Saturday Starters: Hamilton, Garza, Coffey


Friday was another quiet day for the Chicago Cubs and their front office, though the team did avoid arbitration with starting pitcher Matt Garza. With Garza and the Cubs reaching an agreement, that may put the Garza trade rumors back into focus. Up to this point, the two teams that have had the heaviest of dialogue with the Cubs have been the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers. Though, with the Tigers signing Prince Fielder to a $214 million contract, that does not bode well for their ability to land Garza. As for the Blue Jays, who have remained in discussions with the Cubs regarding Garza, they have been unwilling to meet the Cubs’ demands for their top starting pitchers. After the Jump we will take a look at the incentives in Garza’s deal, my thoughts on Josh Hamilton, and a potential Cubs’ target is off the market.

  • All of Major League Baseball was focused on Friday on Texas Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton. Remember was Cub for a second or two, when the team selected him in the Rule V draft and traded him to the Cincinnati Reds in an arranged agreement. Unfortunately for Hamilton, the focus may have been unwanted. On Monday of this week, Hamilton was spotted at a Texas Restaurant consuming alcohol. Normally, this is no strange night for a Major League Baseball player. But the problem is that player was Josh Hamilton. Hamilton who has overcame a drug addiction and alcoholism that ruined any chance of Major League career he had with the Tampa Bay Rays to become one of the most prominent players in the American League with the Texas Rangers. Hamilton addressed the media today, and the outfielder apologized to his family, the Rangers, and his fans for his relapse. Hamilton also relapsed during the 2009 off-season. Hamilton spoke directly from his heart and you can tell that he is a man that is currently broken inside. Having said that, I commend and respect Hamilton for owning up to his mistakes. This latest relapse from Hamilton has led some to speculate that Hamilton would be a huge long-term risk for the Rangers or any team that signs him once his current contract expires at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Nonetheless, I am in no position to judge Hamilton, and neither will I do so. Listening to Hamilton today, I heard something that I seldom hear from any professional athlete. What I heard was the truth. Hamilton did not make any excuses for his actions, and placed the blame solely on himself. It is my only hope that Hamilton receives the help and counseling that he needs and he can take a positive from a negative situation.
  • The Associated Press has released the details of the incentives in Matt Garza’s contract. Garza and the Cubs agreed to a one year contract worth $9.5 million for the 2012 season. Though Garza can earn an additional $150,000 if he surpasses the 210 and 220 inning mark with the Cubs this season. Looking over Garza’s career, the starting pitcher has only surpassed the 200 inning mark twice in his career. Though, he has never surpassed more than 210 innings in a season. Bill James projects that Garza will throw 214 innings season, which would put an additional $50,000 in Garza’s pocket.
  • Veteran relief pitcher Todd Coffey, who was recently placed on the Cubs’ radar, has signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Coffey likely would not have served the same purpose with the Cubs as he will with the Dodgers, for that reason, it is easy to see why the veteran reliever chose to not join the rebuilding Cubs in 2012.