A More Comprehensive Matt Garza Post

I’ve said it a lot that I’m not a big fan of Matt Garza. I don’t think he’s a bad pitcher or anything, but I don’t necessarily think he’s as good as made out to be right now, especially after a stellar 2011 that saw him put up 5.0 fWAR for the Cubbies. People point to his stuff and his AL East success (6.0 fWAR in two seasons with the Rays) and say he’d be a perfect #2 starter for the Yankees. I’ve disagreed, citing low ground ball numbers which could hurt him in Yankee Stadium, as well as up-and-down strikeout numbers. I’d also like to see if he’s really learned to keep the ball in the park like he did in 2011. Regardless of all this, I think it’s worth it to run Garza through the trade value calculator and see if he is worth as much as some say he is.

I did the legwork and assuming a projected salary of $8.7M for 2012 and a projected WAR of 5.5 for 2012, as well as a projected $10.7M salary in 2013 with a 3.8 WAR projection (2009-2012 WARs added up and divided by four), I came out with $58.2M of trade value for Garza.

Yesterday, friend of the blog Brien Jackson posited this package for Garza:

Does Banuelos, Warren, Phelps, and Williams get the Cubs to agree to trade Garza?

Using these guidelines and these rankings, let’s see if that adds up.

Manny Banuelos was the #41 BA ranked prospect, so that’s $20.8M right there. I’m going to be generous and assume that Mason Williams is somewhere in the 51-75 range for hitters, giving him $12.6M worth of value. Adding in Adam Warren and David Phelps, both grade B pitchers, we get $13M total value ($6.5 each). Add that all up and we get $46.4 of value. If Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein live and die by the trade calculator (they obviously don’t or won’t), then they say no to this package of players. We’ve heard recent interest in Garza from the Blue Jay as well as the Red Sox and Yankees. That post says, however, that the asking price is already high.

I have to wonder, though, if either the Jays or the Sox could top the package Brien proposed earlier today. But, would the Yankees do that package? Would I do that package if I were Brian Cashman? I..don’t know. By the theoretical calculator, it’s essentially okay. But I still think there are enough questions about Garza in my mind that I wouldn’t.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

10 thoughts on “A More Comprehensive Matt Garza Post

  1. Matt, the numbers might add up to Brien’s proposed deal being a steal for the Yankees but it’s still trading four guys for one. Granted, none of those guys are irreplaceable but there is some risk in exchanging all of that value for one guy who might get hurt or be ineffective. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do the deal – I might. I’d probably be more inclined to do it if Betances were substituted for Banuelos.

  2. Matt, I have to say if I’m Brian Cashman I don’t give Epstein/Hoyer the opportunity to turn that offer down. Because I never give it them. I’m not the type of fan that falls in love with prospect just because they are prospects. But that’s way to much to offer for Garcia in my opinion.

  3. I just tried this trade value sheet for the first time and come up with 28.9mm of trade value for Garza (which passes the sniff test: total WAR x 5mm – total pay + pick value). Where does the extra 30mm of value come from in the next two years? 58.2mm of trade value seems really high, but I’m probably making a mistake.

    Presumably his WAR would be slightly lower in the AL East as well.

    • I got salary data from Cot’s and entered the following salaries (the file rounds):

      2009: .4
      2010: 3.4
      2011: 6
      2012: 8
      2103: 10

      And the following WAR data:

      ’09: 3.1
      ’10: 1.6
      ’11: 5.0
      ’12: 5.5
      ’13: 3.8

      I took away the $FA ’cause of the adjustments to compenstaion and came up w/the same value as in the post.

  4. Those projections for Garza seem high. Only 11 pitchers put up an fWAR greater than 9.3 over the last two years. If you think that 2011 is closer to Garza’s new baseline performance then reaching this projection may not be too far-fetched as he is theoretically entering his peak years. However, it is also possible that 2011 was an outlier and 3 fWAR per year may be a more reasonable expectation over the next couple of years.

  5. Over 5 years in the AL, he posted a 107 ERA+ with a 1.3+ WHIP, giving up slightly more then 1 HR/9. These are decent numbers, maybe a #3 on a PS team. To me, he is not worth $12/yr. He has also averaged less then 185 IP over the last 4 years.

    NO Way I trade 4 kids, 2 of whom project to be MLB players (for very, very cheap for 5 years) for this guy. What he did last year in the NL Centreal won’t hold up in the AL East.

    I don’t like using WAR for pitchers. I think we are understand ERA+, WHIP and HRs/9. Who the hell knows how they calc WAR for pitchers. He’s 27, maybe he’s just hitting his stride, but considering how conservative the Yanks are being with money, this seems to be a VERY bad idea.

  6. Though I do appreciate sabermetrics just as much as the next guy, some posters and bloggers are a bit obnoxious with the numbers. Yes, they tell the story of particular players but how can they be projected to assume what a young ballplayer will or won’t do in the bigs. The bottom line is that the prospects are the future of this club. How about the Yanks use those prospects to possibly put together the next core four or jive five (plus Bernie)

    I love Yankee fans, but we are the single most impatient people on this earth.

    • Great post, Mainer.
      Yankee fans, I agree, should focus on how they can overcome the new CBA by building teams around cost-effective homegrowns. I see the potential for two new cores: one coming up in next two years, and the other three to five years down the road. If Yanks can build these new cores, they have the potential to succeed for a decade or more despite Seligt’s best efforts to thwart them at every pass. But it all begins with avoiding foolish trades. Sure, it would be great to have Garza, but not at the cost of ManBan and Mason, guys who could be part of each of the next two cores.

  7. Matt, I am pretty sure you have a sign wrong, I think you are adding the amount of money Garza will be paid to his value, not subtracting it, there is no way he’s worth 38.3m per year, which is what your math says.

  8. Wasn’t Banuelos much higher in the mid-year BA rankings/ I believe he was something like #13. So his value is far higher– also his value to the Yankees is even greater, as a left-hander. Personally I would not trade Banuelos even-up for Garza (unless Garza had at least four years of controllable salary left on his contract). Also, Phelps’ valoue rose considerably after his strong showing in AZL.