Archive for the ‘Matt Garza’ Category


Another one bites the dust. And this one, in particular, was a name that Alex Anthopoulos has reportedly chased for quite some time. Or, at least, who we’ve been passing along rumours about for probably three years, as today we learned that Matt Garza has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for four years and $52-million.

Ken Rosenthal had it first, tweeting that a physical is still pending, which could be a thing, but probably won’t be.

Like all of the remaining free agents, there were warts on Garza. His medicals, in particular, have been rumoured to be fairly ugly, and over the last three seasons he’s only made 12 more starts than Brandon Morrow, who certain Jays fans seem to think is made of breakaway glass (even though that’s, y’know, dumb). You don’t hear him get a lot of high marks for his off-field stuff, either, but when Garza’s been healthy, he’s certainly been effective, posting sub-4.00 ERAs in seven straight seasons.

The ERA stuff doesn’t exactly translate into great advanced numbers all the time, though. He was worth 2.2 wins, per FanGraphs this year, and 1.1 the year before. Baseball Reference has him at just 1.2 and 1.4 wins for 2012 and 2013, though their calculations like his 2011 season a bit more (2.9) — and that’s not nearly as much as the FIP-based FanGraphs one did (4.9).

Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, who we still all believe the Jays are eyeing (as they damn well should be), have been much healthier over their careers and have been much better more recently. Aaaaand they’ve also been much worse. By now, I’m sure you know the story. (If you don’t, I wrote about it here — just scroll past the Tanaka pipe dreaming).

We’ve never really thought the Jays were going to go as hard after Garza as they would the more durable, and deeply-discounted (thanks to draft pick compensation) pair, and now we’re hopefully seeing why Alex Anthopoulos has been playing an infuriatingly frustrating waiting game this winter. Just $13-million per year for four years is the best Garza could do, with no draft pick tied to him? It’s actually exactly almost exactly in line with the results of the contract crowdsourcing project at FanGraphs – they had Garza getting four years and $58.7-million, and had Jimenez and Santana not getting even that much — but hardly the kind of big number we were hearing rumoured on some of these guys earlier in the off-season. And as much as the medicals certainly must have made teams queasy here, surely there must be about as much concern about Ubaldo’s year-and-a-half in the lost-velocity/unrepeatable-mechanics wilderness, and Santana’s 39-home-runs-in-a-damn-pitcher’s-park disaster of 2012.

Could a GM justify giving even that much to either of those two, and giving up a draft pick, when they wouldn’t on Garza? Maybe. And maybe they’ll find some added leverage with one less pitcher on the market. But I have a hard time believing it, especially if we’re talking about a team who’d have to give up a first-rounder — which, of course, the Jays won’t. Anthopoulos then, is perhaps exactly where we’ve thought all along that he wanted to be, with the market playing out exactly as he expected.

I’m not sure if fans ought to jump for joy because the team seems poised to get a pitcher on a contract far less than his original expectations — Jeff Passan tweets that as recently as a week ago Santana’s price had gone down to just a $60-million, four-year deal, which at this point seems highly unlikely — but if that’s what it’s going to take for the Jays to just sign a damn guy and not stand pat or blow more prospect capital trying for one, or maybe two last humps with this uncertain roster, you kinda can’t help but not.

Now they’ve just got to go out and actually do it. (And then add a second baseman, too.)


I’m not sure if he was just “hearing” this from Bob Elliott’s report, which I addressed last night, but here’s Joel Sherman of the New York Post in the vaguest of terms on Colby Rasmus:

It remains a smart move to consider on the Jays’ part, with the very cheap Anthony Gose already in the fold, and able to contribute enough with the glove and on the bases to keep his bat in the lineup, and with Rasmus staring at free agency a year from now, where another strong season– which is hardly a given– will push his price to astronomical, Ellsbury-like levels.

Colby did make mechanical adjustments over his first couple of years in Toronto, the culmination of which may have been his outstanding 2013 season, but the BABIP– oh, man, the BABIP. For his career, when he’s put the ball in play, Rasmus has hit .298 over 2600 plate appearances. However, in his two outstanding, four-plus win seasons in 2010 and 2013 the mark spiked, jumping to .354 and .356 in those years respectively.

I don’t know if you can quite call those proper outliers, given that we’re talking about two of his five full, big league seasons, but it’s a bit scary to think about where his bat ended up in the other three years, posting wRC+’s of 89, 90, and 83.

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At around the same time Gregg Zaun was over on the rival station reiterating his desire to see the entire Blue Jays team traded away, Alex Anthopoulos jumped on the radio on Monday night, speaking with Bill Hayes and Bruce Arthur on TSN 1050, addressing a number of issues relating to his club, most illuminatingly so when it comes to the names being linked to the Jays in several reports regarding the trade market. (Audio painstakingly tracked down to here.)

Not being able to comment on other team’s players, he didn’t specifically mention Matt Garza, but… um… you don’t exactly need to be Faulkner to pick up on the subtext. See if you catch what I’m talking about:

“Some stuff that’s out there is completely fabricated. I guess what I can tell you is– speaking in general terms, of course– we have not had one discussion with a team about a starter. So, if people are reading names that are out there, that would be a 100% complete fabrication, in terms of us going after a starter right now. Doesn’t mean that if something came up a week from now, or something, that we wouldn’t be open to it, but right now we’re not engaged in or having any dialogue with respect to a starter.”

He goes on to add that there still aren’t many clubs willing to start selling off players, mostly due to the extra Wild Card berths, and that there are “maybe one or two teams that clearly have talked about, ‘We’re open to doing something, and we’re open to doing something sooner.’ ”

“For us it’s been very quiet. Right now we really don’t have anything close, or anything that we’re really getting serious about. I expect those conversations to change once we come out of the break.”

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St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

The All-Star break is finally upon us, and when the Jays resume play against the Rays at Rogers Centre on Friday– with Esmil Rogers, mind-bendingly their best starter, on the hill– they’ll be looking to improve on a 45-49 record that currently has them all but out of the playoff conversation. Remaining in the season are just 68 games, over which the Jays would need to go 46-22 to wind up with 91 wins– two shy of the 93 that it took to earn both American League Wild Card berths last season, but a nearly comfortable-ish amount more than the 89-90 wins the league’s fifth-best club picked up in the few years previous.

To do so would require the club playing .676 baseball for the next two-and-a-half months– which is exactly the level they played at through their best, can’t get any better than this six weeks of the first half, going 25-12 starting on May 10th and culminating in the eleventh win of their streak back on June 23rd.

The Rays, who were behind the Jays in the standings when the streak was in full effect, now sit at 55-41– a living reminder that things can change fast. On the other hand, though, Tampa could play .500 ball over their remaining 66 games and still get to 88 wins– just a win behind the pace Baltimore is currently on, and still ahead of the Yankees and Cleveland at their paces. The Jays, to reach 88, would need to go 43-25. In other words, they’d have to play .632 from here out– a better clip than anyone in baseball has so far– and they’d still almost certainly wind up falling just short.

Any reason to think they’re capable of doing that, as constituted, or even with help via the trade market, is pretty far fetched.

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It’s here! It’s here!

The first Matt Garza rumour sighting of the season! And another one on top of that to boot!

It’s finally here!!!

The non-waiver trade deadline is only about a month away, and with the draft over– and most teams *COUGH* having come to terms with their first round picks– rumour season is apparently already upon us!

Take it away, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports!

Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who might be the best active pitcher currently available in a trade, is drawing considerable interest from teams in both leagues and on both coasts.

The Orioles, Rangers, Giants, Padres and Dodgers are all said by sources to have varying degrees of interest in acquiring Garza, with the Blue Jays, Red Sox (though they seem more focused on bullpen help at the moment) and several other teams seen as possible destinations for the 29-year-old.

With the Jays’ rotation currently full, and Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ on the mend, it might sound a little bit rich to think that the club might give up the kind of package it would take to land a guy like Garza, but let’s not forget that the rotation currently features Chien-Ming Wang, Esmil Rogers, and… y’know… Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle.

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Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Jays and the Rangers both had scouts on hand to watch Matt Garza’s side session on Monday, as you’ll be able to see from the tweet below, where he says pretty much exactly that…

A lot of the “scout spotted in process of doing his job” stuff that gets tossed around this time of year doesn’t really mean quite as much as we often like to believe, I don’t think. But watching a side session, I think, demonstrates a higher level of genuine, serious interest than basic due diligence, if only because there has been plenty of opportunity for the Jays to watch Garza over the last month– and over the course of the whole season, which I’m sure they would have been doing, seeing as Garza has long been known to be one of the more likely pieces to be on the block, and since Levine mentioned earlier that the Jays were interested as far back as the Winter Meetings.

Does this mean anything is imminent? Definitely not. And with the Rangers, and their far more legitimate playoff shot, interested, I can’t help but wonder– as I’ve mentioned a few times in the lead-up to today’s deadline– if maybe they’ll have the incentive to be just that much more aggressive than the Jays.

Still, where there’s smoke…

So… there’s that.


Image via Jonathan Daniel/Getty.

Garzas gonna Garz.

Before Twitter went absolutely fucking ape goof over the sad, possibly premature, end of the Travis Snider era, you may have noticed a few rumblings about the Jays’ renewed interest in Cubs pitcher Matt Garza.

There’s a “very high chance” he gets dealt today, tweeted Jayson Stark of ESPN, after speaking with an unnamed executive who also told him that the Jays “have been bearing down on him.”

Ridiculous imagery aside, it certainly did seem like the Jays were very interested, as their name came up from a number of different sources: Ken Rosenthal tweeted that they were a more realistic landing spot for him than the Texas, and Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago pointed out that the Jays are interested– and have been since the Winter Meetings– and the Cubs have been extensively scouting the pitchers at Lansing.

Most interestingly, perhaps, is the report from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, who says that “the Jays are believed to have already asked the Cubs for permission to conduct a physical exam of the ailing veteran.”

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