Ken Rosenthol of Fox Sports is reporting that the Chicago Cubs “new regime” is “willing to move” starting pitcher Matt Garza. Rosenthol says that the Texas Rangers have shown a strong interest in Garza in the past, while the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees have indicated a willingness dip into the trade market to find rotation upgrades this winter.
Rosenthol’s tweet was in response to the Rangers signing of Joe Nathan and resulting rearrangement of their bullpen and rotation. Even with Neftali Feliz set to join Texas’s starting staff, Rosenthol says the Rangers cannot be “ruled out on starters”.
Texas has coveted Garza for some time, and now that he’s available, he could be the cheaper alternative they need to fit into their 2012 payroll. Garza, who will go through the arbitration process once more figures to cost Texas significantly less money than it would to bring in a top free agent such as C.J. Wilson.
Yesterday, our readers thought the Rangers were only the third most likely club to sign Wilson this winter, behind the LA Angels and Yankees. John Parent also mentioned with or without Wilson, Texas’s payroll will be spread thin next season.
The Marlins have already contacted teams regarding available starters. Most recently Miami held discussions with the A’s about Gio Gonzalez. Garza (27) is almost as young as Gonzalez and has a career 3.83 ERA despite spending three seasons in the AL East.
The Yankees have also been tied to several starting pitchers this offseason, some on the free agent market and some available through trade. New York and their division rival the Boston Red Sox are known to be looking for rotation help this winter and could have interest in bringing Garza back to the AL East.
Any team interested in acquiring Garza would have to expect to surrender a few significant pieces. In his first season with the Cubs, Garza posted a 3.32 ERA over his 31 starts and 198 innings pitched.
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