Matt Garza Agrees To Four-Year Deal With Brewers

rangers-matt garza

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with right-hander Matt Garza.

Garza, 30, was one of the top remaining starting pitchers still available on the market after Masahiro Tanaka signed his seven year, $155 million contract with the Yankees.

He posted a 10-6 record last season with a 3.82 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 136 strikeouts in 155.1 innings pitched with the Cubs and Rangers combined.


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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • Bail4Nails

    Good for the Brewers! You know what they really need now? A backup First Baseman!

  • tacknaf

    really good signing by the Brewers.

  • Ha! I wonder where they might find one or two? 😉

  • Cervant

    Always liked Garza… just imagine what our rotation would look like with him (and a healthy Harvey) in it instead of Colon… Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Gee, and Garza would be sick. Or should I say, would’ve been…

  • SRT

    Tanaka has signed – now the rest of the dominoes start falling.

  • Benny

    Ubaldo and Santana will follow suit soon…

  • Matt Mosher

    Nice deal for the Brew Crew.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Matt,
    That was my first reaction as well. Especially when the question is raised as to why Sandy has never used any of the abundance of pitchers he said he could now use as “bargaining chips” in trades, the answer has always been that one never has enough pitching. Garza is in his prime, not approaching the end of his career. Not a great pitcher but a consistently good one.

  • mets2014

    balfour signed with the rays…this impacts the mets more since they are in the market for a late inning reliever

  • CJM

    That is a rotation built on hopes and dreams. Niese, Gee, and Garza over their last 3 seasons are 0/9 for 200 innings pitched–Gee got close last year with 199. But I’d hardly consider them durable. Not to mention both Gee and Niese have been below average their entire careers, so far. And Wheeler is unproven. Honestly I’d be quite skeptical of that rotation. Colon isn’t perfect by any means. But he’s obviously viewed as a stopgap until younger pitchers hopefully break out. Not to mention, Colon’s peak production is higher than any of those pitchers you listed except Harvey. Garza for 4 years is too long. He’ll miss 20-30 starts over that contract.

  • Cervant

    That’s right. He’s a gamer and he’s only 30. 4/52 mil is actually a pretty reasonable deal. He was my preferred pitching signing when the offseason began… if only we weren’t so cheap.

  • RyanF55

    I really curious where Arroyo will end up.

  • Cervant

    You raise some good points, and I understand the skepticism. I also think Niese and Gee are poised to take a step forward this year. While neither will ever be “special” I think they’ll be models of consistency. As for Wheeler, obviously the jury is still out there, but you have to be excited about what the kid has to offer. Garza has an alpha dog mentality, even though he’s a 2 in most rotations and a 3 in some. That’s a valuable guy to have come playoff time.

  • Benny

    Hopefully he passes his physical (for them).

  • diehardmets

    I’d rather have Colon at 2/20 then the oft injured and overrated Garza at 4/32.

  • CJM

    My skepticism about Niese, particularly, is that we’ve been thinking he’s poised to take a step forward for the last couple years, and he did in 2012, but regressed in 2013. I’m actually much more impressed with Gee’s development than Niese’s to this point. But Gee is a clear 4/5. I’m just skeptical about Garza’s durability and think 4 years is too long. Some people say Garza is a solid trade chip. I support the Colon contract. Yeah he could fall flat, but his last three seasons were worth $12.8 million, $10.7 million, and $19.5 million according to Fangraphs. He’s kind of the classic case of what we see in moneyball–a player undervalued for silly reasons like being too old or too fat. On one level, those are valid concerns. But he is a fine risk to take, regardless of how it turns out. I won’t deny that Garza’s ceiling is nice, but he has been inconsistent in recent years.

    To be fair, I should also add that Colon hasn’t thrown a complete season over the last three years, just like Garza (one was the suspension year). But when he pitches, I think you have a better idea of what he brings to the table. And for 2 years, he’s not viewed as a long term rotation piece, whereas Garza for 4 years would be.

  • chago

    Good now trade us Thornberg for Ike .

  • stemog

    4 for $52 million!

  • trevordunn

    throw in an offense that will score 2 runs a game and a bullpen with no setup men and a closer coming off a blown out disc in his neck…

  • Destry

    Doug Melvin has had a good offseason. Acquired 6 years of LHP Will Smith for 1 year of Aoki, added Mark Renyolds & Lyle Overbay on minor league deals after saying no to Thornburg for Ike & waited out the market for Garza

  • Destry

    Hes gonna prove a point this year.

  • Cervant

    Glad to see there are some sane Mets fans out there.

  • The Brewers have quietly built a team that should be ready to compete in 2014. The division is still really strong but their lineup and rotation should make some nice strides forward with the return of Braun and now the addition of Garza. Nice work Melvin.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Rubin is reporting that the Mets outbid the Rays for Balfour but he signed with the Rays.

  • $14435385

    Puma says Mets officials are denying Rubin’s report…so who knows.

  • LongTimeFan1

    CJM –

    I think it’s a leap to say Niese and Gee have been below average their entire careers. Niese with 3.99 era and 1.376 WHIP – And still rather young at 27. What he’s struggled with is health as he did last season and others. His biggest problem is total innings accrual, but when on the mound, he’s solid but inconsistent when losing a repeatable arm slot.

    Dillon Gee has 3.89 era and 1.300 WHIP. also at 27. health also issue. Both are #3 or 4 starters still developing. Compare to Bronson Arroyo with career 4.19 era and 1.292 WHIP, that Arroyo didn’t have his first sub 4.00 era as full time starter until age 29, didn’t have his second, until 32. and didn’t reach his first 200 innings season until 28. The point for both Niese and Gee is that it’s still rather early in their careers as you acknowledge with “so far.”

  • Taskmaster4450

    Trying to save face. They dont want to own up to the fact that most FAs do not want to play in Flushing unless they are seriously overpaid or have no other options.

  • Yup. I think you nailed it.

  • CJM

    On the most basic level, Niese and Gee both have career ERA+s below 100, which is below average. Niese has had one “full” season with an ERA+ above 100, Gee has had none. Arroyo came up in a time of more potent offense. When he posted a 4.03 ERA with the Sox in ’04, his ERA+ was 120.

    Yes, Gee and Niese are still developing, and I think the potential for them to become above average arms is there. But to this point in their careers, neither has been average. Hopefully that changes.

    I think they both have ceilings as #4s in good rotations. Niese is overrated because he is left handed.

  • $14435385

    They have to know that at some level…it’s a blow to the ego, for sure, but they’ve got to realize their true recruitment proposition is basically “call us when you find you have no other offers.” It’s just sad.

  • jason bay

    Of course they are denying it. They don’t want the Mets to be perceived as a team no one wants to come to but for many reasons the Mets have not been considered a Franchise FA’s would have at the top of their list.

    1) Proximity to their home. More US born players come from California, Texas and the South East than anywhere else. We have an advantage over many teams for Latin players as NYC has direct flights to everywhere and there is an established culture in NY from just about every Caribbean, South and Central American Country but the domestic player would usually prefer to be closer to where they live.

    2) Tax rate, traffic, congestion, media

    3) Not viewed as a competitive team like Tampa Bay.

    4) Dysfunctional and financially unstable ownership

    5) Not able to over pay.

    6) Too many glaring weaknesses on the team.

    The Yankees were once viewed the same way (other than ability to overpay) when Gene Michael was rebuilding them but since that time have made the Yankees into a destination FA’s are happy to come to (and re-sign even on year to year deals) and that came about because of the continuity that the fruits of their farm (Jeter, Posada, Petite, Bernie, Mariano, Cano, Gardiner, Robertson, Nova) provided along with the one’s they were able to obtain with products of the farm (Cone, Knoblauch, Tino, O’Neil, Nelson, Swisher, Granderson, A-Roid)

    As Keith Hernandez has said on more than one occasion he decided to stay because of the Straw’s, Gooden’s, Sid’s, McDowell’s, Dykstra’s, ect in the farm.,

    As long as we keep our eye on the target, long term competibility, FA’s will find us an attractive place to come but we will never get there if we go back to trying to build a team of free agents.

  • $14435385

    Agreed – see my post on the Balfour story.

  • LongTimeFan1

    I’m not a fan of ERA+ for pitchers, which either aids or hinders interpretation based upon ballpark which holds the pitcher more or less accountable to performance based upon ballpark rather than ability to adjust to environment be it easy or hard, which is what all pitchers must do to survive in their careers.

    The very same outcomes because of ballpark A, get interpreted differently from Ballpark B. Tom Seaver gets a 115 ERA+ from pitching at Shea with 2.92 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, 262 innings, 21-12, in 1972, while Arroyo gets 120 ERA+ from Fenway with season era of 4.03. and 1.220 WHIP, 178 2innings, 10-9, in 2004. My eyeball test culled from many, many decades as baseball fan, makes me comfortable stating Gee and Niese are not below average overall in ability when healthy. I believe whatever ceilings they eventually obtain is for them to determine and not for us to prematurely limit as inevitably back end.