The biggest free agent pitcher signing this off-season was easily SP Masahrio Tanaka signing a massive seven-year deal with the New York Yankees worth $155 million. The next pitcher to cash in this off-season was former Texas Rangers ace Matt Garza, who recently signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The right-hander received a four-year deal worth approximately $52 million. He instantly jumped up everyone’s fantasy baseball rankings due to the fact that he will now be the number one arm in Milwaukee ahead of Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, and Willy Peralta.
Garza was only receiving so much attention this off-season, though, because he was one of the few veteran pitchers available in free agency. He is younger than his free agent counterparts (Bronson Arroyo and Ervin Santana) and Garza has a ton of experience, but the 30-year-old still comes with a good deal of risk.
For instance, Garza started just 18 games back in 2012 after missing time with a sore elbow. He started just 24 games in 2013 due to back problems and was even on the DL for a time back in 2011. Needless to say, Garza will come with some injury concern next year.
Even worse, Garza also had a miserable second half of the 2013 season. The righty went 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA before the All-Star break, but followed it up with an awful 4-5 record and 4.38 ERA after the turn. The wheels really started to fall off for Garza down the stretch and it certainly isn’t promising for his fantasy value heading into the 2014 season.
Garza won’t be more than a SP4 in standard fantasy formats, so don’t fall in love with his current preseason hype. He will likely be drafted way too high and fantasy fans would be better off avoiding him altogether.