Its happened again. Another writer, another town, another speculation. This time the speculation comes from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, and it involves the Cubs right-handed starting pitcher Matt Garza. Now, I have kind of tackled the continuous speculation about the Tigers in an article I wrote a little big ago about Jimmy Rollins. It seems that the national baseball media are interested in including the Tigers in on almost every trade or free agent out there, despite the Tigers looking like they are taking a backseat this off-season.
Regardless of the level of actual interest by the Tigers, myself and the other writers on staff here at MCB have made it somewhat of a mission to make sure we cover this sort of thing. As we know, with David Dombrowski, you never really know.
The thing about guys like Matt Garza is, why wouldn’t teams be interested in acquiring him? On the face of it anyway. He is a talented pitcher that can at least be slotted into the middle of the rotation. Statistically in 2011, Garza had one of his best years of his big league career. Maybe his best. His K/BB ratio was the best it’s ever been at 3.13/1. His ERA at 3.32 was also the lowest of his career. At 28 years old, Garza is at the beginning of the prime years of his career, which has been good already. He even has a no-hitter against the Tigers under his belt in his time with the Tampa Bay Rays. His success and time in the American League make him an attractive pitcher to anyone really.
But the things that make Garza an attractive trade candidate, also make him difficult to acquire.
The market is looking pretty good for teams that are willing to trade young middle of the rotation pitchers right now. Mat Latos, Trevor Cahill, and Gio Gonzalez have already been moved for substantial packages. There has also been speculation that Jon Niese, Gavin Floyd, Jair Jurrjens and at one time John Danks could be on their way as well. Looking at some of those deals as a model, Garza is going to be pretty expensive. Latos and Gonzalez both required three top 10 prospects from the teams that traded for them, and Matt Garza fits in the class of those two pitchers nicely.
While I was on record for being on board with acquiring Gio Gonzalez, it is clear that the Tigers aren’t looking to cough up multiple top prospects right now. Speculation is that the Tigers are willing to part with Jacob Turner for a quality major league pitcher. However, it appears the talks begin to stall when Nick Castellanos is included in the conversation. If the Tigers were to get involved for a pitcher like Garza, it is more than likely going to take them to be willing to part with Castellanos as well as Turner.
I certainly wouldn’t mind having Garza pitching for the Tigers in 2012, and as much as I personally would be willing to part with prospects to do so, I just don’t see the Tigers and David Dombrowski being in the mix like Cafardo does.
Matt Garza could help the Tigers win games and solidify what should already be a pretty good starting staff. My feeling is that he would be just like Gio Gonzalez though. Too expensive for the Tigers to acquire in terms of prospects as the Cubs are clearly looking to rebuild.
Cafardo should point the speculation in the direction of teams with farm systems adequate enough to get the job done. The Blue Jays, Padres, and the Kansas City Royals seem like fits.
At least more than the Tigers do.