Cubs bolster rotation by trading for Matt Garza

Fitz Robling, Staff Reporter

When the off season began, Chicago Cubs GM  Jim Hendry had three issues he needed to solve. He needed a first baseman, a starting pitcher and help for the bullpen.  He kicked off the off season by signing Kerry Wood, and Carlos Pena. These signings fixed two of the three problems. The most recent and biggest move of the off season for the Cubs was a trade for Matt Garza, an elite pitcher formerly for the Tampa Bay Rays.

 It was widely known that the Rays were trying to move Garza in order to shed salary and pick up new prospects.  The Cubs were one of  multiple teams who were trying to make a move for Garza. In the end, the Cubs beat out the Yankees and Rangers by adding top pitching prospect Chris Archer to their proposed package that included four other players. The Rays who were looking for a top pitching prospect in return, quickly agreed to this deal. In return the Chicago Cubs received Garza and two minor league prospects.

At first glance this trade looks lopsided in favor of the Rays. But after taking a closer look, it is a pretty balanced trade. The Rays receive more prospects to fill up their already elite farm system, while the cubs receive an “ace” as well as some prospects to replace the ones given up.

Garza is coming off his best season with the Rays going 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA. 

This trade helps the Cubs both in the short term as well as in the long term. In the short term, Garza can become an immediate top of the rotation pitcher for the Cubs. He is making the switch from the American League East to the National League Central.  Not only is the National League considered easier to pitch in, but also the N.L. Central is widely considered as one of the easier divisions to play in. This trade makes the Cubs an immediate threat to challenge for the division crown.

In the long run, Garza’s contract doesn’t expire until after the 2013 season. This means that the Cubs don’t have to spend any extra money on Garza for the next two years or so.  Garza is also only 27 years old, and has the potential to be the Cubs ace of the future.