Tag:Matt Garza
Posted on: December 14, 2010 6:07 pm

Where do Yankees go from here?

Zambrano Now that the Yankees have lost out on Cliff Lee, who could the club go after?

Well, for starters, the club has agreed to a minor-league contract with Mark Prior. Who knows, it could work out. But probably not.

Good thing there's always Andy Pettitte. The Yankees could up their offer to entice him out of retirement, but even with Pettitte, the Yankees are seeking a strong option for the rotation. Right now, it would be comprised of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and... who knows, maybe Sergio Mitre?

Carl Pavano is the only starter left on the market that fits the bill. Any other starter would fill in at the back of the rotation, while Pavano would make a strong case to be the No. 3. One problem: The Yankees and the fans have already had their fill of Pavano. However, New York did give Javier Vazquez a second try, so you never know.

Other options reside in trade. There's obviously Zack Greinke, but there are too many reports that New York doesn't have what it takes to acquire Greinke, plus there's far too many questions on whether Greinke would even want to pitch in New York, nevermind if he could.

Other trade options include the White Sox and Gavin Floyd as the club has been willing to listen on the righty. You can bet the ChiSox would also love to listen to deals involving Edwin Jackson as Jackson was only acquired in a desperate gambit to land Adam Dunn from Washington in what remains a curious decision from the Nats in passing. However, is Jackson better than what's left on the free agent market sans Pavano? Mmm... probably not.

The name of Ricky Nolasco is also making the rounds, but Florida has said it has no plans to move Nolasco even with the two sides struggling to agree to a contract extension.

Perhaps the Cubs could be enticed to part with Carlos Zambrano (pictured). It's no secret the two sides are tired of each other, but Big Z has a hefty contract and blew away the competition near the end of 2010, so would require a strong package in return. Still, the Yankees have the money and perhaps the will to pry Zambrano away.

Past that, the Yankees could come calling for Matt Garza or James Shields, although the Rays may not want to deal within the division. Jesus Montero may be enough to change their minds.

Another option New York has is to slot in with an average pitcher and wait until 2012 to make their move for a top starter.

Problem: Unless Philadelphia declines Roy Oswalt's 2012 option, the best starter on the market is C.J. Wilson. And granted, if Wilson repeats his 2010 season, he'll be an enticing name. But that should tell you all there is to know about 2012's free-agent market.

Except there's one very important person in the Pacific that will be posted and could make major waves.

That's Yu Darvish, who has opted to stay in Japan one more season but has essentially conceded he is headed east for 2012. The Yankees -- as well as any other team -- would love to get Darvish's services, and you can bet New York will be hot to trot after the righty.

But so will any number of teams such as Washington and the Angels, so Darvish to the Yankees isn't quite a sure thing. And no, simply expecting New York to outbid everyone in the posting process is not a sure thing. For one, the Red Sox blew the Yankees away for Daisuke Matsuzaka. And second, the Oakland A's not agreeing to terms with Hisashi Iwakuma in what some believe was a gambit to keep him away from the Rangers underscored a flaw in the posting system. That is, you can bid any amount for the player but do not have to pay the fee if no terms are agreed to.

What's stopping Boston from bidding an outrageous $100 million fee (double Matsuzaka's fee) and then just simply letting him walk away?

This much is clear: the Yankees have a lot on their hands to build their rotation now that the Cliff Lee saga has ended.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 8, 2010 6:23 pm

Rays may wait to deal Garza

Garza The Rays aren't pleased with the offers in hand for righty Matt Garza, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Tampa is leaning toward waiting to see if the market develops in July.

Tampa is deep in starters and needs help at first, the outfield and bullpen so don't rule out a deal. After all, things can change and once Carl Pavano comes off the board and Zack Greinke's future is determined, the market for Garza could crystallize.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: December 8, 2010 12:57 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Cubs talking trades for starters

The Cubs are looking for pitching -- not only talking to the Rays about Matt Garza, but also talking about swapping left-handed starter Tom Gorzelanny for right-handed starter Armando Galarraga, MLB.com's Carrie Muskat writes .

The Cubs have Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano and Randy Wells at the top of their rotation. The team still has Carlos Silva under control, but his status remains murky, leaving a competition between Gorzelanny, Casey Coleman and Jeff Samardzija for the last two spots of the rotation.

The team has reportedly talked to representatives for Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis, as well.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 5:22 pm

Brewers, Rangers targeting Matt Garza

Garza Matt Garza is a man in demand.

The Brewers are working on a deal to get Garza, as the Chicago Tribune 's Phil Rogers reports. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 's Tom Haudricourt agrees, so there's something to these talks. Rogers says that a deal could possibly include Lorenzo Cain (he types Matt, but he means Lorenzo) who was thought to be untouchable as was clarified yesterday when the Braves called on Cain.

If the Brew Crew could net Cain, it would give the Brewers a solid rotation and put their pitching woes solidly in the past. Milwaukee acquired Shaun Marcum from the Jays in a trade consummated Monday. Garza would pair with Marcum along with Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo in what would suddenly become one of the better rotations in the NL.

However, Milwaukee may not be alone in its pursuit of Garza. AOL Fanhouse 's Ed Price notes that if the Rangers can't get Cliff Lee or Zack Greinke, Garza would be Plan B. It would certainly behoove Tampa to wait to see if Texas gets interested, which would open up the pool of candidates in a deal and perhaps spark a bidding war. In addition, Texas has plenty of intriguing young arms Tampa would probably covet and one would think the Rangers wouldn't object to coughing up Alexi Ogando for the Rays to rebuild their bullpen with.

Garza, who tossed a no-hitter in 2010, finished at 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 204 2/3 innings. With four arbitration years, that gives Tampa three more years of arbitration control which would be attractive to any team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Futures of several Rays a question mark

The Rays aren't alone in that they are in the middle of a busy offseason and have many directions to go, but they may be the most compelling team to follow all winter.

That's because the club seems certain to lose star Carl Crawford and slugger Carlos Pena on offense, while having to rebuild an entire bullpen and slash payroll to $60 million or less from 2010's franchise-high $72.8 million.

As a result, it is widely considered the Rays will deal some costly veterans where the team has solutions behind them. That includes Jason Bartlett, subject of a MLB Facts and Rumors trade profile .

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times expects Bartlett to exit stage left to make way for Reid Brignac and clear up roughly $5 million in salary. There's no shortage of candidates who could use Bartlett, with middle infield depth thin leaguewide. The Cardinals, Giants and Orioles have been most closely linked to the ex-Twin.

Upton Topkin also discusses B.J. Upton (pictured, left), coming off a disappointing season and who is headed to arbitration for the second time. Upton is slated to make about $4 million or more, and that's a lot to give someone coming off back-to-back poor seasons. While his .237/.322/.424 line in 610 plate appearances in 2010 was a major improvement over 2009's .241/.313/.373, it's still a major letdown.

However, Upton is still the same guy who slashed .300/.386/.508 with 24 home runs in 2007, then went bananas in the ALCS against the Red Sox in 2008. His 2011 season will be played at just age 26, so there's plenty of time left for Upton to turn his career around, and he's still capable of stealing a ton of bases, as his three straight seasons of over 40 steals indicate.

Given Upton isn't slated to be a free agent until after the 2012 season, it may not be prudent for Tampa to deal the youngster. After all, the club is still in desperate need of offensive playmakers, and Upton can help keep Tampa in contention. In addition, if Upton bounces back, his trade value skyrockets. Trading him now would mean selling low, and there's just no reason for the Rays to take that risk.

Topkin also points out that Upton was only one of two players in 2010 to have at least 60 extra-base hits (38 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs). The other person was none other than Carl Crawford, so losing two players with that distinction may be too much for Tampa to handle.

Upton and Crawford also impacted the game in a big way on defense, so even with Upton's struggles at the plate, he would create a major void in the lineup where there is already enough gaping holes.

Lastly, Topkin tackles the future of the starting pitching. With a full rotation and Jeremy Hellickson banging on the door, the possibility exists that Tampa could trade Matt Garza or James Shields, the two making the most money on the staff.

Shields Alas, Topkin is concerned about the depth of the rotation. While the club is deep in pitching prospects, Topkin says the top starting prospects are still a ways away, so if a starter was to get hurt and one of Shields (pictured, right) or Garza was traded, Tampa would be scrambling for depth.

However, he seems to have forgotten about Andy Sonnanstine, a starter who worked out of the bullpen in 2010. He could easily transition back to a starting role if needed. Secondly, Jacob McGee is also hanging around, and he's certainly ready for the majors after appearing down the stretch drive as a reliever. In addition, Baseball America 's top prospect list has Matt Moore and Alex Torres on the list. While asking them to be ready for 2011 is a stretch, they could make their big-league debut in September. If they're that close, they could step in and fill the breach if needed.

Depth is not an issue.

What may be an issue is the play of Shields, who finished with a 5.18 ERA in 203 1/3 innings. While his xFIP was 3.72, clubs may try to buy low on Shields given the ERA. That may not be tenable for the Rays, but if the alternative is trading Garza, the team may opt to bite the bullet on Shields.

With the winter meetings just a week away, we may soon know what direction Tampa intends to go. Will that include shipping away Bartlett, Upton, Shields or Garza? Stay tuned.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 8, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 4:35 pm

Rangers' Murphy back for Game 3

Everything's coming up roses for the Rangers, and they'll have outfielder David Murphy back in the lineup Saturday as they try to wrap up their first-round series against the Rays at home.

Murphy starts for Texas against right-handers, and will be back to face Matt Garza. Murphy, batting .291, missed the last for games of the regular season with a groin strain. He went through a full workout Friday, after which manager Ron Washington told reporters he'd be in Saturday's starting lineup in left field. That probably means another start in center for Josh Hamilton.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 4, 2010 3:37 pm

Rays announce ALDS rotation

The Rays have announced their rotation against the Rangers:

Game 1: David Price
Game 2: James Shields
Game 3: Matt Garza
Game 4. Wade Davis
Game 5: Price

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter ), the Rays won't announce the rest of their roster until Tuesday at the earliest. He expects Jeff Niemann in the bullpen.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 4, 2010 9:47 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 2:17 pm

Garza fires back at O's Scott

Luke Scott Thank you Matt Garza and Luke Scott for proving once again there's a quote from Major League for just about any baseball occasion -- "OK Harris, let's not start a holy war now."

So, the backstory to this is Garza talked some trash before his start on Friday and then went out and beat the O's.

Apparently Baltimore's Scott didn't like that.

"He said what he said, and he backed it up. He did a good job for his team, but don't let it bite you in the butt," Scott told the St. Petersburg Times . "If you let your head get big in anything in life . . . it's Proverbs 3:34: 'God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.' Your time is coming if you think that life is going to be like that. Your time is coming, and it's not going to be fun."

Garza thought going Biblical was a bit over the line.

From the St. Petersburg Times ' Marc Topkin :
"To each his own interpretation; that’s what the Bible is. I’m a Christian too; a Catholic Christian. He’s throwing something in that shouldn’t even be allowed to be brought in,’’ Garza said. “That’s a topic where you don’t ever bring that up. …

"My feeling is that God has a lot better things to worry about than if I’m going to throw a strike on a certain pitch. A lot of other things. I’d rather [Scott] not bring it up."
Matt Garza Garza also said Scott's words were a bit hypocritical considering his choreographed home run celebration, which includes a point to the sky and multiple high-fives.

"It's the same thing, when you're showing up the other guy," Garza said. "The game's gone that far to where it's acceptable. It's just what it is."

The cycle will only be complete only if Scott responds, "Up your butt, Jobu."

UPDATE: Scott repsonded -- and maybe the he-said, she-said thing is all over. However, he didn't take my advice on what to say, instead here's what he told the Baltimore Sun 's Dan Connolly :

“He’s just saying religion is not something you bring into baseball; it’s all a matter of choice. That’s not how I view it. Like I said, I consider it a blessing to be here and I am thankful for the opportunity to play. And that’s just my personal beliefs.”

As for Garza’s allegations that Scott’s celebration ritual is hypocritical of someone who is denouncing boastfulness in the name of God, Scott said:

"That’s part of the game. You celebrate with your teammates. I play this game because I like to have fun. When I celebrate with my teammates, I am celebrating because I am enjoying the competition and am enjoying success. It’s just as simple as that. I mean, I am pretty sure he gets pretty pumped up when he is in a big game and he does well and he gets some key outs when he needs them. I bet you he is in there and he is fired up. We all have different ways of expressing emotion in this game and that’s what makes us all unique.”

Lou Brown woulda had a better response, but I guess at least this one is closed for now.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Category: MLB
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