away if he ever arrives. Baseball America notes that their system has more depth than impact talent, meaning they may have more future MLB players than anyone else, though they lack those who project as stars.

Yankee trade chips that match:

Jesus Montero (1B) Brandon Laird (3B) Nick Swisher (RF) Hector Noesi (SP) Dellin Betances (SP) Manny Banuelos (SP) Hector Noesi (SP)

The Ephemeral:

Jim Hendry was fired not just for being a bad GM, but because the teams finances took a hit for the first time in recent memory. The Cubs have two enormous dead weight contracts in Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano, both of whom are paid to be elite players (18M per) but appear to have their best days behind them. The Cubs have been willing to spend money in recent years, having a top 5 payroll from 2007-08 and top 3 from 2009-10. It remains to be seen if Theo wants to do a quick turnaround via free agency or go for the full rebuild. If he doesn’t think he can compete for the division next year (Pujols re-signing with the Cards may impact that) he may want to deal Garza, who’s his most valuable commodity and due to become a FA after the 2013 season. The value of a cost-controlled pitcher of Garza’s talent is essentially lost on a team like the Cubs, that needs to rebuild its farm system more than they need Garza to start 30 games in a losing effort. But if he signs Prince Fielder that tells me he’s going for it next year. Theo openly groaned  about the Manny Ramirez deal for years, I have doubts he will sign a longer, more expensive deal with someone that has Prince’s physique.

0 thoughts on “Trade Match Series-Matt Garza

  1. I like Garza but he’s been a little all over the place over the years. His K/9 has bounced around from 6.24, 8.38, 6.60, and 8.95. The BB/9 have been fairly consistent outside of 1 year, and outside of this last season in the NL his ground ball rates have been pretty awful (39.7% 2009 & 35.8% 2010). He’s a fly ball/strikeout pitcher who doesn’t always generate strikeouts despite his stuff. His swing and miss strike percentage went up dramatically this year (7.5% to 11.2%), but that’s to be expected with a move from the AL East to the NL. He’s also never posted an FIP below 4.14 before his 2.95 this year. If we knew we were getting this Garza he’d be worth more, but I doubt this Garza comes back from the NL.

    I don’t think he is a guaranteed number 2, though he is probably never worse than a number 3. I also don’t think he is going to get much better than he is now. He’s likely just to bounce around in the highs and lows he’s already established. Because of that Montero and Banuelos are off the table, but a package starting with Betances seems about right. Maybe something like Betances, Noesi, and Romine works. If they wanted a 4th in the deal I’d throw in Laird if they wanted him, since I don’t believe in him at all, but I’m not sure who else I’d be willing to make a 4th. Maybe Betances, Noesi, Romine, and Phelps/Warren if we really loved him.

  2. Steve as I stated in one of your early blogs I like Garza. Would he be my 1st choice for a #2 probably not but he may be the most practical of all the possible trade options that might be available. I do agree with Chris that some of his stats are attributable to being in the NL but I still fall back on the intangible that he has AL East experience. Baring some unreasonable request by Epstein I’d do the deal in a heartbeat.

    From my perspective Banuelos, Montero and Sanchez are off the table anyone else is negotiable. I also think the Cubs can NOT expect to get the same type of package they gave up to get him if for no other reason then clubs have 1 less year of team control.

  3. Sure I would like Garza because hes only 28, under team control for another couple of years, and has played in the AL East before with some success. He represents an upgrade over everyone not named CC Sabathia. He gives innings, and can be a number 2 or 3 pitcher. Like Chris said I wouldn’t be willing to part with Montero or Banuelos for him, but aside from that he would be a nice addition.

    I like Garza’s talent a lot, and think he is in between a 2 and 3. If Danks can supposedly be gotten without giving up Montero, Banuelos, or Betances I would much rather pull the trigger on that deal.

  4. Yankee trade chips that match:

    Jesus Montero (1B)


    How many professional games has Montero played at 1B? In my opinion, any trade discussions that assume that NL GMs will consider Montero a first baseman are misguided. Yeah, he may be able to make the transition but there’s absolutely no evidence that he will be any better at that than he is at C.

    Montero’s best position might very well end up being DH which makes him much less valuable to NL teams meaning you have to discount what you can expect in return for him.

  5. Thats why we implement the “Victor Martinez Plan” for Montero. Keep him at DH now and when Martin has a scheduled day off, let him catch to see if he can play the position. If were going to assume he’s a poor catcher because of reports, we also have to assume that hes a monster hitter. If he hits as good as reported, he is still an asset at catcher. However, when Tex needs a day off/given a half day off at DH, we put Montero at first. When Tex’s contract is up in 5 years, Montero will be done with his arbitration years. Let Tex walk and sign Montero up.

  6. But as far as a trade for any starting pitcher, I think its a move the Yankees absolutely should make.Can Hughes be a starting pitcher? Can Nova out pitch his peripherals again? Can AJ be more than the leagues most overpaid back end starter? Is Garcia going to trick everyone into swinging at slop, and have another career low HR/FB rate?

    The Yankees have enough prospects to get a deal done for one of them and hypothetically still keep 2 or even 3 of their top prospects. To not make a deal for one of those two, who represent clear upgrades over every pitcher on your roster outside of CC, would be a failure on Cashmans part. They have the chips, they certainly have the need. I would be very disappointed if a deal didn’t get done.

  7. I understnad the eagerness to imprive the rotation. But I think with the new CBA the elite prospects we have are far more valuable than they were just a week ago. Truth is, with the Yanks handcuffed on amateur and IFA sigginings it could be many years before we again have the likes of Betances and Banuelos at the doorstep — ready to fill spots relatively cheaply for several years.