As the Cubs are in what appears to be a total rebuilding mode, Buster Olney has reported that the Cubs would be more than happy to move Matt Garza for the right price. Garza’s stock couldn’t be higher after a career season that coincided with his move to the National League. For a pitcher with two more seasons under team control, at a relatively young age (28), and at a more than reasonable salary, Garza is a rather attractive commodity.
The Cubs could conceivably market Garza as an ace (which is what he is, contrary to his 10-10 record as a Cub), instead the number two starter he came to Chicago as.
Let’s do some comparisons to Garza, for those cynics out there:
Matt Garza: 8.95 K/9 2.86 BB/9 3.13 K/BB 2.95 FIP
Pitcher A: 8.55 K/9 2.58 BB/9 3.31 K/BB 3.13 FIP
Pitcher B: 9.12 K/9 3.57 BB/9 2.56 K/BB 3.17 FIP
Pitcher C: 8.30 K/9 2.98 BB/9 2.78 K/BB 3.24 FIP
Pretty impressive numbers all across the board, sabermetrically speaking of course.
Matt Garza performed at a similar, if not better level than these pitchers, who are former Cy Young Awards winners Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum, along with C.J. Wilson, who is set to make nearly $100M this off-season.
Of course, there is always an argument to be had, and the methodology of handpicking pitchers and statistics is always sure to result in eye-rolls, but my point is that Garza is indeed an ace–and one in his prime.
So what could the Cubs get for Garza?
Instead of doing a wildly irrational prediction, throwing teams and prospects alike into highly unlikely trade scenarios, lets take the safe route, and use the Matt Garza trade last season as a template.
Garza was traded from Tampa last season for prospects Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, and Robinson Chirinos. Also included in the trade was Sam Fuld, Fernando Perez, and Zach Rosscup, but at the time they were collectively thought of as throw in’s.
Again, at the time of the trade, those prospects received letter grade values B+ (Archer), B (Lee), B- (Guyer), and C+ (Chirinos), according to John Sickels. Lets use 2012 letter grades (again from Sickels), and see what we can get.
Texas: Martin Perez B+, Mike Olt B, Will Lamb B-, Ronald Guzman C+
Kansas City: Jake Odorizzi B+, Michael Montgomery B, Christian Colon B-, Clint Robinson C+
Detroit: Nick Castellanos B+, Drew Smyly B, Tyler Collins B-, Daniel Fields C
These of course are simply what a package of Garza might look like. Honestly, I think Theo and company can do better than these groups of players, but that’s not to discount any of the combinations above–all are good prospects in their own right.
Unfortunately, Sickels has only released a handful of 2012 lists, and teams like Atlanta and Arizona are pointless because of their wealth of young pitching.
I’m looking forward to seeing the Cubs’ front office create their own template for this situation, as they’ve shown they can do in their very short history.