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  • Brewers sign Garza to deal similar to Twins' Nolasco

    Sources indicate that the Milwaukee Brewers have now signed pitcher Matt Garza to the tune of four years, $52 million.

    This is notable for several reasons. The first being that this is a substantial savings from what he was originally projected as being worth going into the free agent season. At Twins Daily, we estimated that Garza would reach five years and $75 million in the Offseason Handbook. Instead, teams shied away from him. The second interesting piece is that this deal is basically the same one that the Twins gave starter Ricky Nolasco earlier in the winter (4 years, $49M + options).

    Comparatively, Garza, who is a year younger than Nolasco, has had a slightly better career. However according to Fangraphs.com, since 2010, the pair has been surprisingly similar. What you see is that while the raw numbers are very alike, Garza gets better marks for his ERA, xFIP and FIP for spending time in the American League while Nolasco has been in the National League.

    Of course, one of the biggest concerns of teams making these sizable investments is how a player will hold up over the course of that agreement. In Nolasco’s case, he has been rock solid over his career meanwhile Garza has been in-and-out of infirmaries for arm-related ailments (Nolasco’s have been mainly trunk and thigh).
    1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson tweeted out today that the Twins were not in pursuit of Garza at the requested four-year rate, sticking firm to a potential two-year deal after signing Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey. Still, the question that will undoubtedly arise from Twins fans is -- should they have targeted Garza instead of Nolasco?
    This article was originally published in blog: Brewers sign Garza to deal similar to Twins' Nolasco started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 73 Comments
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php/26...-Twins-Nolasco
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I don't think they're very good at all. Odds are that this deal looks fantastic, so I doubt Nolasco's odds look better.

      That doesn't mean, however, that the Twins weren't right to be aggressive. It was just hard to foresee something like this.
      If Garza stays healthy all 4 years, yes, it will look fantastic. I just don't see that as a given. And if Garza misses something close to a year's worth of starts over the length of the contract, then Milw gets essentially 3 years for their $52 mil AND they have to fill a hole in their rotation that he's left during the time he's on the shelf.

      I know it's silly to argue this stuff now when none of us will know the truth for 4 years and yes, I'd have liked to have Garza at that price. I just think Nolasco's reliability is as likely to be a difference maker as any comparative preference we might think Garza has talent-wise.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      I don't think they're very good at all. Odds are that this deal looks fantastic, so I doubt Nolasco's odds look better.

      That doesn't mean, however, that the Twins weren't right to be aggressive. It was just hard to foresee something like this.
      Eh, hard to say. Garza hasn't been durable the past two years while Nolasco has been durable over the past three seasons.

      Of course, past injuries don't automatically mean future injuries will occur and all that but at the end of the day, I think Nolasco has a decent shot of being the better signing. Not 50/50 by any means but the two pitchers just aren't that far apart in talent/age/stuff when you get right down to it. Garza has an advantage in stuff (but really, his stuff hasn't been great the past two seasons) but Nolasco might have the edge in durability, as much as one can predict such a thing.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      I know it's silly to argue this stuff now when none of us will know the truth for 4 years and yes, I'd have liked to have Garza at that price. I just think Nolasco's reliability is as likely to be a difference maker as any comparative preference we might think Garza has talent-wise.
      I would suggest that if reliability was as important as talent, it would reflect in contracts, but it doesn't. There is plenty that could go wrong both ways, but right now the odds are that this is a much better deal. It's just crazy to expect the Twins to have known quality #2 starters are out there for 50M.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      If I could pick, I'd take the Garza deal by a hair. It'll be interesting to see which ends up being a better value in the end, but I'm not sure it really matters given the timing situation that others have pointed out. Same offseason, different situation.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Eh, hard to say. Garza hasn't been durable the past two years while Nolasco has been durable over the past three seasons.

      Of course, past injuries don't automatically mean future injuries will occur and all that but at the end of the day, I think Nolasco has a decent shot of being the better signing. Not 50/50 by any means but the two pitchers just aren't that far apart in talent/age/stuff when you get right down to it. Garza has an advantage in stuff (but really, his stuff hasn't been great the past two seasons) but Nolasco might have the edge in durability, as much as one can predict such a thing.
      Nolasco has been a league average starter his entire career despite pitching most of it in a pitcher's wet dream. And now he's coming over to the place NL pitchers come to die.

      Durability is great, but it's not substitute for talent. If it was, we'd all love Correia a lot more than we do.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      I'm also relieved to see the response to this so far -- rational and comprehensive of context. I was afraid it'd be more of the smash fest we see going on in other threads. Maybe those folks just aren't here yet though...
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Nolasco has been a league average starter his entire career despite pitching most of it in a pitcher's wet dream. And now he's coming over to the place NL pitchers come to die.

      Durability is great, but it's not substitute for talent. If it was, we'd all love Correia a lot more than we do.
      Fair enough... I guess it all comes down to whether 2014-2017 Nolasco looks more like 2013 Nolasco (league average despite being rather unlucky) or 2010-2012 Nolasco (not a very good pitcher).

      Did he figure something out? Did he just hate Miami? Was 2013 a lucky aberration, despite his peripherals suggesting he was better than his numbers? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay View Post
      I'm also relieved to see the response to this so far -- rational and comprehensive of context. I was afraid it'd be more of the smash fest we see going on in other threads. Maybe those folks just aren't here yet though...
      Im here
      hehehe
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Combining threads eat posts.

      Back to subject.

      I believe the Twins always planned to re-sign Pelfrey--it was just a tweak of the price that held things up. The approved budget probably didn't include enough to sign Nolasco and Garza plus that necessary for arbitration settlements, and a veteran catcher--but there was enough to sign Hughes and one of either Garza/Nolasco. Nolasco took the deal and Garza didn't.

      On a curious note, why is it that Milwaukee has become the collection basin for free agent pitchers with issues ​(Lohse and Garza)?
    1. Zephrin's Avatar
      Zephrin -
      The fact that Garza has a screw in his elbow, coupled with a fairly extensive injury history, should have scared most teams off a 4-year deal. I don't think he'll make 100 starts over the contract.

      That, coupled with the fact that Garza and the Twins don't really want to get back together for personality reasons makes me satisfied that he signed elsewhere, even for a reduced price.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I guess some people are just a little higher on Garza's ability than I am.

      I'd have liked to have him in addition to the pitchers the Twins already signed (especially if it meant they could/would turn around and deal Correia to keep one rotation spot open for competition), but I'm not shedding tears that the Twins have Nolasco instead.

      Given what he signed for, it would certainly be interesting to know what, if anything, the Twins had on the table for him to consider. I'm guessing they just didn't really want two 4-year contracts in their rotation at this point.

      If Jimenez, E Santana and Arroyo all end up with comparatively lower contracts and it turns out the guys who signed in November got the better money/years, it will be interesting to see how that affects the market next fall. I know Tanaka slowed the process down, but it's just hard for me to understand how he would have lowered the market for the guys still unsigned, especially given that he certainly didn't get lower than his own market value.

      What happened to the theory that all the big-money teams that lost out on Tanaka would be standing in line to outbid one another for Garza and the others?
    1. blindeke's Avatar
      blindeke -
      plus the draft pick, which is worth how much again?
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      When the Twins signed Nolasco there was no way to know that Garza would be going for this price. I'd have preferred Garza but had the Twins only signed Hughes and Pelfrey at this point plenty of us would have been disappointed about the team's lack of activity.

      As it turned out, the Twins couldn't be aggressive AND sign Garza, it was a Catch-22 for them.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      I have always been a huge Garza fan, so I definitely thought he would be better than most everything on the market...however, looking back at his numbers objectively, it should be noted that since 2010 he has been much closer to a middle of the rotation guy then a front of the rotation guy (sans a very nice 2011)

      He and Nolasco are different guys for sure, and while my heart tells me that Garza would have been a better deal, my mind tells me that based on WAR etc that Nolasco and Garza will be pretty closer to even at the end of these four year deals.

      Garza certainly has more upside IMO, however you can't discount the injury issues he has had. At the end of the day I would rather have had him then Nolasco, but the difference IMO is pretty small after thinking more about it. Certainly not worth "roasting" the Twins over.
    1. blindeke's Avatar
      blindeke -
      Quote Originally Posted by blindeke View Post
      plus the draft pick, which is worth how much again?
      oh oops never mind.

      I knew a guy who went to college with Garza and said he's a complete ******* (no surprise). Hard to see the Twins signing him.
    1. zwiefz's Avatar
      zwiefz -
      Just like everyone else that has commented so far, I am really surprised by this deal. I agree with other posters who have pointed out that 1)the Twins had do something in Nov and couldn't take the risk of waiting until the end of Jan and hoping someone fell into their lap 2)that for Garza to come back to the Twins it probably would have taken a lot more cash to wash away the bad blood from his first tour with the team 3)why did all the other team looking for pitchers(especially legit contenders) not outbid the Brewers?

      One new point I wanted to make(I'm not sure anyone has mentioned this yet):

      I'm glad the Twins are keeping their budget flexible for 3-4 years down the road. If everything goes as fans hope by 2017 the Twins will be forced to look at extensions already for guys like Meyer, Sano, and Buxton in order to buy out some arbitration and early free agency years. That has been the trend in MLB recently and assuming there are still a couple guys like Mauer, Perkins, and Nolasco around eating up good chunks of salary, payroll space will be at a premium before too long.

      Johan Santana is the perfect cautionary tale of signing hard throwing pitchers with a history of problems to long term deals. Over the course of one contract since being traded by the Twins he has gone from a dominating staff ace to a guy hoping to land a minor league deal. The Mets were thrilled the first couple of years but I'm guessing they regretted that contract the past couple years.

      Based on the fact that someone else didn't offer Garza more money and years I don't think the Twins are the only ones who think the Brewers will be having buyers remorse in years 3-4: which is exactly when the Twins are hoping to be a legit contender again.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by blindeke View Post
      plus the draft pick, which is worth how much again?
      Well if you tally up the Twins last 10 years or so of 2nd round picks...that answer would be.....about zero.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Well if you tally up the Twins last 10 years or so of 2nd round picks...that answer would be.....about zero.
      Anthony Swarzak is typing a sternly worded letter of dissent right now.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Well if you tally up the Twins last 10 years or so of 2nd round picks...that answer would be.....about zero.
      Eades, Melo Chargois and Goodrum will at least try and make you eat your words
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