Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza continues to have injury problems. Garza missed the last two-and-a-half months of the 2012 MLB season because of a stress reaction in his right elbow. He spent the entire offseason getting “Every muscle” prepared for 2013.
Spring training games haven’t started, yet Garza already had to leave practice on Feb. 17. Following a throwing session that lasted approximately 20 pitches, Garza suffered a mild lat strain on his left side. He doesn’t believe that it’s anything more than a day-to-day injury.
Earlier this offseason, the Cubs signed Garza to a one-year, $10.25 million contract. Had Garza not gotten injured last season, there’s a good chance that he would’ve been traded before the 2012 July trade deadline. Garza is one of a few veterans who could bring back high-quality prospects. He’s a solid No. 3 pitcher on a World Series contender.
If these injuries become a trend, then his trade value will plummet. Teams won’t trade their future assets for a health hazard. Few things are worse than when a pitcher suffers a serious arm injury in the first year of a mega-contract.
That’s why fans shouldn’t panic, not yet anyhow. It’s better if these injuries happen sooner than later. The worst-case scenario is if Garza gets injured right before the trade deadline. That’s what happened in 2012. It likely cost them some future assets.
The Cubs have enough pitching depth to where they don’t need to risk injuries. Of course, Scott Baker is still recovering from his Tommy John surgery that he had last spring. Without Garza and Baker, the Cubs are down to five starters.
Can Garza stay healthy from this point forward? If he doesn’t, could the Cubs re-sign him at a discount after this season?