Epstein Talks Matt Garza

There’s been lots of trade buzz surrounding right-hander Matt Garza this offseason, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says more has happened in the media than has happened in reality, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. However, that doesn’t mean the Cubs are saying Garza’s untouchable in trade talks.

“I think very highly of Matt Garza,” Epstein said. “I think he’s a top-of-the-rotation type of guy and I’m looking forward to him being on the mound for us this season. We’re just being transparent about the fact that, ‘Hey, we’re in this for the long haul,' and sometimes it makes sense to weigh your options and see if you can put yourself in a better position for the long haul.”

In an interview yesterday, GM Jed Hoyer downplayed the idea that Garza will be dealt now that Paul Maholm has been signed. The Cubs are content to enter Spring Training with Garza, Maholm, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Randy Wells and Ryan Dempster in their projected rotation, Hoyer said.

Earlier this week the Tigers were said to be pursuing Garza aggressively. However, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News that "nothing has changed" since last week, when he said that he wouldn't part with Jacob Turner in a trade. It's possible that the Tigers continue to talk about Garza with the Cubs, but a deal involving Turner seems unlikely, Henning writes.


48 Responses to Epstein Talks Matt Garza Leave a Reply

  1. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    I see no point to hanging on to him. You’re not going to win the division, so mine as well trade him. They should go for the highest draft pick.

    • Awesomeade 4 years ago

      Depends on what you can get for him in return. From what I’ve read, most teams aren’t willing to give up packages similar to those in the Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez deals due to Garza’s shorter contract and mediocre past.

      I think if I had to, I’d put my money on the Cubs extending Garza after the 2012 season if they can’t fleece a team that needs starting pitching in September.

      • soxfan000 4 years ago

        That’s just silly.  Mediocre.  Gio has two good seasons under his belt & a hell of a lot of walks.  Garza’s a decent #3.  You’re just repeating what you read other people say.

        • BDLugz 4 years ago

          If Garza can repeat his 2011 he’s more than a #3…

          • soxfan000 4 years ago

            To the Cubs, but if he goes 10-10 3.31, that doesn’t look like a #1 or #2.  He might be as quality as most at that level, but some of his numbers will continue to depress some of his value I would think.

          • 0bsessions 4 years ago

            Beckett was considered an ace in ’07 with an ERA floating around there (And Sabathia won the Cy Young with an ERA just a hair better), that certainly qualifies him as a number two.

          • cachhubguy 4 years ago

            Really? You’re injecting won/loss record as if he has some great meaning.

          • If you notice stat lines at all he lost a ton of more games that he shouldve won. Are you forgetting he played in front of won of the worst defenses in the MLB?

    • tfsmag 4 years ago

      cubs might not win this season, but in a couple more seasons they’ll have a talented young core that they’ve built around Garza that “should” be in the hunt every season. Garza is only 28 and under team control for at least 2 more seasons. If they extend him the cubs could stretch that out to 4 or 5 seasons (if he stays healthy). They’ve said all along that Garza is the type of young  top of the rotation pitcher you can build around.

      • GaryLeeT 4 years ago

        I agree that a proven postseason performer should be extended. It may be 3 years until he’s needed, but at least he’ll be there when the bell rings. I never want to see a 7 walk, pee down his pant leg, Dumpster type, take the mound in a game 1, again. 

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Who are these talented young core? My estimation is that they have Castro and a couple of prospects they just picked up. Ask yourself, is Garza so special that you’re willing to waste away his age 28, 29 and 30 seasons with the hopes that Garza will be better than he is right now? And is Theo really going to offer an extension of 4 years or better? 

        The Cubs have money. It’s not like they can’t afford to acquire a “Garza like” free agent when they need one to really push forward.

        • tfsmag 4 years ago

          The talented young core isn’t full assembled yet obviously (did you not read the part about “building” around him?). They have Brett Jackson, Szcur, Vitters, Rizzo, the 2 that we picked up from the Reds. Theo and company have added 3 solid prospects in just the last 6 weeks. Do you really think that if you give them a year or two they won’t have added more pieces? I’m not saying they have all the pieces they need right now, if that were true I would have said they’d be a good team this coming season, which I didn’t. It’s assumed by pretty much anyone with knowledge of the cubs system at this point that the rebuilding process is probably going to take (at least) 2 full seasons.

          The cubs are very smart to ask the world for Garza. With him we have a guy that legitimately belongs at the top of a rotation, and not a bunch of 4’s and 5’s. If we extend him then the plan is to build around him. Not sure why that’s so hard to understand.

          • Adding truly good pieces isn’t a given.  If it was as easy as most fans (of all teams) seem to believe, every team would be full of all-stars by now because it really only takes those 2-4 years to make any MLB team a juggernaut (or so everyone seems to think).  Where exactly do you expect these pieces of the “young, talented core” to come from if half of those prospects you mentioned don’t meet expectations (like what happens to most prospects) and they don’t trade Garza? No one else on the team (that they’d actually be willing to trade) has too much value. Byrd, Soto, Dempster, and Marmol “might” fetch a some interesting stuff, but nothing good enough to build a core with unless you get really lucky and fleece somebody. That basically leaves the draft, international FA, regular FA, and trades. The first two take way more time than a Garza extension would last, the third is a huge risk, and the fourth requires you to trade the prospects that you’re already banking on being part of the future core.

            So much easier to trade Garza for 2 or 3 really good prospects to increase the chances of enough of your prospects panning out and finding a core there.

          • tfsmag 4 years ago

            I appreciate what you’re saying, but here’s the thing, nobody is guaranteed a championship. All I’m saying is that they’ll be in the hunt in the next couple of seasons. The cubs will have an almost non-existent payroll after this season and whatever they don’t have to fill in the holes they’ll have to look to free agency to fill. If you couple that with only about 1/2 of the top 10 prospects in the cubs system making it to being decent MLB starters by 2014, and your payroll stays the same (130-140 million), then the possibility is there to have a team that will keep you in the playoff discussion.

            The difference between the cubs and about 25 other teams in the league is that they have the financial flexibility to make a push if they need to. In the past this was used quite poorly, but was still enough to get into the playoffs on back to back seasons (with the best record in the NL in 2008). That was with Hendry running the ship and stripping the farm dry. They have a couple of guys that are running the show now that have proven they know how to acquire and develop young players. 

            Am I optimistic? Probably, but I don’t think without reason.

            I am not against trading Garza, but only if we can get something similar or better than what we gave up for him. Otherwise keep him and build around him.

          • The big city payroll helps a lot, which I didn’t really give enough credit in my last post.  Huge market teams don’t have to have quite as many pieces of the core come up through their farm since they can afford 3 or 4 really good free agents as opposed to little market teams that can maybe sign 1 or 2.

    • 0bsessions 4 years ago

      They likely won’t hang on to him indefinitely, but he’s clearly not getting peak return right now.

      At this point, it’s likely in their best interest to wait until the trade deadline. If no one’s going to give up a return commensurate with what was given up for Gonzalez (Despite the extra team control, Garza’s as underrated as Gonzalez is overrated), there’s not much point. Come the trade deadline you’re more likely to see someone get desperate and pull the trigger and you’re also giving teams more time to get a look at Garza’s altered approach to see if it’ll stick.

  2. Extend Garza, 28 is young enough. Type of pitcher you build around.

    • cubs223425 4 years ago

      They have too many holes. By the time this team gets itself together, he’ll be 31 or 32. At that point, he’ll be on the downswing and REALLY expensive. They’d be better off getting 3-4 good, young players.

  3. SergioHodge 4 years ago

    The cubs should lock up Garza with an 4 year 40-42 Mil. extension! Due to the departures of cub killer Albert “the machine” and Prince Fielder, there are no stand outs in the NL Central for 2012. The cards, Brew Crew, Reds and pirates will be right there with the Cubs, yes the Cubs…all year long. The new front office is assembling a solid all around team with pitching depth and youth that will surprize allot of people in 2012. No superstars, but simply solid all around players.
    I am not saying the 2012 cubs will win the devision, but we will surely turn some heads and be in the race into september instead of losing the devision in april (2011).
    The devision is up for grabs and its gonna be a dog fight in 2012.

    Theo please trade Soriano !!!!

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “With no Ablert and no Prince in the devisionl, there are no stand outs in the NL Central”

      there’s still a votto

    • if you think the 2011 team is worse than the team that will be on the field in 2012, you have a rough summer ahead of you. 

      • cubs223425 4 years ago

        2011’s team probably WAS worse overall. The offense this season will be a downgrade, but I think the rotation depth will keep the Cubs from running out non-starters like Coleman and Russell, so the pitching side should improve as a whole.

        I’d say they’re 3-5 wins better in 2012.

        • Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

          I actually agree. Not to mention that the removal of negative clubhouse influences like Zambrano and Ramirez should at least improve morale. They could come out of the gate playing pretty well.

          • can definitely see what you guys are saying, and I agree that the clubhouse chemistry will be infinitely better. however, you’re replacing Zambrano’s productivity with a pitcher who will, in all likelihood, be about the same as Zambrano was last year, if not a bit worse; Ramirez’s production will also sorely be missed.

            The rotation is a bit deeper yeah, but I’m not sure if it’s improved enough to make up for the offensive losses of Ramirez, and to a lesser extent, Pena. 

    • So you want to sign him to a contract with less per annum than he’d earn in arbitration?  All for it!

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      they do say crack is a hell of a drug.

      So…Reds won 79 games last year and the Cubs 71.

      You think that the Cubs, minus Zambrano, Marshall, Ramirez, Fukodome, Pena and Byrd (about 10 WR) plus Maholm and who else? is > than the Reds plus Latos, Madson and others? I don’t see it.

      • Matt Mitchener 4 years ago

        Reds will be better but i just want to correct and state a few things.

        Byrd is still on the team.

        Also they added Dejesus, Maholm, Travis Wood, Stewart, Rizzo and Volstad. A lot of these guys seem mediocre but 4 of the 6 are young enough to have a high upside and Dejesus should easily bounce back and provide 3+ WAR. Last year the Cubs Right field was 0 War.

        Bounce back candidates: Marmol, Soto, Byrd (injured), Dejesus (injured), Dempster, Randy Wells (injured)

        Upside Candidates: Travis wood, Stewart, Volstad, Barney, Castro, Brett Jackson, Rizzo, Chris Carpenter, and jeff samardzija

        Regression Canidates : Maholm, *Soriano and *Garza

        *Even Garza could improve at age 28 . While Soriano’s babip last year of .266 could indicate a better year.

        I think this team has a lot of variance and could be a 65 win team or a 85 win team.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      your kidding right?????
      have you looked at the reds, many people are overlooking them but they have put together a really good team.  Latos, Bailey, Chapman, leake, cueto all in the rotation, i would put near the top in the next few years since they are all very young.
      Cards are also decent with getting wainwright back, and they wont even compete for the wc.

  4. cubs223425 4 years ago

    So Dombrowski was (allegedly) more willing to move Turner than Castellanos, but he won’t move Turner for Garza? That pretty much means they’ll only trade a few second-tier prospects for him. In that case, PASS.

  5. BillB325 4 years ago

    I bet they are trying to sign him to an extension for a Danks like deal. If they can’t they’ll trade him.

  6. I wonder how Garza feels about Epstein.

  7. BillB325 4 years ago

    If he does get dealt, and if it is for a massive haul, here are my predictions.
    Red Sox: Bogaerts, Middlebrooks, Ranaudo and Owens
    Yankees: Montero, Phelps, Warren, Williams or
    Sanchez, Betances, Phelps and Austin
    Blue Jays: McGuire, Nicilino, Gose, and Jenkins
    Rangers: Perez, Rameriz, Olt and Scheppers
    Royals: Cuthbert, Montgomery, Ordirizzi.
    Personally the Royals, Rangers and Jays have the top package materials, whether they are willing to use them is a whole other question.

  8. thebigdog 4 years ago

    Knowing that Pujols and Fielder were going to probably be leaving the division in 2012 for a long time now, this was the perfect moment for the Cubs to do the exact opposite of what they are doing.

  9. It’s possible that the Tigers continue to talk about Garza with the
    Cubs, but a deal involving Turner seems unlikely, Henning writes.

    Then a deal with the Tigers seems unlikely.

  10. bacboris 4 years ago

    Theres a reason the Cubs dont want him. Hes not good. Ill take the chance of stewart over the known garbage of Inge.

  11. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    “Turner smmly Inge and hicks for garza and cash”

    Smyly*

    “Turner smmly Inge and hicks for garza and cash”

    You keep making up this Hicks fellow in the Tiger’s organization. Perhaps you are thinking of Aaron Hicks with the TWINS.

    “the cubs need a thirdbasement”

    Baseman*

    “and I see Inge as a fit since the tiger don’t want him”

    Excellent logic Nelson.

  12. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Do you think you’re funny?

  13. Motor_City_Bombshell 4 years ago

    I LOVE that logic. However, I don’t see an upgrade that can be made, unless we want to see Wilson Betemit’s freakish defense at the hot corner again platooning with Kelly, of which both are lefty’s, so it makes little sense.

    I wish the Tigers could get rid of Inge though…

  14. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    can’t stop laughing at third basement HAHAAHAHAHA!!

  15. BillB325 4 years ago

    Exactly what I was thinking. The Jays isn’t to nuts to see, but the Rangers and Royals were more for fun than me actually being hopeful. I think the first three packages are pretty plausible.

  16. Jon Melton 4 years ago

    Agreed thats way to much as a Rangers fan no way they would gve up that much for Garza.

  17. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    I do. Dude’s hilarious!

  18. Unfortunately, the Cubs will be in the basement plenty next year; why pile a third (or second, for that matter) basement on?

  19. That was odd to read.  “He has no value until he plays these easy positions because he will never ever be able to play this really difficult one.”

  20. Infield Fly 4 years ago

    Kind of like a Grade B horror movie, he has comments that are so bad they’re great!
    :p

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