One of the biggest chips left to fall on the free agent market was that of starting pitcher Matt Garza, who just signed a four-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The deal alone should do quite a bit to increase Garza’s plummeting fantasy value.
First off, he joins a Milwaukee rotation that was surprisingly one of the better ones in baseball the second half of last season.
Garza, 30, began the last three seasons with the Cubs before a July trade to Texas and owns a 3.84 ERA over parts of eight years in the Major Leagues. So we know he can still pitch, but how well is the question.
I’m not totally sold.
There’s one big reason why a talented pitcher such as Garza had such a difficult time landing a four or five-year deal from other teams and that is health concerns.
He has spent time on the disabled list in each of the past three seasons, including six weeks in 2013 with a rib-cage strain. In 2011 and 2012, he missed starts with elbow issues.
That alone is enough to scare me away from Garza come draft day.
There are some positives, most notably a return to the National League Central, a place where he has had some success before.
The Brewers also will get Ryan Braun back, so they should score some more runs.
However last year’s numbers of a 10-6 record, 3.82 ERA and 132 strikeouts are likely about the projections you should have for Garza at this point.
He will help your team out, but shouldn’t be counted on as one of your top three starters.
CBS Sports currently have Garza ranked 69th of all available starting pitchers.
With the move to the National League, that value increases some as I would slot him between 45-50.
However with a good and healthy spring training, Garza could increase that value in a big way.