Matt Garza has essentially been the best pitcher of the entire Chicago Cubs’ pitching staff this season. Considering the amount of top prospects the Cubs gave up to acquire Garza this past winter, it is expected that Garza be the best pitcher on the Cubs. Though, that will not keep some from hating the Garza trade no matter how good the prospects turn out to be with the Tampa Bay Rays. As I have stated numerous times before, the Cubs front office should have no regrets about trading for Garza. It was a good move when the trade first happened, and it is an even better trade now.
Though with the Cubs lack of success this season and Garza being one of the few productive players on the Cubs roster, teams have inquired on Garza’s availability in hopes of prying him away from the Cubs.
Both Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe report that the Red Sox have Garza the top of their wish-list of players they hope to acquire before the July 31 trade deadline.
Here is Rogers’ take on the Garza to the Red Sox Rumor:
"The Red Sox have the Cubs‘ Matt Garza high on the list of pitchers they’re pursuing for an injury-depleted rotation. He has pitched well against them. The Cubs would have to get a lot in that trade, including a majors-ready arm to replace Garza. Jim Hendry has said he isn’t looking to deal players who can help the Cubs in the future, and Garza is under control through 2013. …Chicago Tribune"
Whereas, Cafardo offers a less specific take on the Garza trade rumors.
"Matt Garza, RHP, Cubs – The Cubs may not deal him, but baseball people insist they would have to listen. Garza, 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA, is AL East battle-tested and would have to appeal to the Yankees and Red Sox. The Boston Globe"
The bottom-line is that it would take a lot for the Cubs to be willing to part ways with Garza. Hendry has already told reporters that he has no intention of trading players that could have an impact on the team in 2012 and beyond. Considering that Garza is only 27 and is under team control through 2013, he would fall under the category of players that Hendry is not willing to trade. Chances are that Garza will eventually become of the ace of the Cubs rotation for many years to come.
Though, that should not keep the Cubs from listening to offers for Garza. I am curious how other teams value Garza in comparison to when the Cubs originally traded for the right hander from Tampa Bay. In any case, the package would have to be greater than what the Cubs originally gave to Tampa Bay for the team to even consider trading Garza. If a team like the Red Sox a that desperate to land Garza, then it may be enough for Hendry to re-consider trading one of the players he feels will impact the Cubs for the future.
But the Cubs will not be able to acquire another starting pitcher that is the caliber of Garza if they were to trade him and considering that starting pitching is the top area of need for the Cubs, trading Garza does not make any sense.