The Texas Rangers have been so close to winning the World Series twice, but came up short both times. This year could be different, but once again the Rangers are in need of a top-of-the-rotation arm. Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies is going to cost them Jurickson Profar so you have to assume there’s no chance of them landing the left-hander (if he’s even available). That means Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs is their best shot at getting a top arm.
Garza has been hot of late both on the field and in the rumor mill so it’s no surprise the Rangers are in the mix, but there are two questions I want to bring to light:
1. Is Garza really a top-of-the-rotation arm?
2. What will it take to get him?
Let’s focus on the first question:
I’ve never viewed Garza as an ace. I remember being upset that the Cubs gave away a huge package of players to get Garza, whom I viewed as a third pitcher in most rotations. His stuff has always been explosive, but extremely inconsistent over the course of his career. He does have AL East and postseason experience and is still young enough to grow into a two spot but again, I don’t really see him as being a franchise-changing pitcher. However, other teams apparently do, and their opinion matters more than mine since they’re the ones that can make a deal.
Now, let’s focus on the second question:
Truthfully, I have zero idea what the Cubs are willing to settle for, as they’re not going to get top value for Garza. I feel like Joey Gallo, Luis Saldinas, Ronald Guzman and CJ Edwards (young, raw right-hander) would get the job done on both sides.
The Rangers would keep top prospect Mike Olt in the organization, and it would keep their top arm — Cody Buckel — in the system as well. Losing Gallo, Guzman and Edwards would hurt their depth, but at the same time, they’re getting a guy who could help them win a World Series.
Saldinas doesn’t really matter when they have Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Profar up the middle for a long time, so that could be the compromise for the Cubs, who are trying to add as many top prospects as humanly possible.
When it comes down to it, the Rangers are in a very difficult spot when it comes to getting a top pitcher because Profar is off limits. They aren’t going to get the next top arm on the market without a substantial offer.
Even though I don’t view Garza as the end-all, be-all, I understand the importance of pitching and Garza is a pretty good right-hander. If you’re telling me I could get him without giving up my best prospect (Profar), my next best prospect (Olt) and the top arm in my system (Buckel), I’ve gotta pull the trigger on the rest.
We’ll see where Garza ends up, but the Rangers should strike before someone else does.