We’re less than two weeks into December, and some big arms have already found new homes this MLB off-season. None of which is named Matt Garza.
Despite being heavily involved in trade rumors for the past year, the Chicago Cubs remain unable to move him, due to high demands and the injury he sustained just prior to the trade deadline that ended his season. Since that injury, the Cubs have seen the teams that had lined up for Garza begin to dwindle.
The Kansas City Royals are out, having acquired James Shields. The Toronto Blue Jays acquired a whole mess of players, which probably rules them out. The Boston Red Sox don’t have the package. Someone like the Detroit Tigers could be one of the only clubs left, but they might not be willing to pay.
Could the lack of trade options lead to the Cubs actually hanging onto Garza, and making him part of this team’s core with a contract extension? The debate between the two has been going on for quite a bit among the fans on the North Side, and I’ve made no secret of which side I fall on in that discussion.
The Cubs really do lack impact arms in their organization. They’ve made improvements to the farm, and they’ve been vast improvements in the year since Theo Epstein took over, but they’re mainly position players. Garza would likely bring in a top pitching prospect, but why deal him for one when you already have a top arm in his prime?
Garza has been very successful in his two years in Chicago, where essentially everything beyond his record is concerned. He’s not a no. 1, but he’s a front end guy, and looks very good at the top of the rotation with Jeff Samardzija. That type of 1-2 punch gives the Cubs a very good pair of power arms at the top.
He’s also proven to be a fantastic clubhouse guy and appears to love living in Chicago. That could lead to an extension getting done relatively easy. It’d mainly be a matter of the years, rather than the dollars.
The Cubs briefly mentioned that they were discussing an extension for Garza, but that may have been to motivate some teams out on the trade market, as we didn’t hear anything to follow up that type of news. But you can bet that the organization may look into it, as they probably are never going to get what they wanted for Matt Garza.