Cubs, Garza Avoid Arbitration

The Cubs avoided this morning's scheduled arbitration hearing with Matt Garza, agreeing to a one-year, $9.5MM contract for 2012. Garza's agency, CAA, tweeted the news and noted that the deal includes performance bonuses.

The Cubs had offered $7.95MM and Garza had asked for $12.5MM for a midpoint of $10.225MM. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Cubs have agreed to terms on 2012 contracts with all of their arbitration eligible players.

Garza, 28, posted a 3.32 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 198 innings for the Cubs last year. He's a super two player who will be arbitration eligible for a fourth and final time next offseason. I examined the possibility of an extension between Garza and the Cubs earlier this offseason.

31 Responses to Cubs, Garza Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. ‘Snot bad. Guess Theo decided against flipping him… unless this turns into another Lannan situation (doubtful).

    • jb226 3 years ago

      I don’t think it means he’s less likely to flip him; if anything, possibly moreso.  It just means Theo didn’t want to take the risk of seeing a $12.5MM award, which not only hurts his trade value this year but next year as well, since players pretty much always get arbitration raises and Garza would go through again after this season.  Much better to go through arbitration from a $9.5MM base than a $12.5MM base.

      I expect there to be some increased trade interest in the next couple of weeks, but ultimately I don’t think he gets traded until midseason.

      The good thing about Garza–and I know pretty much every fan and executive says this about their teams’ players, usually as an attempt to keep leverage–is that he really is the kind of guy you can build around.  I’d like to see him traded because he’s the Cubs’ best trade chip and god knows we could use the help, especially in near-MLB-ready starting pitching, but I also wouldn’t be heartbroken to see him locked up and kept around.  As a fan, it’s nice to have a situation where you feel like you can’t lose no matter how it plays out.

      • Garza is a great player. But he is not an ace on a contending team. He’s a good number two, and an amazing number 3. You don’t build teams around 2’s. He would pull back a good package, but I doubt they’ll get the same amount back as they already gave to get him.

  2. jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

    This makes him significantly more tradeable.  $3 million less hit to someone else’s bottom line.

  3. tfsmag 3 years ago

    Awesome! I like this new front office more and more with every move.

  4. Bones 3 years ago

    Barring injury, he will be traded by the All Star Break for 2 Top level and 2 mid level prospects. I’m thinking Tex or Det with Bos or Tor also in the mix.

    • By “Top Level” do you mean two A prospects? And by mid level do you mean B prospects? Because that ain’t happening.

  5. ok so Garza is making 10mm, Redsox are owed compensation. Theo was making 6mm with the sox this year, redsox have 5mm left over from the scuataro deal. does this not make sense for the sox to give up the 5mm and get garza in return? cubs would make out cash wise. sox get what they need. get it done

    • ubercubsfan 3 years ago

      Cubs don’t need cash.  The only cash savings they are doing is when they unload unwanted contracts.  The Red Sox fans need to realize the compensation is going to be a Cubs prospect around #20.

      • probably right but if selig wants to make a stand like he said he did, he will give the redsox a good player. cubs are going to make splashes next off season anyway. plus they could always resign him next year unless redsox extend him. selig wants to avoid gms leaving before their contracts are up. you have to admit.. its nice to dream.

        • melonis_rex 3 years ago

          You don’t give up a good player as compensation this late in the offseason. If the compensation was anything good, it would’ve been decided in November/December, not now.

          edit: disqus.

          • Nv 3 years ago

            Selig just got involved and he is the one making the decision. It isnt up to theo/cherrington anymore. Im not saying it happens but its possible. 10% chance

          • ubercubsfan 3 years ago

            Wasn’t it said that no MLB talent would be traded?  I’d assume that would also include 40-man roster.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            Brett Jackson isn’t on the 40 man roster.

          • Tyler 3 years ago

            Good luck landing Brett Jackson. haha

          • ubercubsfan 3 years ago

            There is no way the Cubs are giving up any of their top 10-15.  

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            I doubt the Cubs will have much choice in the matter, but my point was that you shouldn’t simply hope that it is someone off the 40 man.

            Personally, I’d bet on Vitters being the comp.

          • Tyler 3 years ago

            Well Selig isnt gonna go out and dismantle an already awful farm system by moving one of the top 5 guys.

          • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

            Based on his performance last year, I don’t know that you can still consider Vitters to be in the top 5.

        • cachhubguy 3 years ago

          I don’t think Selig said he wanted to take a stand. At least I haven’t seen a quote. The quote about “significant compensation” came from an unnamed GM, not Selig.

          • BlueCatuli 3 years ago

            An unnamed AL GM at that. My money is on Nick Carfado getting that line from Ben Cherrington.

        • Tyler 3 years ago

          I think your dream is just a tad clouded. 

    • BDLugz 3 years ago

      Soriano is making 18 million.  Theo was making 6 million with the Sox.  Does it not make sense for the Cubs to send over the 12 million difference and give Soriano to the Red Sox?  Red Sox would make out cash wise.  

      Yeah… both our ideas are stupid.

    • laffingrass 3 years ago

      Yeah, the Cubs are going to give up one of their most valuable MLB players in return for a front office executive.


    • seriously?

  6. How about giving the BoSox Barney as compensation?  They need a shortstop, we need an excuse to find a real 2nd baseman, so if we don’t have the weak hitting fan favorite around anymore, Theo/Jed will have to go shopping at some point for a 2B.

    • tfsmag 3 years ago

      unless you’re talking about the cost of Barney vs Pedroia, I’d rather have Pedroia. Barney isn’t going to get you .307 BA with 21 home runs

  7. Tko11 3 years ago

    Meanwhile Nationals signed Jackson for $11 million…

  8. MarcusV70 3 years ago

    I was hoping that Garza would have been the compensation the Red Sox are looking for with the Epstein move. Now I think the Cubs should send at least a few million in cash to the Sox instead as compensation. Sox could use the cash to settle arbitration with Ortiz and perhaps to help make another move.

  9. maxbelmont 3 years ago

    I used to be on the side of trading Garza, but after reading some articles on MLB Trade Rumors I tend to think that the Cubs could rebuild their pitching staff around Garza by making a couple side deals.  The first deal involves the Nationals.  Since, they signed Edwin Jackson they are rumored to be interested in trading Lannen with getting a position player in return.  They are oft heard wanting to acquire a CF in the event that Bryce Harper isn’t ready to take over in RF.  The Cubs could send them Marlon Byrd and cash for Lannen.  Lannen is the Cubs #3 while opening a spot in the outfield for Brett Jackson.  The other deal would include Tampa and Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis.  Again, I’m going off this website for these deals, but Tampa is looking for an experienced catcher.  Would they be willing to dip into another Cubs trade involving Soto for either pitcher while handing over catching duties to Clevenger or Castillo.  Cubs could sign a catcher like Varitek for a year and having him split time with Clevenger or Castillo.  Varitek would bring his experience and could be an asset with the two young catcher while Niemann or Davis would give the Cubs a #2.  If said deals went down would give the Cubs a rotation of: 1. Garza, Niemann or Davis, Lannen, Dempster with Wells, Maholm, Sonnnenstine, Volstad, Coleman, or Travis Wood as your #5.  That would give the Cubs a solid 2012 rotation while they could trade Dempster at the deadline opening another rotation spot with everyone moving up one spot. 

    • jhfdssdaf 3 years ago

      Well thought out, but I find it hard to fully agree.  First, Lannen would only be under club control for another year, at which he becomes a free agent.  Unless the Cubs are willing to build around both him and Garza, trading Byrd is nothing more than a salary dump.  Not necessarily a bad move, but not one that helps either, unless there is another prospect involved from Washington.

      More importantly, I just don’t see Garza as an ace.  On a good staff, he’s a number two.  On some pitching staffs, he’d even be a three.  If you can trade him for someone with a real upside, the club is better off.  Granted, most future aces aren’t going to be available in a trade, but if you can find the right team at the deadline, they may be.

      Hooking the future to Garza doesn’t hurt, but it isn’t necessarily the best option either.  If I were Theo, I’d keep Garza for now, but look for the right deal to open later.  The future of the Cubs would be much brighter with say, Turner from Detroit and another prospect or two (assuming Detroit panicks at the deadline), than by keeping Garza.  I think a clear overpay for Garza is extremely possible later in the season, and Theo should take it when it comes.

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