Trade deadline talk: Matt Garza
Today's player: Matt Garza
The 28-year-old right-handed starter is under contract through the 2013 season as arbitration eligible, so instead of trading for a rental player, any club that acquires Garza would have him next year also. He has thrown at least 184 innings each of the last four seasons and at least 198 innings each of the past three years. He's thrown 100 2/3 innings in 17 starts this season.
Garza is coming off one of his best starts of the season, throwing seven shutout innings against Arizona with one walk and seven strikeouts Sunday. It was a much better effort than his first July start, when he allowed five runs on five hits in four innings with three homers along with three walks and six strikeouts.
Garza is not Hamels or Greinke. But he'd be a middle-of-the-rotation starter whose numbers would likely improve with a better offense (and defense) behind him. He had a 6.86 ERA in May, but improved on that with a 3.72 ERA in six June starts, which included five quality starts. He's got 93 strikeouts and 30 walks in 100 2/3 innings.
The Rangers have been interested in Garza in the past. They looked into him most recently at the Winter Meetings in Dallas last December. And they were interested when he was with Tampa Bay in 2010.
Even though he has another year of team control left, Garza shouldn't cost the price that Hamels or Greinke would in terms of prospects. The question is whether Garza represents a big enough upgrade to justify trading some solid prospects in return. Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt aren't on the table when it comes to Garza, I wouldn't think. Could a package of prospects not including those two get it done? According to ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine, the Cubs want young pitching and would love a third baseman. Even without Olt in the deal, the Rangers have young pitching prospects they could deal.
I'm intrigued by the idea that Garza would be under team control through next season, but he's not the huge impact pitcher that some of the others on the market are at this point. In other words: Can he make a big enough difference to justify dealing away a solid prospect or two? That doesn't mean the Rangers shouldn't consider him, but the price has to be just right for a deal like that one.
Are you interested in Garza? Is is worth shipping away some prospects -- not Olt or Profar, but maybe a solid one or two -- to stick in the rotation now and in 2013?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.