• 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. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Anthony Swarzak is typing a sternly worded letter of dissent right now.
      Ha!
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Garza would not cost a draft choice. I find it distasteful the "sour grapes" responses to Garza signing elsewhere. I wish (hope) it wasn't an either/or situation--but I fear it was. I do feel that had both players signed with the Twins that nearly all of the posters would have responded very warmly to Garza signing with the Twins (I sure would!).
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Anthony Swarzak is typing a sternly worded letter of dissent right now.
      Oh I forgot about him, but the point remains. I like Swarzak, but would not having a 1/10 chance or whatever in landing a guy like him really not be worth signing a premium SP like Ubaldo etc?
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      I would take Loshe and Garza "issues" over Gardenhire and Ryan/Smith 'issues' any day. The issues may be created by the management of them. But then, I like individuals and spirit over uniform and vanilla.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Pretty decent chance we face both Garza and Lohse in June. Should be interesting.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      Oh I forgot about him, but the point remains. I like Swarzak, but would not having a 1/10 chance or whatever in landing a guy like him really not be worth signing a premium SP like Ubaldo etc?
      Oh, I wasn't disagreeing with your point, just snarking a bit.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      It had been reported that teams (not just the Twins) didn't want to go past 2-3 years on Garza. It seems that the Brewers were willing to add that fourth year and likely used some fear of loss on Garza and his agent. A take it or leave it type of proposal.

      During Garza's four year peak (2008-2011) here were his numbers.

      790.1 IP 3.72 ERA 3.92 FIP 4.01 xFIP 11.3 WAR

      Adding in age and regression, I think 10 WAR over the next four years is a fair projection for a healthy Garza. Using $6M a win that has him at a $60M valuation.

      Then you factor in health and injury concern. Garza has missed chunks of the past two years with elbow and lat issues. Here are his numbers in the past two seasons (2012-2013).

      259 IP 3.86 ERA 3.99 FIP 3.67 xFIP 2.6 WAR

      The good news is that Garza has been the same pitcher during those past two seasons. The bad news is that he's been injured close to 35% of the time. Four years is a long time and with Garza's recent injury history, it wouldn't be surprising if he missed (on average) 25% of each season or the equivalent of a full season over the four years. That would bring him down to 7.5 WAR over the four years, for a valuation of $45M.

      They seemed to have met in the middle at $52M.

      All in all this doesn't look like a steal or an overpay, just a fair deal.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      It had been reported that teams (not just the Twins) didn't want to go past 2-3 years on Garza. It seems that the Brewers were willing to add that fourth year and likely used some fear of loss on Garza and his agent. A take it or leave it type of proposal.
      Yikes. Again, I wonder about those medical reports. Teams must know something that we don't because on paper, Garza is worth more than Nolasco despite Matt's past two seasons.
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      I'm a bit disappointed but honestly I'd rather have Stephen Drew at this point. The Twins need to realize you are allowed to improve the lineup in the offseason it's not an either/or proposition.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      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.
      Wouldn't it be more fair to take a sample of everybody's Number 2 draft picks over the last ten years and not just the twins?
    1. rico7961's Avatar
      rico7961 -
      To me, there are about 3 no-brainer facts about this signing. 1. I would take Garza at 4/52 over either one of Nolasco's or Hughes's contract's. 2. The Twins have the money to pay all 3 and probably tried. 3. FO executives must know more about Garza's injury history then we do. I can't see him going at that price with the number of teams looking for a starter with the numbers of his past accomplishments.
    1. SgtSchmidt11's Avatar
      SgtSchmidt11 -
      I'm curious what the Twins offered for two years? Signing him for 2/36-38 wouldn't have looked too bad honestly since it was so short.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      I still can't wrap my head around this, there has got to be more we don't know. Maybe it's medically related, maybe Garza just had zero appetite to be a Twin again.

      It's hard to fathom Garza just slipped past everyone in the market for 52 million, makes no sense. Hard to fault the Twins, they aren't alone obviously, I support their aggressive approach early. At the end of the day, my gut tells me the Twins got the right guy anyway, that's not a slight on Garza.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      I think Garza is largely a mid rotation starter, I really don't see how anyone puts him up to a top of the rotation starter. Largely that is what is Nolasco is, as well. Hughes, if he somehow pitches to his ceiling, is a mid rotation starter as well. Pelfrey, at his best is a mid rotation starter. So, I am not particularly excited about adding another mid rotation starter when what is really needed is a top of the rotation starter. If the Twins are going to have a top of the rotation starter, it is likely to come from the group of Meyer, Stewart and maybe some of the other guys in the minors. They aren't going to get one in free agency, at not this year.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      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 think that's the most interesting part. The Twins seemed to have learned from their mistakes last year when they sat back and the market blew past them before they knew what happened. This year, strangely, has been the exact opposite. Maybe it was the first year with the extra money floating around and GMs were hesitant about how that would change things? Either way, the Twins were right to do things how they did them.

      I'm still baffled people are dogging Garza like this. If we had signed Garza for 4/52 and someone else signed Nolasco for 4/52 - we'd be laughing to the bank about this value by comparison. I feel like we're being protective of the guy we got rather than looking at this objectively. I guarantee in the reverse people wouldn't be taking this same "Nolasco and Garza are worth about the same" tact.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      I really thought he'd get more. In any case, good for Brewers fans. That club always seems trapped under a glass ceiling, maybe Garza can punch them through.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      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)?
      Paging Scott Baker!!!!!
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Eades, Melo Chargois and Goodrum will at least try and make you eat your words
      I'l take a word meal of 1 "definitely" (on a 4-year deal) over 4 "maybes" in the 2nd round every time the opportunity is presented.


      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Anthony Swarzak is typing a sternly worded letter of dissent right now.


      I know you were speaking glibly, but in all seriousness, finding another long relief/low leverage specialist with a career ERA+ of 93, 4.45 ERA and 5.6 K/9 in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th........etc.,.....round...... shouldn't really be all that difficult for a club's scouting department to discover, now should it?
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Apperently the deal isnt complete, maybe Terry should make a call to Garzas agent and offer him the same money just front load it 31 million the 1st year and 7 million each of the last 3 years? see if we can get him to move West a little?
    1. EephusKnuckler's Avatar
      EephusKnuckler -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Apperently the deal isnt complete, maybe Terry should make a call to Garzas agent and offer him the same money just front load it 31 million the 1st year and 7 million each of the last 3 years? see if we can get him to move West a little?
      lol that's ridiculous.

      If the Brewers are now saying that no deal has been made, then maybe it's because Garza has some injury concerns.
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