Thursday, July 25, 2013
Extra Bases: Garza is open to settling down
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- So how about Matt Garza settling down in Texas?
The Rangers' new starting pitcher has been traded three times now, the latest on Monday by the Chicago Cubs. Does the free-agent-to-be think about planting some roots somewhere, maybe with the Rangers?
"Yeah, who doesn't," Garza said when asked about the possibility of re-signing with the Rangers after he won his debut over the New York Yankees 3-1 on Wednesday night.
It would add some value to the trade that sent Justin Grimm and prospects Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and a player-to-be-named to the Cubs.
If Garza did sign with Texas, this wouldn't be a rental. He'd be the Rangers' guy along with Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando and Martin Perez.
A wealth of starters.
After the game Wednesday night -- Garza's first time speaking with the Texas media since the trade -- the starter said he isn't thinking about anything but helping the Rangers make the playoffs.
"Right now, I've just got to stay focused for every five days," Garza said. "That's it. I love Texas, I don't mind Texas. Like I said, my main goal right now is to help this team get to October, and everything else will fall into place."
Garza said his new teammates welcomed him with open arms on Tuesday when he made his first appearance at Rangers Ballpark. Knowing that he was needed, and that the Rangers saw him as a pivotal player who could help them make up three games on the Oakland A's in the American League West, made an impression.
Garza knows the Rangers pursued him as a trade target in 2011 when he went from the Rays to the Cubs in an eight-player deal. He knows Texas wanted to trade for him last year, but he was hurt.
"I couldn't be more happy being in a place where I'm at, a place where I'm wanted, been wanted," Garza said. "It's awesome. I've been traded three times now, and it's just, I'm going to go out there and do my job and make these guys proud that they've made the move."
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday the Rangers will worry about their future with Garza at a later date. It's obvious they covet him.
"That's kind of a putting-the-cart-before-the-horse deal," Daniels said of keeping Garza past this season. "Let's let him get here and get settled, and hopefully we have a good mutual experience together for the next three months and then we'll revisit it."
Garza is in step with Daniels.
It's all about the present.
"I just want to get us to October now," Garza said. "That's it."
Hidden note: Seven of catcher A.J. Pierzynski's 10 home runs this season have given the Rangers the lead. That's power in the clutch.
Up now: The rapid reaction from Texas' 3-1 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night highlights a big night for A.J. Pierzynski. Also, newly acquired starter Matt Garza is well aware he's a hired gun for the Rangers, and the club continues its search for a hitter.
Up next: The Rangers try to win the four-game series on Thursday afternoon when left-hander Derek Holland (8-5, 3.10), who had his start pushed back a day, takes on Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda at 1:05 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest, MLB Network and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.