Cubs Plan To Make Garza A Long-Term Asset?
Matt Garza this. Matt Garza That. Matt Garza is headed to Detroit. Matt Garza is headed to Toronto. Despite the fact that starting pitcher Matt Garza may be one of the fan favorites on the Cubs’ roster, many fans may be growing tired of hearing Garza’s name. While this off-season will always be remembered as the off-season that the Cubs’ changed their way with the hires of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod; this off-season will also be remembered for the endless amount of Matt Garza rumors. One second the Cubs are going to trade Garza, the next they are going to retain the 27 year old starting pitcher, and in another second the Cubs plan to trade Garza at the July 31 trade deadline. There has only been one constant for Garza this winter, and that is, he has remained a member of the Cubs’ organization.
The constant may remain in place if the Cubs’ front office achieve one of their goals for Spring Training.
General Manager Jed Hoyer spoke with David Kaplan of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago on Tuesday, and the general manager told Kaplan that the Cubs’ front office hopes they can turn Garza into a long-term asset.
"“We have a good relationship with Matt,” GM Jed Hoyer told Comcast SportsNet. “We need more Matt Garzas. We’ll sit down to talk to him about a deal. We’re hoping to get something worked out, but you never know and we’ll keep it private when we do.” CSN Chicago"
Hoyer and Theo Epstein have always shared the same sentiment when it came to Garza. That sentiment being that the pair of front office executives feel that Garza is the type of player that they would like to build the Cubs’ around. But when the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations and General Manager would make those comments, they would always say that Garza is the “type of player” that they want on the team. The pair did not necessarily single out Garza as the player they want on the team, rather the qualities that he possess. The same can be said about Hoyer’s comments to Kaplan about Garza. Hoyer does not specifically tell Kaplan that the Cubs want to make Garza a long-term asset, rather saying the team “needs more Matt Garzas.”
Hoyer’s comments about Garza were also very cryptic as well. Hoyer did not say that the Cubs want to sign Garza to an extension because they fell he could be an asset for the team in the years to come–which, Garza very well could be–Hoyer just mentioned that the two sides will discuss a contract extension during Spring Training and the hope is that a deal can be reached. While the Cubs’ front office may very well want to sign Garza to an extension, that may not decrease their willingness to trade Garza.
The one thing a contract extension for Garza would do for the Cubs is protect them no matter what the future holds in store for the starting pitcher. Lets say that the Cubs do not sign Garza to a long-term deal this Spring with the hopes of still trading him at some point this season. The reason Garza has not been traded yet is because teams have been unwilling to meet the Cubs’ demands, and if teams still are reluctant during the season to meet the Cubs’ demands, then the Cubs will be left with a pitcher in Garza who may not feel welcomed with the organization and leaves once his current contract expires. But if the Cubs do sign Garza to an extension, and for whatever reason do not trade Garza during the season, then the Cubs will have an ace in place for at least the next 5 seasons.
The Cubs may sign Garza to a long-term deal this Spring, but such a deal would not instantly change Garza’s status to a long-term asset. Garza’s best value for the Cubs still may be as a trade chip as a way for the Cubs to get three to four top prospects to improve their farm system.