Is Matt Garza the Yankees answer?

The sticky issue is likely to be the Cubs’ asking price. The North Siders have a lot of dead money on their books they’d like to move if they can, but their situation probably isn’t so bad that Theo Epstein and Co. are under orders to cut payroll this year. Plus, Garza is still in his arbitration eligibility period, so while he isn’t extremely cheap, he’s not so expensive that trading him as a salary dump move makes any sense. If the Cubs are interested in trading him, the goal would have to be bringing some good young talent into an organization that’s lacking in that area as they attempt to rebuild, and where the Yankees are concerned, that means one player would certainly be on the Cubs’ radar: Jesus Montero.

Frankly, the important question when considering the price for any attractive pitcher on the trade market is going to be “would you trade Jesus for them?” Does Garza fit that bill? As much as I’m intrigued by him, I’m not sure. He’s two years removed from free agency, and he isn’t likely to be particularly cheap over the next two seasons. That’s not the end of the world if you’re acquiring enough talent to make up for it, and based on his 2011 season Garza would certainly meet that criteria, but right now last season is an outlier in Garza’s career. That doesn’t mean he won’t repeat it, of course, but it does mean that you’re gambling on the projection of your scouting department while trading your best prospect/trade chip. For what it’s worth, Joel Sherman has reported that the Yankees would be interested in Garza.

Ultimately I think Garza is pretty much at the border of the “would you trade Jesus? question.” I can see arguments for doing the deal, and arguments against it, and as of now I don’t have a firm opinion on it. With questions this close, I’m generally inclined to defer to the opinion of the Yankees’ scouting department and the front office’s ability to construct a long-term organizational plan.

Though you have to admit, it would be fun to see Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein match up for a blockbuster trade.


About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

10 thoughts on “Is Matt Garza the Yankees answer?

  1. Wow! An answer with a full blog post! Thanks Brien!

    I'm liking what I saw from Jesus at the end of last year. He seemed like he has all the tools to be an impact bat in the Yankees line up. I guess it all depends, as I think you've said many times before, if the Yankees view him as their long term catcher. At the end of the day, if he is just a DH he becomes much more expendable. I'm just glad I'm not the one making these decisions. I just get to sit back and see what happens.

  2. Maybe a 3-way trade with the Braves (as the pivot), whereas;

    Braves get: Swisher & Nunez (power & youth that they need)

    Cubs get: Soriano & Jair (saves money & removes cancer)

    NYY get: Garza, Heyward & Zambrano (a true #2, youth with upside & the highest paid MRP ever).

    • That is…probably not going to happen. Why on Earth would the Braves (looking to cut salary) or the Cubs (not looking to dump payroll) even consider that?

  3. Garza is a good pitcher, and proved pitching in the AL East, but trading montero is not what the yankees want. I mean, we should trade montero for like tim lincecum, or maybe trying to put him in a package for King Felix. But montero for garza is a huge win for the cubs.

  4. I need more than Garza to give up Jesus. The NL Central is AA compared to the AL East, and in the AL East Garza is an average starter that can go on a hot streak from time to time.

  5. Wait . . . You suggested the Yanks trade Montero, Nova, Banuelos, AND Betances for Ubaldo Jimenez last season, but you think Garza for Montero straight up is only a maybe? That seems very inconsistent.

    Maybe you are starting to actually value the Yankees best prospects? If so, welcome to light!

  6. Garza definitely toes the line here. First, he has had one "elite" season as you pointed out, and for Jesus I need to KNOW i'm getting elite talent back and the track record just isn't there. Second, would they ask for a second high end prospect? I believe they would, and then the risk of Garza busting increases significantly. Lastly, what do they do with Jesus? I don't believe he's played first base/outfield and NL teams aren't exactly willing to carry a DH, so unless the cubs think he can catch then he's not an ideal fit…