Chicago Cubs need to sign Matt Garza to a Long Term Contract

By Greg Bolotin

The Chicago Cubs have something special with Matt Garza leading their starting rotation. Compared to Garza, the rest of the Cubs starting rotation is not as reliable. His 2011 record of 10 wins and 10 losses does not tell the  whole story of his season.

He struck out 197 batters while only walking 63 batters. That is a fantastic strikeout to walk ratio. Garza was also on the mound for 198 total innings; a good number for any pitcher in the major leagues today. Garza, like all Chicago Cubs pitchers, have to pitch in the hitter-friendly Wrigley Field. Garza had a total ERA of 3.32, with pitching half his starts at Wrigley Field. His 2011 WHIP total is 1.26, which is great compared with other major league starters.

The Cubs failed most of time Matt Garza started. Garza could have easily won at least 13 to 15 games in 2011, Had Cubs played better offense and defensive performances during most of his starts. After Garza, the rotation itself does not intimidate opponents or give the Chicago Cubs  a decent chance to win.

Garza has been a reliable starter with Minnesota and Tampa before he was traded to the Cubs prior to the 2011 season. He is still only 28 years old and is entering his prime years. The Cubs should take advantage of this, and sign him to a long-term contract extension.

Matt Garza will give the Cubs a solid pitcher who can give them the innings, strike outs, and wins needed, and most importantly, a real ace to count on every time he goes to the mound. The Cubs have to understand what they have with Matt Garza.  Hi is the ace of their starting rotation. They can build a stronger rotation around him making the Cubs even better in 2012 and the coming years.

If the Cubs do not sign Garza or trade him by the July 31st deadline as rumors have persisted, they will be wasting a golden chance to lock up a solid talent that will help the Chicago Cubs be successful. It will take a lot longer for the Cubs to rebuild their rotation without Garza around. They will have to bring in a pitcher via free agency or trade to fill Garza’s starting role. The Cubs will then have to develop their own pitching talent from their farm system (which was just overhauled thanks to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer). This process of developing players takes time.

The Cubs faithful understand that Epstein and Hoyer need a season or two to start making the Chicago Cubs a successful and long-term success. Starting with signing Matt Garza, the Cubs can put those pieces together, and it will not take long to build a winning ball club. When you have great talent locked up in your organization, you will see results.

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