Matt Garza, Winner At Life

I’m not the biggest Matt Garza fan. I’m still not in favor of what Jon Daniels traded to acquire him.

But who gives a shit what I think?

Matt Garza was phenomenal on Wednesday night in his debut as a Texas Ranger, keeping his new club within 3.0 games of the division-leading Oakland A’s.

Garza finished the evening allowing 1 (unearned) run on 5 hits in 7.1 innings on the bump; he surrendered no walks (!) and struck out 5 Yankee hitters.

I’ll admit it, during the 6th inning or so I began to wonder what it would take to extend Matt Garza beyond 2013 (since he’s going to be a free agent, you know), projecting him into a stable featuring Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison — all whom are under contract through at least 2016;

The rational side of me, however, quickly nixed all the fun my brain was having. If Anibal Sanchez got 5 years and $80 million during the 2012 offseason, then you can be sure that Garza will use that as his starting point and try to leverage his position from there. As cute as it is that he is probably going to “love” his teammates, along with the “atmosphere” and “clubhouse” in Texas, the reality is his services will go to the highest bidder.

And the Rangers are not that team.


As it stands, even without Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis, the rotation looks formidable. Darvish, Holland, and Garza all project as mid-rotation pitchers or better — with TORP upside — Alexi Ogando is no worse than a strong #4 when he’s healthy, and Martín Perez can assume the spot that currently reflects his talent level, as the #5.

Anyway, tomorrow afternoon Derek Holland goes against Hiroki Kuroda.


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  • Brandon Land

    Any way we can get Jered Weaver to talk to Matt Garza about how to sign an extension? No?

    Didn’t think so. Too bad really.

    • Eric Reining

      I would love that. The Rangers would love that. Matt Garza’s agent would hate that. As you know.

      Truth be told, he’s already in his age-31 season, and he’s recently had health issues. Not really how the Rangers have done business the last half-decade.

      If it’s me, I think my top-dollar offer for Garza would only be in the 3-year (with a team option) range, probably something like $14-15 million AAV, with a 4th-year option that’s easy to buy out of (let’s say $2.5 million).

      All told, the max dollar figure in that scenario would only come out to something like 4/60 (or 3/47.5), and that’s probably a year too little and $20-30 million lower than he’d command on the open market.

      Garza would be dumb to pass up more money just to play for the Rangers.

  • Mike G.

    5-years, $80M probably gets the conversation started. 6-years, $100M or thereabouts probably gets a deal done.

    Would the Rangers be willing to pay Garza that much? I highly doubt it.

    • Eric Reining

      Those figures sound about right, with Anibal Sanchez as the baseline. Could you imagine a crazy mixed up parallel universe where Jon Daniels dropped essentially the same amount of money of Matt Garza as he did on Yu Darvish?

      Because if we’re moving into the 6/100 territory, that’s a pretty decent financial analog.

      Which is also why it will never happen!

  • Tyler Owens

    I don’t get why people are so upset about what they traded to get him. I love it.

    Mike Olt was pure trade bait. He never would have had a spot with the team because he’s blocked at every position he could play.

    Who knows if an A-ball pitcher like CJ Edwards would ever pan out? That’s fine.

    And Grimm needs at least a couple years in the minors before he is even a No. 4 or 5 starter on a contending club.

    That for Garza? Come on. It doesn’t matter if he’s a rental. Get a little offense and the team will soar.

    • Eric Reining

      The point is, the Rangers traded roughly 20.0 wins in future value for two months of a #3 starting pitcher.

      Can Garza be great for two months? Absolutely.

      Mike Olt didn’t have a spot on the Rangers, but that’s not reason enough to move him. I’m not a huge Olt fan, but, objectively speaking, his value over the next 6 years is higher, by itself, than two months of Matt Garza (who is probably worth between 1.0-1.5 wins by the end of the year).

      Justin Grimm didn’t have a future here, either, but he’s going to be a Major League pitcher. 5 years of a #4 starter is more valuable by itself than a #3 starter.

      C.J. Edwards is an actual prospect, not someone to sneeze at.

      I’m fine with the trade right now, in retrospect, but from a value standpoint the Cubs killed the Rangers.