Fans of the Texas Rangers waited in agony for almost four days waiting on the deal to get done and the Chicago Cubs finally completed the trade for pitcher Matt Garza late Monday afternoon. As more details have emerged, it’s looking more and more like the Cubs made out like bandits, which means the Rangers are now all-in with only two ultimatums: win the World Series this year or sign Garza to a long-term contract extension before or during the upcoming offseason.
Of course, it would be nice if the Rangers could have both, but let’s not get carried away — it’s only July.
Garza is a superb addition to the Rangers’ rotation, in which he won’t have to be the ace. In addition, Texas should be loaded and ready for another title run once Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando all return from the Disabled List to join Yu Darvish and Garza in what should be a dynamic postseason rotation.
However, Garza wants ace money in his pending free agency and although Texas can offer that, he’ll likely be the second or third pitcher in the Rangers’ rotation. That obviously didn’t stop the Rangers from pulling the trigger on the deal, so the optimism in Texas regarding a potential contract extension for Garza must be at an all-time high. For the sake of the team — and its fans — the folks in Arlington better hope it’s more than just a hunch.
If the Rangers are able to finally win the Fall Classic with Garza on board, the deal will be justified. If not, Texas general manager Jon Daniels absolutely has to sign Garza to a long-term deal and keep him around for the next half-decade or so. If the Rangers come away with no title and Garza splits town, the deal will be just like the one Texas made in 2010 for Cliff Lee: close, but no cigar.