The Price for Matt Garza

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The Development of Mariano Rivera

With Mat Latos, Gio Gonzalez, and John Danks now off the board, the trade focus has shifted to Jair Jurrjens and Matt Garza. The former is a no-no in my eyes, but the latter’s a pretty damn good fit for the Yankees. David Kaplan reported yesterday that talks involving Garza are heating up, with the Yankees and two other clubs involved. The price is “incredibly high” though, and Jon Heyman says the Cubs are prioritizing young pitching in return.

The Yankees have plenty of pitching at the upper levels, enough that they could trade three young arms and still have enough depth in Triple-A to support the big league team this summer. They appear to be a match in that regard, it’s just a question of whether or not the two sides can find a middle ground. I’m guessing no, because the price of pitching is ridiculously high right now and the Cubs hold all the cards. Once upon a time two top prospects and miscellaneous pieces got you Dan Haren or Cliff Lee. Now it gets you Gio Gonzalez.

RAB Live Chat
The Development of Mariano Rivera
  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…


    • David, Jr.

      Why barf?

      Young, decent contract, proven commodity as a #2 starter, decent playoff performance.

      Who do you think we can get?

      • Ted Nelson

        I wouldn’t say barf, but I’d say overpay.

      • RetroRob

        Is he a #2 starter? He would be on the Yankees based on their current rotation, but I’m not sure he’s what I view as a solid number two starter. He’s less than Andy Pettitte, by a good degree, and some people didn’t view Pettitte as a consistent number two starter.

        I like Garza, but the team should be careful on how they are rating him. His a clear number three who touches at times as a nubmer two starter, but he is not a clear number two starter.

        • Tom

          Agreed. This is Danks, part 2… the more he gets mentioned the more people solidify him as a #2

          Garza has had a FIP and xFIP over 4 in every year but his last one. I know some have attributed it to a different pitch mix being the key (he cut way down on fastballs), but I’m a bit skeptical. He also nearly doubled the frequency he throws sliders which makes you wonder if he is an elbow injury waiting to happen.

          Last 3 years (ERA / FIP / xFIP)
          Garza 3.73 / 3.85 / 3.88
          Danks 3.91 / 4.04 / 4.07
          Floyd 4.16 / 3.66 / 3.68
          EJackson 3.96 / 3.91 /3.93

          So it comes down to how much weight do you put on his last year with the Cubs… if that’s a fundamental shift, he’s a “legit #2” if he’s more like he was with the Rays he’s another mid/back end of the rotation guy.

          I think there’s a pretty good chance this is a classic sell high on the strength of pretty much one good season in a new league.

  • Matt

    A rotation of

    Nova (hopefully same stuff from last year)
    Garcia (magic in a bottle year 2)
    Hughes (hopefully is off-season condition gets the 1 to 2MPH back in his pitches)

    I’d sign up for it. What would be better if they could trade Burnett and pay some of his salary and have Noesi as the 6th man.

  • SRB

    I’m in the Steven Goldman camp- If the young kids are perceived to be better than a Garza, let’s see them sooner rather than later- If not, let’s go get Garza w/ the best deal we can!

    • Slugger27

      who in the hell is perceived better than garza?

      • Ted Nelson

        Banuelos and Betances… Garza was a home-field warrior in Tampa and had what is as likely to have been a fluke year as a break out year in Chicago.

        • Tom

          This. (Though I’m not as high in Betances)

          Garza’s #’s prior to last year were not all that good. I mentioned them in a post above, but he had ERA’s significantly better than FIP/xFP (which were above 4.00 every year in the AL), probably on the back of pitching in a pitchers park (his home ERA was .75, 1.61 and 1.64 runs better at the Trop) and pitched with a real good defense behind him

  • Colin

    I mean, what would it cost? I know My Trade Proposal Sucks, but I’d give up Manny for him. Maybe a package of Manny, Warren, CoJo annd another pitcher?

    • Frank O

      Your proposal does suck.

  • SRB

    I’d pull Warren out of that picture if Manny’s in- If Dellin is substituted for Manny, then OK

    • murakami

      Trading Betances = awful idea.

      • Dave203

        Laughable… You speak of Betances like he is the next Roy Halladay…

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    With our depth of SP’s in the minors I think there’s an opportunity for Cashman to strike. Something like Betances/Phelps/Warren/Heathcott would be hard for another team to top. (It’s on par with the deals Oakland got for Gio/Cahill) If Cubs aren’t high on Betances and ask for Banuelos instead, that’s probably the hold up. I’m not the biggest Garza fan but at some point Cashman has to use this depth of starters in the minors to swing a key trade, and this may be the best opportunity.

    • William

      Actually, that’s pretty easy to top. The Red Sox can trade Ranaudo, Iglesias, And Bogaerts to get Garza. They can also “Dumb” Down the quality of prospects, beacause of the Theo Epstein compensation.

      • TheOneWhoKnocks

        The Yanks package would be a lot more desirable. Why would the cubs even want Iglesias and Bogaerts? Why would the Sox include both in a deal? The Cubs are looking for pitching prospects, an area the Yanks have the Sox beat in by a large margin.

        • William

          Yeah, the yanks got the Sox beat in pitching prospects. Still, in quality of package, the Red Sox win this one. Still, you’re right that the Red Sox won’t put Iggy and Bogaerts in the same deal.

          • TheOneWhoKnocks

            Not only would they not include them in the same deal, but the cubs would have little interest in either since they already have Castro

          • Ted Nelson

            Cannot agree that the Red Sox have the Yankees topped there… Cubs have a very good young SS, Iglesias can’t hit the baseball, and Ranaudo projects as a back-end starter.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Iglesias sucks.

  • Gonzo

    Being serious here. How good is Matt Garza?

    • Slugger27

      not as good as you might think. never posted a FIP or xFIP below 4.10 in his time in the AL.

      basically, the year we got from nova was as good or better than anything garza did as a ray, ableit in slightly less innings because of the time spent in AAA

      • Gonzo

        Yeah, is our generally accepted ability (GAA?) of Garza too high?

        • Slugger27

          it just depends on if you think his 2011 was due to something he did or worse competition? most likely, it was a little of both…

          in my opinion, if trading for him, the yankees should expect 2008-2010 garza. nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not a rotation-savior.

          • jsbrendog


            meh, era+ of 119, 110, 100 08-10…

            fwar 08-10 2.9, 3.1, 1.6 (5 last yr though)

            xfip 08-10 weren’t that great as you said above.

            i mean, he is good, but worth that? great? a number 2? what’re we rating here and what other #2s are we comparing him to?

            garza is way worse than beckett or lester. who are we comparing him to to say he is a solid #2?

            • Slugger27

              i dont think hes worth what it will probably take to land him. id obviously do betances and some throw ins for him, but i wouldnt give up much value outside of that.

              the whole “solid #2” thing is subjective because no. 2 on a team thats expected to compete for the WS is different than a league average no. 2. but given his body of work, as you laid out above, i think hes a durable middle of the rotation type of guy.

  • Regis

    A rotation with AJ and Garza would never work for the Yanks – the ugliness quotient would be too high!

  • Monteroisdinero

    I want a lefty and am willing to wait it out for Manny B. Let’s see if we have gold here. We may need to wait until June/July but I am in favor of not trading for Garza. There is no way we are not in the thick of things, if not the lead, come June/July. Patience is needed.

    • TheOneWhoKnocks

      No one is proposing Banuelos will be in the deal. If Cashman makes a deal for Garza, it’s going to be Betances as the centerpiece. Montero and Banuelos are untouchable unless it’s a special circumstance, Garza doesn’t qualify.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      I may not have a grasps on Garza’s talent but I don’t think he’s worth the farm talent. Especially, Banuellos and 3 more. Patience is my calling card. Goldman is correct when he preaches if the trade is not a significant upgrade then bring the kids up in July or when needed. The cost for pitching is out of sight. The Yankees should not fall prey to the requests for the entire farm of prospects.


  • Drew

    Garza for Banuelos and Betances!!! Oh Noooo!!!!


  • j

    Anyone but Manny and Montero. Those are the untouchables. Maybe they’d be interested in Hughes as part of the deal.

    • CJ

      It makes no sense to trade Hughes as a sell low. He could just as easily win 15 as Garza or Nova.

      • Slugger27

        he could just as easily win 15 as Garza or Nova

        you cant possibly think this…

        • CJ

          Yes I do. Expectations should be the same as after 2010. I am willing to say 2011 happened, arm issues fatigue whatever but I see no reason to forget what I thought a year ago. The same goes if Nova had a rough year in 2012.

          • TheOneWhoKnocks

            You can continue to set your expectations on Hughes based on april and may of 2010, i’ll use the rest of his 5 year career thank you. I don’t think conditioning had much to do with Hughes getting rocked last year. He’s got 1 big league pitch and he doesn’t even have that consistently. I can’t believe the lack of improvement such a touted prospect has shown, and I’m perfectly fine with Noesi getting his rotation spot out of spring training and him going to the BP to stay.

            • Kevin Winters

              It’s like ppl ignore the body of work and just look at April and May of 2010. I’m not saying we should get rid of him immediately but let’s not act as if 2011 was an outlier.

            • Ted Nelson

              You realize that he was hurt last season, right?

              • Kevin Winters

                It’s not just about last year

                • Ted Nelson

                  If it’s not about last year, what’s it about? 2010 he had a good season overall, and a particularly strong first half. Before that we’re talking about his early 20s. CJ said that the expectations should be the same as after 2010, allowing for a pass on 2011. He did not say the expectations should be the same as 2007.

                  • Kevin Winters

                    He didn’t have a strong first half he had a good 6 weeks or so and then faded after that.

                    “what’s it about?”

                    His entire career not just him having a break out few weeks in 2010.

        • Kevin Winters

          He’s not the only one. Many ppl are predicting Hughes to have a big year. It’s a forgone conclusion.

          • Dave203

            It simply makes more sense to allow Hughes to prove himself this year and if he can’t, then partake in the crop of FA pitchers in 2012. I wouldn’t be opposed entirely to including him in the Garza deal, but not only if was how we kept ManBam AND Betances.

    • Steve (different one)

      This is my position. Montero, IMO, is considered a member of the big league team for 2012 and no longer a “prospect”. So basically if you can match up without ManBan, I would support that.

    • Dan

      Why would any team looking to rebuild want Hughes? Hughes will be a free agent before the Cubs could realistically look to compete. It’s much more likely that they would want a AAA arm that they can control for 5+ more years. There is no way the Yankees make a trade and not include at least one of Banuelos or Betances as they have the highest potential as front of the rotation starter.

  • CJ

    The simple question is Banuelos in a deal for Garza?
    Anything starting with Betances is a no brainer.
    Gary Sanchez AND Mason Williams may also be too much
    As for pitching prospects, pick 4 not named Banuelos in a second!

  • craig

    Latos and Gio required 4 prospects and they both had 4 years left. Garza has 2 years left before FA, which should lower his price. I would imagine that the Cubs are trying to get the same price for Garza with 2 years as the others got for 4 years of control.

    That should make a difference…except the price for pitching is outrageous right now. I am comfortable waiting and seeing the kids if it too expensive (although i like Garza a lot).

    • William

      The only problem is, if Betances or Ban man have a tough season, it’s going to be extra hard to get a #2 starter. On the other hand, it they have great seasons, Betances + Banuelos + another prospect = a legit no. 2 (wishful thinking: James Shields)

      • Dave McCann

        Which Shields? 2010 or 2011

      • Dave McCann

        Which Shields? 2010 or 2011?

  • CJ

    It doesn’t sound like any team is interested in Betances +, I’m sure Cashman has shopped that package around all winter. There is a major drop off from Banuelos to Betances.

    • William

      So true, Banuelos can be a legit #2. Betances is a bullpen guy.

    • Reggie C.

      every team looks at Betances the same: reliever.

      too many walks.

      • Mike Axisa

        If every team thought too many walks equals a reliever, then Gio Gonzalez wouldn’t have fetched as much as he did.

        • Preston

          It’s not just the walks with Betances, because Banuelos struggled with those this year too. It’s that they think because of his age and size those issues are less likely to go away. Plus he has already had arm issues. Not that teams wouldn’t love Dellin if he was their prospect, they just find reasons not to covet him as the headliner in a trade. And Cashman is smart not to include him in a deal where the other team values him at less than what he is.

          • Ted Nelson

            Size probably makes the control issues more likely to go away, not less. Big guys are known for taking longer to get comfortable repeating their deliver.

  • CJ

    Everyone posts what they would offer as if they were Cashman. Look at it as another GM, who would you take?
    You know garza is not worth Montero.
    You don’t want Betances as a headliner.
    You may like Sanchez and Williams a lot but they are still years away.
    Warren, Phelps, Laird, CoJo are all fringy types to be added in a deal.
    It comes back to Banuelos who is a better prospect than the top prospect in some of the other deals.

  • Bubba


    I just don’t see it. Maybe if we hadn’t signed Freddy. Garza would make six starters without an obvious choice to be stashed in AAA/the bullpen.

    • nsalem

      That damn Freddie contract will prove to be our ruination.

      • Reggie C.

        I dont think i’m going out on a limb here, but i think Freddy outperforms Hughes in 2012. I’m so frustrated with Hughes’s stalled development that his rotation spot should in no way be guaranteed.

        • Preston

          Even if Freddy is the odd-man out, he’d be a great long-man sixth starter. No need to demote anyone to AAA, and with Nova’s arm-strain, AJ’s brain and Hughes’s everything a question mark going into the season Freddy and Noesi will probably see time sooner than later.

        • Ted Nelson

          Is frustration really a good reason to make decisions?

    • Slugger27

      i think hughes is the obvious choice in that scenario. obvious to me anyway.

      • Kevin Winters

        Obvious to me as well especially since Cashman said Noesi will start in the minors.

      • Bubba

        As disappointing as the Philster has been, I feel it’s too soon to give up on him as a starter. I don’t think Freddy signed on to be a long man.

        I am under no illusions that AJ will be traded and personally don’t think he should be if the Yankees have to eat a significant amount of salary.

  • Rich in NJ

    I am still really glad that they didn’t trade Montero for Lee.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Garza would arguably be a #5 starter on the Rays behind Price, Shields, Hellickson and Moore. Wish he would be our #5.

  • David

    Why does everybody forget that at this time last year all the talk was about how Garza was “abused” workload-wise early in his career and therefore he is a high injury risk going forward? I don’t know if I put much stock in that but it strikes me as odd that nobody is even talking about that anymore.

    • Rich in NJ

      FWIW, BP’s Abuse Point system had Garza ranked 62nd in 2008 (his first full season as a ML starter); 18th in 2009; 77th in 2010; 25th in 2011.

  • kenthadley

    Why don’t we just give the kids a chance. If, in June/July it is obvious that none of them can cut it (Nova, Noesi, Phelps, Warren, Mitchell, Betances, Banuelos…gee, it can’t be that all of them are not MLB ready and capable), then we go after somebody at mid-year. We still have the bucks by then. With CC, Hughes, Freddie, AJ, and probably some other vet in the mix, we are talking about 12 starting pitchers. If we can’t make 3 good ones out of this, and 2 back-enders, then maybe we need to not make the playoffs.

    • Monteroisdinero

      This is what Cashman is thinking and why he hasn’t done anything. I agree with this and some folks around here think I am Cash. I am not Cash and I am not dinero.

  • nsalem

    I don’t think we can get Garza without giving up Banuelos or Montero. The other issue is that if we do get Garza and plan on signing him long term (with our financial constraints) it would take us out of the running to spend big in 2013 on an FA pitcher. I would rather wait. I really believe that we will be okay. and our strong offense and bullpen shuld be able to compensate for what maybe a decent but not great starting roatation. Every other team we will be competing against this year also has their own set of question marks

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      I think this is the only post I agree with in this entire thread.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        No one cares about your condescension.

      • Duderinough

        I agree, no need to panic yet. Let them play!

    • Alex S

      Banuelos or Montero for Matt Garza? No thanks. Matt Garza isn’t Cliff Lee nor Dan Haren (a shame we didn’t trade for him when available). I totally agree with you. I prefer to wait and see how Banuelos and Betances develop in AAA and if they are not ready for 2013, bring Hamels, Cain or whomever is available with that caliber in the 2013 free agent class. On the other hand, if the trade didn’t include Banuelos or Montero, i will be ok with it, but that is very unlikely to happen.

  • TogaSean

    As long as ManBan and Montero aren’t involved, I’m all for a trade for Garza. Including either of those 2 is an instant deal breaker though. I’ve kinda reached the point though where I’d like to see Cashman stay put with the roster as is, take the first half to see what all these kids got and who progresses.

    • Dan

      I agree that in theory it would be good to see what the kids can do because there is a chance one of them could come up and give similar production at a fraction of the price, but that is a bit of a gamble to take. There is a chance both Banuelos and Betances struggle to start the year and then its harder to use them in a deal for a quality SP.

      • Preston

        I don’t think this is accurate. Teams don’t evaluate talent that way. If they both struggle in AAA for half a season neither is going to significantly devalue. They’re too young and have to much ability. Think Justin Smoak in 2010, he was struggleing for the Rangers and was still able to net Cliff Lee. Now there is the chance that injuries or something weird happens and they do lose value (Brackman) but that’s the risk with prospects. I do think that if we don’t trade them this off-season/trade-deadline we’re best served seeing what they can do for us. Which is probably the best route anyways.

  • Sal

    Just sign Oswalt(if healthy) or Kuroda

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I like Garza because he can beat Boston. At this time not one of the pitchers we have pitched well against the RS in 2011. Having said that, I also like our prospects and feel that they should get the first bite of the cheese. Simply put if the price is too high, I pass.

    • jeremy

      burnett used to be able to beat boaton too. and they both have hot-heads

      • Jose M. Vazquez..

        Absolutely! The only difference is that Garza has done it in the playoffs also which carry more pressure.

  • John

    As soon as I read Garza & ‘the price is incredibly high’, I immediately lost all interest. Garza is a mid rotation arm; by no means is he a #2. His stats in the AL were always mediocre.

    It seems as if Cashman is only willing to offer up top prospects or big $ for top notch talent, and that’s how it should be. Trading for and extending Garza would probably cost us a shot at Hamels/Cain/Greinke/Lincecum. Needless to say, if it did, it would be an absolutely horrid decision.

    We have one of the top 5 teams in MLB, could the Giants in ’10 or the Cards in ’11 make that same claim the off season before they wound up winning the World Series? No, so let’s see what happens, and not panic and overpay for mediocre players in Dec/Jan.

  • Preston

    I think this is a big litmus test for Theo’s tenure with the Cubs. The three teams I’ve heard that are in the running for Garza are the Yanks, Sox and Jays. He once called Jesus Montero “Ryan Larnaway light” when he was Red Sox GM. Will he overvalue the guys he drafted/signed? The Jays and Yanks have more upper level pitching that can help the Cubs, will he deal with them, or make a sweetheart deal for the Sox because of his “special knowledge” of their system or his “special relationship” with the GM? The Cubs dealt for Garza one year ago, they gave up a lot to get him. Yes he has one year less of team control but he’s also coming off the best season of his career and pitching is netting premium packages this off-season. They should at least get something similar in return. Betances and Romine plus two lesser guys would be the smallest amount I could see them parting with him for. I think they’re going to ask the moon like Montero and Banuelos. If we wanted to get it done we’d probably have to meet in the middle somewhere, Banuelos and Romine or Betances and Sanchez might work. Not sure I like Garza enough to meet those demands.

    • RetroRob

      If he actually said Montero is “Ryan Lavarnway light,” I wouldn’t take it seriously. He was on the Red Sox GM.

      He would take Montero over Lavarnway every single time.

    • TopChuckie

      I’m not sure the Red Sox have any advantage in dealings with Theo. I think his leaving speaks to his view of the Red Sox future/prospects. He saw a dearth on the horizon and got out while the getting was good.

      I also think he would be hesitant to make a deal because the last thing he wants is to be on the wrong side of a trade with his former team and protege’, and I think he would be because they don’t have much worthwhile to give. I don’t think he gives them a gift like the A’s did.

  • Nomad

    I don’t think I ever saw this conversation 10 years ago… Yankees fans touting “save the farm!” I’m all for it but amazed nonetheless…

  • Chris

    Again, I keep saying the same thing over and over. If they aren’t going to get a solidified 1a or 2 type starter for the “prospects” we’ve been so unwilling to give up then don’t make a deal. Don’t make a deal for the sake of making the deal. Garza isn’t the answer, and you might ask well then who would you suggest? I honestly don’t know but if the Yankees and CO. are going to give up any of our top prospects to land Garza or anyone in that caliber than lets stand put and wait for the price tags to drop on the heavy weights. I rather bring the kids up than trade for an “upgrade” from Burnett.

  • Ted Nelson

    I would say that what got you Cliff Lee or Haren only gets you Gio now because that’s the supply that’s available.

    You were also getting Cliff Lee a year from free agency or Haren looking like he was declining… vs. Gio young and under team control.

  • GDawg

    If Cashman really wanted Garza he would have signed him as a free agent…not gonna happen!

  • Mikw

    I’m sure Theo would love to give him to us at a reasonable price….yea I’m dreaming.

  • jack knife

    Since all of you are so in love with Banuelos and Betances and dont want them traded for Garza heres a thought. We just signed OKAJIMA as a left handed specialist so that means the Yankees dont think that Romanski, Hall, or Arias (if he signs) is ready to go up. With that package Romanski ,Hall, and a couple of other prospects and get Garza.

    That way you get Garza and you keep your Golden Child Banuelos and your
    other Golden Child Betances.

    The Red Sox could use a couple of leftys in AA or AAA so there you go.