Garza, 27, went 15-10, 3.91, for the Rays’ AL East champs in ’10.
His 2-1, 3.48 performance in five postseason starts would double the returning staff’s postseason wins total (recently reacquired Kerry Wood also has two). He would be the only Cub with a World Series start.
[ Edited: 10 January 2011 10:38 AM by BigBadBill ]
Conflicting reports emerged Wednesday regarding the Cubs’ pursuit of Tampa Bay Rays ace Matt Garza, rumors of which first emerged during the winter meetings in December.
According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, the Cubs are on the verge of swinging a deal for Garza (15-10, 3.91 ERA in 2010), who also reportedly has drawn interest from the Rangers and Nationals. But ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported via Twitter that he has been told a deal for Garza “is not close to happening.”
Olney quoted a “well-placed source” as saying that given the Rays’ current posture, a Garza trade is more likely in July than it is now.
Ah, traditions. I love them. How many times have the Cubs leaked a rumor that they’re getting this guy or that guy only to miss by this much? The Trib stopped doing that for a while, so it’s good that the Ricketts have brought back another high point from the 80’s.
I can hear the announcers now, “Thanks for coming out to beautiful Wrigley Field. Today, playing the role of Cliff Lee today is Bob Howry. He’s just as good, it says so on our Kool Aid package. So don’t you worry your pretty little heads about it.”
The deal, which has been agreed to pending physicals, sends right-handed pitcher Chris Archer, outfielder Brandon Guyer, catcher Robinson Chirinos, shortstop Hak-Ju Lee and outfielder Sam Fuld to Tampa for Garza, a minor-league pitcher and a minor-league outfielder.
The main off-season priority for the Cubs was to shed several albatross contracts and pave the way for highly touted young prospects to come up to the big league squad in 2011. GM Jim Hendry changed directions Friday, trading his entire minor league system for Tampa Rays right-hander Matt Garza, who has a career 42-44 record.
In his trade with Tampa, Hendry didn’t stop at 21-year-old right-hander Chris Archer (Cubs No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America), up-and-coming shortstop Hak-Ju Lee (No. 4 prospect), and 2010 minor league player of the year outfielder Branden Guyer (No. 10 prospect), instead sweetening the pot at the last minute by throwing in the Cubs entire minor league system.
“Matt Garza is kind of like a slightly better Randy Wells,” said Hendry. “Plus he has some post-season experience that will greatly help us when we go 72-90 this season.”
To fill the void in the Cubs minor league affiliates, which now consists of zero players to fill squads in places like Des Moines, Daytona, and Boise, the Cubs are giving second chances to several past minor league flameouts likeBrooks Kieschnick, Ty Griffin, Lance Dickson, Brant Brown, Earl Cunningham and several others.
“We found Earl working at a car wash in South Carolina,” said Hendry of the Cubs 1989 first round draft pick who never reached the big leagues. “I realize he’s 40-years-old now and weighs a donut over 400 pounds, but he looks like he can still thump the ball. They’re going to love him back in Peoria.”
Great post Bill...good to see so many baseball posts lately.
Matt Garza is a mystery to me.
How could he have 189 strikeouts in 203 innings and have an 8-12 record in 2009 then strikeout 150 in 204 innings last season and post a 15-10 record? He also gave up 89 runs in both seasons. He must have had better run support so if he pitches for the Cubs they will probably have to score more runs since he gives up almost 4 runs a game.