By Jason Shetler
It was reported yesterday that the Pirates are now “strong suitors” for Cubs pitcher Matt Garza. The Pirates have considered the rotation an area that they could make even stronger, and adding Garza would certainly do just that. Garza is arguably the most attractive trade candidate for this year’s trade deadline, and one of the better starting pitchers when healthy. So while it makes sense for the Pirates to at least have interest in Garza, should the Pirates make a deal for him? Here’s my take.
Although Garza is making a little over $10M this season, money wouldn’t be an issue for the Pirates. However, he does become a free agent after the season, which would be a problem. With Garza pitching well to this point, his trade stock is going to be very high. Therefore, the Pirates would probably have to surrender at least a top prospect, if not a couple. So would they be willing to give up that much just to have someone as a rental? Personally, I wouldn’t. I don’t like the idea of trading away top prospects for a rental player, and especially if those prospects are dealt to a team within the division. I’m sure some people have made the point about trying to sign Garza to an extension once he gets acquired. The problem with that however, is that’s never a guarantee. Players today would rather test the free agent waters, and Matt Garza is no exception. I know it’s stating the obvious, but small market teams like the Pirates just aren’t going to compete in free agency for the top tier names. When it comes to free agency, it takes one team to make an outrageous offer that’ll put other teams completely out of the running for that player. One thing that fans also have to realize, is that while it would be nice to acquire Matt Garza, the rotation isn’t really the biggest need for improvement. I’m not ruling out the Pirates making an attempt to acquire him, but it’s a trade that I would think twice about.