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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. mnfireman's Avatar
      mnfireman -
      The issues with the contract not being completed aren't medical according to MLBTR. Maybe Garza realized he got Nolasco money and decided to hold out for more!
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by EephusKnuckler View Post
      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.
      why would it be ridiculous? To me front loading a contract in a year where we have a big pile of unspent money,makes sense, it increases Garza trade value later, it lowers the next 3 years payroll , not hindering us ,if we need a leftfielder or shortstop in the future
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Oh, I wasn't disagreeing with your point, just snarking a bit.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/dr...t_type=junreg&

      Saying "last 10 years or so" might be cherry picking the end date to make a dubious point, since the jury is still out on the most recent such picks and because just outside the 10 year range from 2002-2005 the Twins obtained Crain/Baker/Swarzak/Slowey - only some shortstop named Drew Thompson broke that streak of positive-valued second rounders.

      Baker's probably the only one to make you stop and think twice about signing a premium FA of course. Consider it a second round of snark.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zephrin View Post
      the fact that Garza and the Twins don't really want to get back together for personality reasons
      Source?
    1. Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
      Joe A. Preusser -
      I would have definitely paid Garza that contract, even a bit more, and considered myself getting the better of it as a GM. That said, I have a very strong feeling that Nolasco's overall stats for the next 4 years will beat Garza's. I am glad we locked up Ricky instead of Garza.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      IIRC, (IF) thre is a curious phenomenon of ballplayers taking more years over more money per year. They take the contract that nets them the most money
    1. savvyspy's Avatar
      savvyspy -
      I am not going to bash the Twins for the Nolasco deal at all. He is Cy Young compared to the garbage that has been taking the ball for the Twins the last few seasons. I don't think to can underestimate what the signings of Nolasco and Hughes mean until you realize you didn't pay $150 to see Cole DeVries or Pedro Hernandez take the hill at Target Field.

      As for Garza, there has to be some information we don't know yet. Why would he sign a well under market contract hours after Tanaka's huge deal presumably left him as the top picher available and a bunch of teams looking for piching?? Why would he go to the Brewers? If I had to guess there is something in his medicals that were causing teams to balk at more than 3 years and he scooped up the best available deal before more details came out. I am obviously just speculating but something is odd here.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      [QUOTE=Jim H;192462 . 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.[/QUOTE]Or probably ever. I will get excited about mid rotation guys especially if we have 5 of them with a strong possibility of Meyer becoming more than that. The problem the last three years is that we have had back of rotation guys. Give me a rotation of ERA's between 4 and 4.5 and you have just shaved off 1 run per 9 compared to what we have seen lately. 1 per game is pretty huge statistically. Unfortunately, we need the same kind of improvement from our offense. So far, I am not seeing where that will come from though I am a big believer in everyone improving slightly resulting in a big improvement as a whole.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/dr...t_type=junreg&

      Saying "last 10 years or so" might be cherry picking the end date to make a dubious point, since the jury is still out on the most recent such picks and because just outside the 10 year range from 2002-2005 the Twins obtained Crain/Baker/Swarzak/Slowey - only some shortstop named Drew Thompson broke that streak of positive-valued second rounders.

      Baker's probably the only one to make you stop and think twice about signing a premium FA of course. Consider it a second round of snark.
      Look over the last 20 years, starting 5 years ago....and the story is not pretty.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Look over the last 20 years, starting 5 years ago....and the story is not pretty.
      Yeah, the only 3 worthwhile players that came out of the last 25 years were: Jacque Jones, Scott Baker and Jesse Crain. All nice players, but not exactly world beaters. So basically you have a 1/8 chance in giving up a useful player down the line if you give up a 2nd round pick to sign a premium player like JD Drew, Ubaldo etc in my eyes, you shouldn't hesitate in a heart beat to pull the trigger. I'd much rather have them give up a 2nd rounder this year for a SS or high upside pitcher, then watch them finish in the top half this year and not have a protected 1st round pick next year (and have to give up that pick for the missing SS/High upside SP)
    1. BigTrane's Avatar
      BigTrane -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      When the Twins signed Nolasco there was no way to know that Garza would be going for this price... As it turned out, the Twins couldn't be aggressive AND sign Garza, it was a Catch-22 for them.
      That was the gist of the MLBTR story, and the angle I find most interesting here, as I have been a critic of TR's historic complacency/reluctance w/regard to FAs. So given the close debate as to Nolasco & Garza's respective risks & upsides, I have to give credit where it is due and say good job, TR.

      By being proactive, the Twins got a comparable arm at comparable terms before the whole Tanaka logjam kicked in- without having to give extra years (beyond what they felt comfortable offering) to Garza. Smart read of the market.

      Whether or not there really was a Catch-22, we may never know. But if there was that perception in the Twins org., then a call to pull the trigger on Nolasco ASAP seems uncharacteristically decisive, and represents a major change. Personally, I like that.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Let me pose the question: Why not both Nolasco and Garza?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Let me pose the question: Why not both Nolasco and Garza?
      Personally, I think it's a bad idea to sign two pitchers to four year deals that might go through their decline phases at the same time, making them bad values in years three and four while eating $25m+ in salary.

      I'd rather see the Twins work on shoring up the offense on shorter-term deals... Say, offering Drew a two year contract at a high yearly value and see if he bites.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      I agree with the sentiment that a bat is likely a better idea than Garza at this point, especially with a 4 year deal. Rome wasn't built in a day and the Twins have made some important, necessary additions to the rotation, time to add a bat and see what shakes off the FA tree next year for some pitching.

      Although if Gibson, Meyer and May progress positively, that might be priority B.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      I agree with the sentiment that a bat is likely a better idea than Garza at this point, especially with a 4 year deal. Rome wasn't built in a day and the Twins have made some important, necessary additions to the rotation, time to add a bat and see what shakes off the FA tree next year for some pitching.

      Although if Gibson, Meyer and May progress positively, that might be priority B.
      Which is why I believe in incremental free agent signings. It mitigates risk by acquiring/dropping contracts on a staggered basis instead of all at once and it allows you flexibility to change your roster on the fly.

      Say the Twins sign Garza. He has an awful season or gets hurt. Meyer takes his place and kills it. Now you're saddled with a $14m/year guy you can't trade and don't want on the roster.

      As you said, Rome wasn't built in a day. That doesn't mean Ryan should sit on his hands but it certainly doesn't hurt to spread around the wealth a bit instead of putting all the eggs in one basket, mixing short/mid-term contracts between hitters and pitchers.
    1. OldTwinky's Avatar
      OldTwinky -
      Where as Garza has already peaked I think Nolasco is still improving in the mental part of pitching. I think the Twins did well to sign Nolasco and Hughes for the prices they did, but I feel like they missed when they decided to bring back Big Pelf. There has to be a better option than the human pitching machine. Pelfrey's career WHIP is very close to 1.5 and was over 1.5 last year!
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Which is why I believe in incremental free agent signings. It mitigates risk by acquiring/dropping contracts on a staggered basis instead of all at once and it allows you flexibility to change your roster on the fly.

      Say the Twins sign Garza. He has an awful season or gets hurt. Meyer takes his place and kills it. Now you're saddled with a $14m/year guy you can't trade and don't want on the roster.

      As you said, Rome wasn't built in a day. That doesn't mean Ryan should sit on his hands but it certainly doesn't hurt to spread around the wealth a bit instead of putting all the eggs in one basket, mixing short/mid-term contracts between hitters and pitchers.
      That is a little silly Brock, Garza has had his injury issues throughout his career, but we have found out time and time again that he has been an asset worth trading for multiple times. Even if he did lose a year or whatever, there is a good chance he would bounce back the next year and be "tradeable"
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      That is a little silly Brock, Garza has had his injury issues throughout his career, but we have found out time and time again that he has been an asset worth trading for multiple times. Even if he did lose a year or whatever, there is a good chance he would bounce back the next year and be "tradeable"
      Perhaps, maybe even likely. But I don't like the idea of signing two 30 year old pitchers to four year contracts at the same time, not when the offense looks the way it does right now.

      Ryan did enough to make the pitching staff competitive next season. I think he'd be better served by shifting his attention to the offense at this point.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Personally, I think it's a bad idea to sign two pitchers to four year deals that might go through their decline phases at the same time, making them bad values in years three and four while eating $25m+ in salary.

      I'd rather see the Twins work on shoring up the offense on shorter-term deals... Say, offering Drew a two year contract at a high yearly value and see if he bites.
      So why not front load a contract and then trade him in 2 years ? you know for a left fielder, shortstop or a catcher? Rule #1 you can never have to much pitching,right?
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by OldTwinky View Post
      Where as Garza has already peaked I think Nolasco is still improving in the mental part of pitching.
      Well, at least this suggests (rightly) that Garza is the better pitcher. Though I'm baffled where and how you draw that line.
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