Garza Set To Go To Cubs – Now What?

An article by posted on January 7, 2011

The deal seems to be in place where the Tampa Bay Rays would send Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and minor-league pitcher to the Cubs for Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, Sam Fuld and Robinson Chirinos. What does this mean for the Mets, and could they have swung a similar deal?

Garza is an extreme fly-ball pitcher with a 6.6K/9. To get him, the Cubs sent their best pitching prospect (Chris Archer), their minor league offensive player of the year (Guyer) who plays all three OF positions, their sixth best prospect (Lee) an outfielder with MLB experience playing multiple OF positions (Fuld) and a converted infielder to catcher who hit 18 HR in the upper-minors (Chirnos.)

If the Mets were to attempt a similar deal, it would probably have been something along the lines of Jenrry Mejia, Lucas Duda, Fernando Martinez/Kirk Niewenhuis/Sean Ratliff and a lower-level arm from Double-A. What does that spell for the Mets?

The rights to arbitration with a pitcher who wears his emotions on his sleeve and can come undone in a flash for the best pitching prospect, the best upper-minors bat, a projectable outfielder and an arm that may or may not harness his potential. Its the kind of farm purging that may have been acceptable under other regimes – but wouldn’t be good for this Mets team.

As much as I love the Mets and wish they would trade for every great player dangling in the revolving trade door, this team is best off competing with what players they have now, because of all the Mets players I mentioned in a possible trade, everyone but Sean Ratliff has a shot at playing at Citi Field this year. Trading away the cream of the crop for one pitcher who is in Garza’s class (not elite, but good) is not a great idea for this Mets team.

Waiting on prospects can lose some of its value (Fernando Martinez is proof, a year or two ago he could’ve been the WHOLE trade) but to hedge bets to win this year, as the Cubs have done with this trade is too snap reaction.

Sometimes the best moves, are the ones you don’t make.

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