Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Offseason question: Bring back Matt Garza?
By Todd Wills
Editor's note: This is the second in a 10-part series over the next two weeks that will focus on questions the Texas Rangers must answer this offseason. These questions are in no particular order.
Today's question: Should the Rangers bring back Matt Garza?
The automatic assumption is that Garza, a free agent, won't be re-signed by the Rangers. In a 45-minute news conference with general manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington on Thursday, not one question came up about the right-hander.
Based on the high price Jon Daniels paid for Matt Garza, will the Rangers GM feel obligated to re-sign Garza this winter?
In fact, the only mention of Garza came from Daniels himself, who coupled the acquisition of the pitcher in July for four players with the free-agent signing bust that was designated hitter Lance Berkman, who gave the Rangers one good month. That's about all Garza, who was 4-5 with a 4.38 ERA for 13 starts, gave the Rangers, too.
Hey, almost all of us who cover the Rangers praised the trade at the time. The Rangers needed a starting pitcher to contend, and Garza was the best available on the market. He just didn't live up to expectations, and given the way that the top prospect in the deal, C.J. Edwards, pitched for the Chicago Cubs in the minor leagues, this one could go down as a heartbreaker.
"The Garza deal, we believed in the team and wanted to take it a step forward," Daniels said. "You look up in two years and three guys are in the big leagues for the Cubs. That's what I expect to happen, honestly. There were some good ones; C.J. Edwards is good. Those are the risks we take."
The Rangers could overreact and, to protect themselves from the possibility of Edwards plus one of Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez becoming a star in the major leagues, compensate by keeping Garza around. Who knows, Garza might just produce in a three- or four-year deal to make it worth it.
The Rangers say Garza was a good fit in the clubhouse. That was hard to tell. He embarrassed the organization with his reaction to Oakland's Eric Sogard bunting on him by taking to Twitter and tweeting to Sogard and his wife. His reputation as a competitor didn't show up for the Rangers as much as the team would have liked, though he did come up big in a late-season start at Kansas City.
Matt Harrison will be back. Colby Lewis could be back. The Rangers have some starting pitching options and are better off appreciating the two-plus months they had for Garza instead of lamenting how it didn't turn out exactly how they hoped it would.