Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Atannasio has announced the club has officially signed free-agent pitcher Matt Garza. The signing goes down as the largest free-agent deal in Brewers history at four-years and $50 million. It’s obvious the club is optimistic about their chances of competing in the tough NL Central.
The signing was announced at the club’s annual “On Deck” event and has Brewers fans buzzing. Brewers GM Doug Melvin continues to be opportunistic on pulling the trigger on a deal no one sees coming and finds ways to improve his team. Last year, the Brewers signed Kyle Lohse just before Spring Training and he turned in a fantastic first season. Everyone remembers the trade for C.C. Sabathia back in 2008 before the trade deadline that came out of nowhere.
A few years back, Melvin also acquired Zack Greinke in a big deal to go all-in for the 2011 season. It’s clear that Melvin will be patient, but won’t hesitate to strike when the opportunity presents itself.
Garza has a career 3.84 ERA, and his electric repertoire makes this rotation extremely competitive. When asked if Garza thinks of himself as their ace, he told the media “I see myself taking the ball every fifth day and doing my job. I don’t put myself in any numerical position.”
Melvin has once again played his cards right by spending the money to bolster the rotation with a front-end starter without having to give up any prospects or forfeit a first-round draft pick. Melvin decided to fill first base with two low-cost but very serviceable players, Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay, instead of giving up Tyler Thornburg to acquire Ike Davis.
Now the Brewers head into the 2014 season with both Garza and Thornburg in the rotation along with Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse and Wily Peralta. With the extra Wild Card, look for the Brewers to be in the playoff hunt all season long. In fact, with this lineup and talented pitching staff, the Brewers should compete for the NL Central crown.