The Chicago Cubs are willing to deal almost everyone on the roster at this point as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer try to rebuild the Cubs into contenders. As the MLB trade deadline approaches the Cubs might have the best starting pitcher on the market in Matt Garza which could put them in position to possibly bring in a decent haul of prospects from a contender.
Garza is coming off a strong start against the Oakland Athletics that saw him fire eight innings that saw him strike out five while only allowing one run on four hits. For the season, Garza has posted a 3.45 ERA across nine starts while posting a 1.11 WHIP and posting a 52/18 K/BB ratio in 57.1 innings. The 29-year-old is slated to become a free agent at the end of the year making him attractive to teams like the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants.
Garza is no stranger to trade rumors after he was the subject of several last year before he injured his elbow last year. Had the Cubs been able to trade him last season they would have gotten significantly more in return but they should still be able to get something nice back this year even though he is just a two-month rental.
While the Cubs do need to rebuild and Garza is arguably their best trade piece at this point they could also explore a contract extension with him. This wouldn’t be the worst idea since they could always offer him a qualifying offer and get a first round pick in return for him if he decides to sign elsewhere. This move makes a lot of sense. Yes, the Cubs are rebuilding but if the Cubs want to content any time in the near future they will need pitching and they know what they have in Garza who has posted a 3.51 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 58 starts with the club.
If the Cubs don’t get the offer they want, something that could very likely happen as teams might not want to part with top prospects for a two-month rental, there is nothing wrong with holding onto Garza. The Giants and Orioles could definitely use a player like Garza but might not want, or be able to, pay the price the Cubs would look for in return.
Starting pitchers with Garza’s track record don’t grow on trees and keeping him could be a smart move. It isn’t every day a pitcher with Garza’s ability finds himself on your roster. He could be more valuable to the Cubs as a staff leader for the next few seasons. At least they know what Garza can do and that is valuable in itself. Either way, as long as Garza is healthy he should be the subject of many rumors as we get closer to the non-waiver trade deadline.