Twins Again Kicking Tires On Matt Garza

The Twins are once more kicking the tires on free agent starter Matt Garza, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Though the club has already committed $84MM to three free agent starters, it apparently remains active on the open market. (Wolfson tweets that the club is "still circling" on Bronson Arroyo, and he recently reported interest in Masahiro Tanaka.)

In mid-December, Wolfson reported that the Twins "know the price" for Garza. But if Garza has made his terms clear, so too have the Twins. Minnesota's position seems to remain the same, according to Wolfson: the club will put a lot of money on the table, but still will not commit to a lengthy term. 

It will certainly be interesting to see whether Twins GM Terry Ryan ultimately adds a fourth multi-year starting pitching contract. As MLBTR's Steve Adams has explained, obtaining quality innings was the most important task facing Ryan before the 2014 season. But the deals given to Ricky Nolasco (four years, $49MM), Phil Hughes (three years, $24MM), and Mike Pelfrey (two years, $11MM) already constitute a huge investment in the team's rotation. Adding another substantial contract would make for a virtually complete overhaul of the staff for the foreseeable future.

50 Responses to Twins Again Kicking Tires On Matt Garza Leave a Reply

  1. GetTheRunnerOver 2 years ago

    Kicking tires on Garza? that sounds painful

    • Dynasty22 2 years ago

      Well if the Twins already did once then Garza should be able to handle.

  2. twins33 2 years ago

    If the Twins can get him for 4/60 (or less) they should probably jump all over that. Any team should for that matter. Tanaka/Garza are the best non-draft pick SP’s out there.

    • Unassisted Triple Play 2 years ago

      Totally agree. Arroyo on a short term deal would also be a nice fallback option.

      • twins33 2 years ago

        If Arroyo would come for 2/16 I’d be perfectly fine with it. Anything more and I’d be against it. His age and the league switch is a big factor. He’s been superhuman so far, but I don’t want to be the team counting on him keeping it up if the price is 3/30 or more.

        • Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

          Arroyo is getting more than 2/16

          • twins33 2 years ago

            I know. And that’s why I wouldn’t want him. I think it would be crazy to pay anyone that age a ton of money/many years. Pitchers can break down at any minute, especially the older they get. When/if Arroyo eventionally breaks down, I don’t want the Twins to be stuck with him at +10M per. I’d gladly let some other team be stuck with it.

        • Unassisted Triple Play 2 years ago

          He’s pitched in the AL before, I’m not worried about that. Consistency is what you are getting with Bronson Arroyo.

  3. CptAwesome 2 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the remaining Free Agents all wait until Tanaka signs. I think they all know that they’ll get more money as the Starting Pitching market thins. As a Twins fan I think needing a true Ace is necessary. Signing Garza 4/60 would be a bit high but would be a pretty good deal… Adding a Tanaka on a 6/100 or 7/100 would be a really good deal too, but I think the Twins have had some poor experiences with Japan players (Nishioka anybody?)

    • David Woodley 2 years ago

      Nihioka has nothing to do with Tanaka. The contracts each got/will get show that they are in a completely different class of players completely.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      I’d be shocked if Tanaka goes for anything close to that low. I think you are looking at a minimum of 6/$120+$20M posting fee.

      I do agree though that Garza should wait out the market longer. One of the Tanaka losers (Yankees/Angels/Twins, etc) will still need another starting pitcher. Most of those teams don’t want to give up their pick. Garza is going to look pretty good then.

    • buffalonichols 2 years ago

      Can we not use the words “true ace” in describing Matt Garza? Sure, he’d be an ace on the Twins, but he’s far from being a “true ace.”

      • John Donovan 2 years ago

        And yet people are using the word “ace” on Tanaka despite him just being an ace in NPB.

        • bjsguess 2 years ago

          It is equally wrong to use the word ace with Tanaka.

  4. Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

    I just hope the Dbacks sign him. They have no chance to sign Tanaka, so Garza should be the number 1 priority. Garza would probably want to wait until Tanaka signs but the Angels are interested in Tanaka so now is the time for the Dbacks or the Twins to sign Garza, while the Angels are distracted by Tanaka

  5. MinnesotaTwins 2 years ago

    Garza would be a great signing. We need him to pitch now and he could provide a great return in the future. The Twins have proven that they are not a sign then trade type team (Marlins), as was proven with the Willingham situation and not capitalizing on his max value.

    That said, by signing 4 SP to multi-year deals, this creates a roadblock for Meyer, May, Berrios, Stewart, and potentially another SP with our top 5 pick in the next draft. Each of these signings could be great trade bait in the next couple years.

    • vtadave 2 years ago

      Meyer could probably be the fifth starter at some point this year. As for the rest of those guys, Berrios and Stewart are teenagers and May is a bit of a wildcard given his performance the past couple years.

      • cman 2 years ago

        Meyer will be a late season callup if we see him at all this year. Same story with May. Both guys have never pitched above AA ball. The Twins aren’t going to rush either one of these guys.

        Berrios is at least 3 seasons away. Stewart probably 4 unless he dominates.
        This is why I think signing Garza to a 4 year deal won’t hurt.

    • David Woodley 2 years ago

      It’s still too early to count on Berrios and Stewart to contribute at the major league level, and they are at least 2-3 years away from the bigs anyways. (Pelfrey will be gone by then anyways). May is looking more and more like a bullpen guy these days. If the rotations suddenly gets crowded with talent it is a very nice problem to have, you can always trade solid pitching in this league.

    • twins33 2 years ago

      I’m fine with them just looking at the “right now” and signing Garza. If spots need to be opened up later, like you said, use some guys as trade bait. Hopefully they perform where they are able to do that.

      Right now they’d only be blocking Meyer, Gibson and maybe May. Meyer can take Correia’s spot mid-season if they can trade Correia. Gibson can push Pelfrey to the bullpen (and possibly cut ala Marquis or traded in 2015). I don’t really see anyone but those three knocking on the door in the next two years (2014/2015).

      So you can open up 3 spots just by going Meyer for Correia, Gibson for Pelfrey, Berrios/Stewart for Hughes (if needed in 2016). If anyone else comes knocking on the door earlier than 2016 then I will be surprised and I will also love it.

    • wild05fan 2 years ago

      Meyer is the only one in that bunch close to contributing, unless some believe in Gibson who I’m not all that fond of. Unless May starts to get his control better in sync, then I feel he’s destined to be a power arm out of the bullpen eventually. Like others have said, the likes of Berrios, Stewart, Thorpe, and Jorge are all at least 2 or 3 years away at the minimum. By the time 1 of them is ready, Hughes, Correia, and Pelfrey will all be gone, and it will be the last year of Nolasco. Anymore moves made this offseason isn’t going to create any roadblocks to the future rotation.

  6. Prozack 2 years ago

    This article has nothing to do with the diamondbacks, but I don’t think the dbacks should get anyone else on the market.. Next year will have so many great pitchers and if they their starters stay healthy, that can have a very good starting rotation. Patrick Corbin had a 2.40 era up until mid-late august, Miley will have another low-mid 3 era and they still have Delgado who is only 22, Cahill who has potential to have about a 3 era, McCarthy can have about a 4 era, and they also have Archie Bradley who in my eyes could be the next verlander. He is a hard thrower in the high 90’s, he had the best curveball in the minors and a developing change up… So if the diamondbacks do get somebody I do not think it should be this year.
    I also think Alfredo marte will be very good and Zeek Spruill will be very good also.
    If a shortstop were to be traded it should be gregorious, I can possibly see Chris owings hitting close to .300 with 10 home runs.
    And if they don’t spend money this offseason then they still will have $18 mm coming off of payroll with McCarthy and Putz.
    Anyone else have different opinions?

    • vtadave 2 years ago

      Well, I could take the less optimistic approach and say that: Corbin was solid overall, but terrible down the stretch. Miley had a 4.13 FIP and is probably more of a #4/#5 at best. Delgado is solid, but way too many HR’s, Cahill walks too many hitters and misses too few bats to think he can put up a 3.00 ERA, McCarthy is always hurt, and though any organization would love to have Archie Bradley, he’s still a prospect. Marte looks like #4 OF material, and it would be hard to find a scout who things Spruill can be “very good”.

    • I Want My Bird 2 years ago

      To me it becomes a question if any of the NL West teams allow themselves or feel compelled to go “all in” because of the Dodgers. I see no realistic chance for any of them to win the division in the forseeable future. Or, their budget is what it is, and they couldn’t do it even if they wanted to.

    • Dbacksfan44 2 years ago

      There are too many ifs. If the Dbacks want to contend for the division or even the wild card, they need an ace. I also dont think Marte is going to be good, probably a fourth outfielder. Corbin is probably going to regress probabaly to a high 3 era. Expect the same era from Cahill. Mccarthy could bounce back and so can Delgado. Everything else I agree with. Good post btw

  7. Robert Mango 2 years ago

    Who is the GM of the twins? Or better yet, who’s it going to be after next season? I’m willing ot bet Phil Hughes had no other offer for more than 1 year. On top of that he’s terrible. Nolasco’s an average pitcher on his best day. Whoever’s in their minors has a better chance of succeeding than these two. And now they want ANOTHER SP which will require more money than they’ve spent on the other 2 together? Meanwhile they let players like Tori Hunter walk. Makes no sense. Spending money doesn’t make a bad team better, spending it wisely does. And from a team with a highly rated farm system, spending like this on this is just silly.

    • ian 2 years ago

      Well, not sure why Bill Smith not resigning Torii Hunter 7 years ago is being brought up but …

      They do have a very strong farm system and pitchers like Gibson, Meyer and May will come up sometime this year and next. The FA pitchers aren’t really blocking anyone at this point and every year a FA contract expires (in order: Correa, Pelfrey, Hughes, Nolasco). So it shouldn’t be a problem.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      The Twins didn’t overpay for either Hughes or Nolasco. Not to say they were great signings but the Twins had to invest in the rotation and they have a limited budget. Given their needs/constraints I think they did pretty good. Especially with Nolasco. I’m betting they saved at least $10M vs what he would have gotten if he were still available today.

      As for Hunter … totally different situation. Far more money, position vs pitching, and different budgetary constraints. Letting Hunter go was the right thing to do. At the same time, the Angels also scored a good deal by signing him. It was in the best interest of both clubs to have the situation turn out like it did.

      • jhawk90 2 years ago

        Thing is – they don’t have a limited budget anymore, they just chose to act like it the past two seasons while recouping their Target Field investment. Before they signed Suzuki, all the other signings put them right back at ’12-’13 payroll levels. They HAD to spend at least that much and hope to stop the attendance bleed by appearing to fix the rotation. Still wondering who is going to hit for this club.

        • bjsguess 2 years ago

          The reality is that the Twins could go out and spend $200M/year on payroll. Ownership is rich enough to do that. However, their working budget is far, far below that. We can argue about what their budget should be but it doesn’t change the fact that they have an internal budget that is much lower than their actual capacity to spend.

          I could be wrong though. Maybe they will open the vault and outlay some serious cash. I’m basing my comments solely on what has been said and who they targeted so far during this off-season. I don’t get the sense that there is another $30M or so laying around just waiting to be spent.

          • twins33 2 years ago

            I think the budget is somewhere around 90-100 million every year. That’s just me guessing though. They were over it for one, maybe two years. They’ve also been under it.

            I think they could have a payroll of 100M every year and it not hurt them. I don’t see them going much over that…so I do think they have at least 15 available for this year still (and they have told reporters recently that they would do 15 on someone)

          • jhawk90 2 years ago

            Right – I’m just saying it should be at least in the $100M range based on revenue sharing and the new stadium (that’s what we were all told anyway), and last year’s steep cut was a troubling. There was no excuse for opening the season with that rotation, but it became very apparent what was going on when the club focused on the “outdoor experience” and All-Star game logos rather than the talent on the field.

            So yeah – there should be at least another $10-15M laying around.

    • You obviously don’t have a firm grasp on the Twins farm system if you believe that “whoever’s in their minors has a better chance of succeeding…”. Beyond Kyle Gibson and Alex Meyer the Twins have nobody close to the majors. And despite Gibson’s numbers in the minors he got rocked when he debuted last year so he’s no sure thing.

      • Robert Mango 2 years ago

        Listen, ive been following phil hughes since he was neck and neck with homer bailey as the top pitching propsect in baseball. He was all hype. I’ve been hearing Gibson’s name for a few years, he ABSOLUTELY can do better than a 5.00 ERA. That’s what u’ll get from Hughes this year, if he’s lucky 4.7.

        The twins aren’t a team on the edge of winning. These type of contracts are going to handcuff them in the next two to three years. Otherwise Phil Hughes becomes a 7 mil a year mop of duty relief pitcher. Only brought up hunter to show a point,that you don’t let players like that leave and a couple years later bring in hughes, nolasco, and pelfry.

        • Sky14 2 years ago

          Hughes had an ERA under 4 away from Yankee stadium last season. The Twins are expecting that to be closer to his ERA at target field than his 5 ERA last year at Yankee stadium.

        • bjsguess 2 years ago

          All hype? I too have been following Hughes for a long, long time.

          The guy has a career MiLB ERA of 2.35. He was dominating AA at age 20. As a 23 YO he pitched incredibly well in the Bigs. 3.03 ERA – more than a K per inning. Nothing wrong with that. Hughes was a legit prospect. He certainly hasn’t panned out like the Yankees had hoped but that does nothing to take away from what he did in the minors and the early part of his career.

          For what it’s worth – Steamer and Oliver are both projecting an ERA in the low 4’s for Hughes. Nothing amazing but they seem to recognize that moving out of Yankee stadium will help his numbers quite a bit.

          As for Hunter … it wasn’t a couple years later. The guy was signed by the Angels in 2008. This season will be 7 years removed from when he played for the Twins. I think it’s fair to suggest that teams can change strategies every few years.

    • twins33 2 years ago

      What’s the new tv deal that’s shared? Is it 25-30 million to each team per year? The Twins have spent around 29 million for 2014 alone. So if it’s 30 million, the owners haven’t even spent any of their own money yet.

      It may look like the Twins are spending like crazy, but they’re spending the additional money that MLB is giving them. I think they are at the same payroll they were at in 2013, if not close to it. The Twins owners aren’t the kind of team that sets aside money that they don’t spend one year to have for future years. They just pocket that money, they always have. There was an article a long, long time ago interviewing them and they said that’s how they operate. I don’t know if that’s changed since the father died, but I don’t think it has.

      So, if the Twins didn’t spend this new tv money, they would just pocket it. It wouldn’t be put towards a fund next year. It would just disappear into someone’s pocket or to pay other bills. This spending does nothing to hurt the team. It doesn’t handcuff them in payroll now and it won’t in the future either.

  8. I Want My Bird 2 years ago

    IMO Garza should have been their first and only choice of the group. Don’t see a huge difference in Hughes and Nolasco to any retread on the market or AAA fodder.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      Nolasco has pitched in 6 full seasons. He has NEVER had a WAR total less than 2.3. He has had as much as 4.1. With today’s WAR dollars that makes his least valuable season worth about $15M and his best seasons worth around $25M.

      If your team has a bunch of 2.5+ WAR starters toiling in AAA you should be using them or trading them because those are solid 3/4 starters in the bigs.

    • twins33 2 years ago

      Both of them are huge upgrades over the Twins AAA fodder, which is why they had to get them.

  9. Unassisted Triple Play 2 years ago

    The Rangers sure did Matt Garza a huge favor by trading him mid-season. In this market Garza just stands out as a better deal than the likes of Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez. Twins can be a dangerous club in short order with the aggressive moves they are making.

  10. Matt Talbert 2 years ago

    They better be careful what if two pitchers agree to their terms they are running out spots. I guess Pelfrey could be 6th starter/long man outta the pen where he might actually do well.

  11. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

    Garza is not going to sign until after the Tanaka situation is settled. Given the lack of a QO Garza will be the most desirable SP on the market after Tanaka signs.

  12. Puig Power 2 years ago

    Did the Twins forget to draft pitchers for the last 10 years??

    • twins33 2 years ago

      Yes. That’s probably the best way of putting it. Funny joke: the last SP drafted by the Twins that has made an impact in MLB: Matt Garza. And he did it all after he was traded.

      Kevin Slowey would be option number 2, from that same draft.

      • Puig Power 2 years ago

        Maybe that’s why they built a pitcher’s park.

    • Unassisted Triple Play 2 years ago

      No. they have drafted pitchers but some of their high picks 1st rounders Kyle Gibson and Alex Whimmers – two fast track college arms – haven’t risen like the organization thought they would. Injuries have taken their toll but I think this rotation overhaul has everything to do with the overall pitching performance of 2013. The spending is adequately justified.

  13. philly_435 2 years ago

    The pitching market is still reasonably deep. Will the remaining free agents fall like dominoes once Tanaka signs or is there really just minimal interest in Arroyo, Garza and Santana?

    • twins33 2 years ago

      I think Garza and Arroyo won’t have trouble finding jobs after Tanaka is over with, especially Garza. Arroyo might have trouble with his asking price, but I don’t think he’ll have to wait long if that comes down. I think Garza is waiting out Tanaka, which is smart of him to do. He’s the top FA available after Tanaka, or even before Tanaka, depending upon if spending 100 million is an issue for a team.

      Santana and Jimenez likely still will have issues since they have draft pick compensation attached.

  14. Leon Engelun 2 years ago

    A lot of interesting comments. ( read them all). As a Twins fan I zoomed in on those mostly.Personally I like the fact the Twins signed Pelfrey, Nolasco and Hughes. Sure seems to be an improvement from last years crop of failed call up starters.As for what Terry Ryan has planned for the rest of this winter? I have no idea and am just gonna sit back and watch. Crossing my fingers that Willingham will come back strong, Kubel will fill in as the dominate DH, the infield will gel even moreso, and that the pitching will show off and make the Twins contenders again. ( I might add, Mauer and Suzuki will be a plus in teaching Pinto to become an all star too).

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