Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go Get Garza

Matt Garza has been a pitcher I've followed for years, always seeming to underperform his true talent level.  The Rays got a hold of him and turned him from middling prospect into a guy you'd really rather not face.

In the last three years, his wins above replacement have been 2.9, 3.2, and 1.8, respectively.  2010 was his worst year of the three in large part due to a precipitous drop in K/9, a rather concerning increase in his HR/FB and a dropping ground ball rate (and a corresponding increase in fly balls).  This is the same season featuring his no hitter.  I could go on, but let's just say 2010 wasn't his best. 

Spitballing, I'd say he's probably a good bet for a sub-4.00 ERA, his K/9 will rebound slightly, his HR/9 will regress towards his career average, which might make him the 4th-best starter on the Rays, but would easily make him the 2nd best starter on the M's. He would benefit from the move to Safeco, although not nearly as much as you would think given than the park the Rays play in actually controls home run power off lefties more than it does at Safeco - but in general the Safe is a better place to pitch if you're trending flyball-pitcher.

He made about 3.35 mil last year according to Cot's Baseball Contracts and is arbitration eligible for the next three years until he reaches free agency.  He's due a hefty raise this year, but that's not a bad price to pay for a guy who should give you something in the ballpark of a 2.5 WAR going forward. 

And here's why he could be expendable.  Price, Shields, Niemann, Davis, Hellickson, and a kid named Matt Moore that might be ready mid-year.  The Rays are stockpiled with quality young arms that are cheaper, and better, than Matt Garza.  It's sickening, yes, but the fact remains that they really don't need Matt Garza - they can probably get as good, or better, starting pitching without him, save some money, or spend that money on other needs.  He's older than half of the names above, and yet will only be 27 next season.

What the M's have that the Rays need, I have no idea - this is not my rant for figuring that out.  But I'm just sayin'... Matt Garza is probably someone that the Rays would listen to offers on and if the price is right considering him coming off a relative down year, M's should be very, very interested.

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