The Brewers may be close to signing free agent starting pitcher Matt Garza to what was initially reported as a four-year, $52 million deal. Earlier Thursday, it was believed that the deal was final pending a physical. However, early Thursday evening the Brewers released the following statement:
Despite media reports, negotiations between the Brewers and Matt Garza are ongoing, but there is no deal yet.
There's no indication that this wrinkle has anything to do with Garza's medicals, but it's still worth noting that he's coming off two injury-plagued seasons.
Garza, 30, is arguably the top starting pitcher left on the market after Masahiro Tanaka signed with the Yankees Wednesday. The right-hander was 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA (106 ERA+), 1.24 WHIP and 136 strikeouts in 155 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs (11 starts) and Rangers (13 starts).
In 60 starts for the Cubs, Garza was 21-18 with a 3.45 ERA (115 ERA+) and 1.21 WHIP, so heading back to the NL Central bodes well for his chances at success.
Garza potentially joins Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta in the Brewers' probable rotation.
If Garza is indeed soon to be off the market, then the top three starting pitchers available are Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana and Bronson Arroyo -- and the former two have draft-pick compensation tied to them.