After the New York Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a monster seven-year, $155 million deal, the focus was thought to be on the next wave of top pitchers available on the free agent market that included the likes of Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez and Erwin Santana, among others.
There was expectation to see these three arms signing between this and the upcoming week, but the Milwaukee Brewers shocked the world and have inked Garza to a four-year, $52 million deal in order to be one of the top starters in a team that will make their best effort to compete in a crowded NL Central.
These two elements certainly needed each other and while the franchise did overpay a bit for Garza, his arrival to Milwaukee appears to be a perfect match. Leaving the health issues aside – as the right-hander appears to be fully healthy for the first time since 2011 – Garza can bring stability and experience to a team that has Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse as top arms but not much after those two.
His past with the Chicago Cubs figures to be a key element in his arrival. Garza spent three seasons with the Cubbies and his numbers were quite good, compiling a 21-18 record, 3.45 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 60 starts with Milwaukee’s division rival.
Garza is a fierce competitor, as he showed last season with both the Cubs and the Texas Rangers. He represents all the qualities the Brewers were looking for, so it appears that they are a mix that will work wonderfully in the next four years.