Free agency isn't the only route the Rangers will attempt to take this offseason. They'll look at trades too. So as the Winter Meetings approach, let's take a look at another possibility: Matt Garza.
Garza could be on the market for the right deal, as noted by Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.
The Rangers had strong interest in Garza last offseason, but lost out to the Cubs, who sent five minor leaguers to the Rays as part of the deal. Levine says the Cubs would want a package of four or five players and lists Mitch Moreland as a potential possibility for inclusion. But you can bet the Cubs would want a solid pitching prospect or two as well.
Why? Because Garza is under team control for two more seasons (as arbitration eligible) before becoming a free agent after the 2013 season. He was 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA for a team that finished 20 games below .500. He had 197 strikeouts and 63 walks in 198 innings. Six times Garza left with a late lead only to see the bullpen blow it.
The right-hander from Selma, Calif., has the equivalent of about four full seasons in the AL under his belt. He is 2-3 with a 6.04 ERA in just 28 1/3 career innings at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (five starts).
Garza has the ability to miss bats and give a club innings. Texas was interested in him a year ago and there's no reason to think they won't be this time. But because of his contract -- he made $5.9 million in 2011 and could get around $8 million or so in 2012 -- and the two-years of team control, he won't come cheap. Still, if the Rangers want to look at pitchers who have the stuff to be a No. 1 or No. 2, Garza fits the bill.
Are you interested in Garza? What would you be willing to give up to get him?