Should the Red Sox Get Involved in the Matt Garza Sweepstakes?
The Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, could be one of the more sought after pitchers available at this years trade deadline, if in fact he is still available. The Red Sox have stated their top priority is to strengthen their rotation reports Rob Bradford, so naturally Garza would do just that. But is it worth the Red Sox time and assets to get involved in what could be an ugly bidding war for the services of the former Rays hurler?
According to Jon Heyman, the Cubs will still attempt to sign the right hander to a long-term extension prior to July 31 but rival GM’s have told Heyman they think there is a “decent” chance that he gets traded. And the AL East teams are lined up at the top, including the Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays.
Recently we looked at how both the Yankees and Jays were said to be interested with Toronto “sniffing all over” Garza. Now the Red Sox are again being deemed a reasonable destination for Garza and given the rotation’s ballooned ERA, Garza could be a solution given his AL East experience while pitching for Tampa Bay and faring quite well against the divisional opponents.
The Chicago White Sox were thought of as all but out of the AL Central division race before the season started with the expectation that the Detroit Tigers would run away with it. This forcing White Sox GM Ken Williams to be a seller come July and likely having to part ways with starters Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd or John Danks. But now the White Sox are in first place two months into the season and Williams wouldn’t give Ken Rosenthal any inclination that he’d sell or buy at the deadline, but it’s hard to imagine a first place club giving up their first or second slotted starter. So with that we’ll rule out the White Sox.
The Astros have Wandy Rodriguez available but a lofty contract tag is sure to make many clubs to proceed with caution, including the Red Sox.
While there are other starting pitchers available, Joe Blanton, John Lannan, guys like that, they hardly fit the mold as a solution to solidify the Red Sox rotation and alas we are back to Garza.
If the Blue Jays are serious about contending this year Rosenthal thinks they are more than just adding one starting pitcher away from that level. While acquiring Garza would bolster their chances, he wonders if they should focus on next year and stretch out acquiring the pieces over this season and the upcoming winter. They do have a need now but is it their top priority is the question.
The Yankees have gone to the fountain of youth with Andy Pettitte and it has paid off so far. Hiroki Kuroda has somewhat settled down for the Yanks and Ivan Nova is proving he is the real deal while still suffering through some growing pains. Throw CC Sabathia in the mix and that’s a solid four man rotation with some youth knocking on the door in the minors. Garza may not be needed if the Yankees continue to get solid pitching from the aforementioned four.
We all know about the Red Sox starting pitching situation and it’s about to get real crowded with Aaron Cook and Daisuke Matsuzaka returning from the DL very soon. Adding Garza would have to warrant another deal that would unload either Cook or Dice-K and even then the takers could be few and far between. But that could be a nice problem to have come July, a surplus of starters.
The scary and prospect suicide contingent of prying Garza loose from Theo’s clenched fists will be whether Ben Cherington wants to unload three or four of the organization’s top prospects. Already the chatter has started about recent draft pick Deven Marrero and if selecting him means Jose Iglesias is expendable as ridiculous as that sounds. Given how well Mike Aviles has played this year, would Cherington toy with the idea of sending a package that included Iglesias to Chicago? Throw in Ryan Lavarnway and one other top tiered minor leaguer and would that do the trick? Or is it asinine to rest your catching and shortstop duties on Aviles and Saltalamacchia for the next few years until another up and comer proves to be ready. I’m going to go with the latter.
The price tag might be too high for Garza and the Red Sox especially when you consider the Yankees and Blue Jays are involved. The Jays have a deep minor league system when you compare it to Boston’s and the Yankees have some impressive arms at the triple-A level. We saw first hand that the Yankees are not afraid to part ways with a highly touted prospect when they sent Jesus Montero to Seattle. If it came down to a bidding war between Boston and New York you could bet dollars to donuts that Brian Cashman will overpay for Garza if it means having him or losing him to their bitter rivals.
This is one deal that I would not advise the Red Sox to make, especially if it can’t be made in early July. The longer Theo can hold out and have interested teams become desperate, the bigger the return will be and frankly the Red Sox can’t afford to play in that game; at least not this year with some of the ludicrous contracts they are financially burdened with and the think talent pool in the farm system.