The latest rumour has the Jays negotiating for Matt Garza.
I like the idea of the Jays trading for Garza because …
- … he is good. His 3.19 FIP in 2011 was 8th best in the majors. Better than Verlander, better than Felix
- … he is strong. Averaged 31 starts and 197 innings per year over the last 4 years
- … he has stamina. 2011 second-half opponent OPS was .620 – first half was .691
- … he likes Rogers Centre. His career OPS there is .563. Granted, some of the Jays teams he has faced there were not World Series caliber, but still …
I don’t want Garza because …
- … has has only 2 years left of team control (free agent in 2014)
- … Cubs want a very high price for him. When they traded for him in Jan 2011, the Cubs gave up four prospects, two of them “jewels”. Arguably, Garza is worth less now, since he has one less year remaining and the Cubs have benefitted from the “bargain” salary of $6 million in 2011. But looking at the prices paid for Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill, he will not come cheap.
- … his salary in 2012 and 2013 will be substantial. Projected arbitration award in 2012 will be $8.7 million, with 2013 potentially over $12 million.
- … he will not be cheap to resign, either. Looking at something similar to the Danks 5-year / $65 million deal
- … he is not really a giant-killer. Career OPS against the Yankees is .799, and .716 against the BoSox. Not terrible, but not extraordinary either. (For reference, the Yankees’ 2011 OPS against all opponents was .788)
Bottom line? Same story as Gio and Niese – he is an excellent pitcher, and I would love to have him. But only at a fair price. And with all the competition for SP these days, it is very possible that it will take more than a fair price to get him.