Matt Garza will be a Texas Ranger.
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Surprised I said that? You shouldn’t be. There are so many people who talk about what the Chicago Cubs are asking for and, as of right now, their price tag is rather high, which has to do with how Garza has performed since coming off the disabled list.
Over hit last five starts (37 IP), Matt Garza has given up just five runs while pitching seven or more innings in each outing. That alone would make the Rangers’ front office stand up and take notice, especially since they haven’t had that in any of their starters for who knows how long.
The concern about acquiring a guy like Matt Garza is how much the Rangers would have to give up. While I understand those who are not wanting to give up some the best prospects in the Texas minor league system, I’ve said in the past the asking price will come down as the deadline approaches.
Chicago can talk about signing Matt Garza to an extension all they want, but even the beat writers know that was a bluff met by laughter from just about every major-league team.
The other concern is only having Matt Garza in your rotation for the next three months. After that, he can sign with the highest bidder. So, why give up the best package of players for someone you may not have next season or beyond?
It’s the reason I put an asterisk on any conversations with the Chicago Cubs. Any deal for Matt Garza would have to be contingent upon a window of time to negotiate a contract extension before he hits free agency.
The Texas Rangers won’t go through another Cliff Lee scenario again. They aren’t going to bring in a guy for three months on the hope he might consider staying in Arlington long term. Even former Ranger Gabe Kapler, during an interview I did with him for the Scooping the Texas Rangers podcast on July 8, admitted free-agent pitchers aren’t exactly excited about the idea of signing long term to pitch somewhere like Rangers Ballpark.
While I’ve talked about names like Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who I believe is plan B for Texas if the Cubs don’t back down on their price tag, or Chicago Cubs’ left-hander Travis Wood, Matt Garza is the guy the Rangers want before the July 31 deadline. They know he’s a difference maker, and with the number of injuries to Texas pitchers, and doubt beginning to creep in about whether or not they’ll even get Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison of Neftali Feliz back this season, general manager Jon Daniels has to make a decision.
Watch carefully as the news begins shifting and favors the Texas Rangers. The Cubs won’t sign Matt Garza to an extension, and they won’t have him on the roster after the deadline. They wanted to deal him before the 2012 deadline, before Garza went on the disabled list, and this is their best chance to finally get the best offer they can for him.
The Texas Rangers want him, and they know he fits in well with this rotation. They know he’s the best fit going down the stretch and a guy who makes the big impact.
Matt Garza won’t be the only move this team makes, but he’ll be the biggest one.