decisions on his body of work up through last weekend’s start. Garza came out of his start last Saturday with cramping. He underwent an MRI which confirmed the cramping but showed no damage. He will be held back until after the trade deadline.
Garza has a 3.91 ERA this season with the Cubs. His win/loss record is largely unimportant considering the team he plays for, but clubs should be cautious in making a decision based on his ERA alone. Garza’s FIP is 4.14, indicating his defense has helped him quite a bit this season. However, his xFIP is actually lower than his ERA at 3.56.
Garza has been the target of numerous teams including the Dodgers who couldn’t land Ryan Dempster. The Braves have been in talks for Dempster as well, but the deal has been on hold pending Dempster’s agreement to waive his no-trade clause. Both the Dodgers and the Braves would make for a nice landing spot for Garza who still has a year of team control available in 2013 – unlike Dempster.
Anthony Witrado of The Sporting News thinks a move by the Red Sox to get Garza is possible, but not probable. Boston wants players with controlled years still available. Garza offers that, but the Red Sox may be more focused on what they will do with Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.
Although Garza won’t pitch again before the non-waiver trade deadline, a deal will still likely happen. The Cubs are rebuilding, and Garza doesn’t factor into that plan. While Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could hold onto him and trade him at next year’s deadline, they probably don’t want to pay the rest of his contract if they don’t have to. Garza is making $9.5 million this year, and through arbitration next year will probably make more. Beyond the money issue, with new CBA rules, teams are more inclined to trade for a player with more than a half-year’s time left on their contract. A trade this season makes sense for the Cubs rather than holding onto Garza until next July.
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