Jubilation in Wrigleyville! It is such a difference maker. The Chicago Cubs have secured Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays. Many are rejoicing but mainly because the Cubs have secured a pitcher to fight it out in the National League Central. The Brewers, Reds and Cardinals have pitching staffs that are envied. Now the Cubs have……. WAIT!
Matt Garza? You kidding me? The same Garza that is 42-44 lifetime? Yes, that is true. The Garza with a career 3.97 ERA? They got him cheap, right? Let me quote todays’ blog from Baseball Bloggers Alliance member blogger Cubs Billy Goat Blog.
The Cubs trade prospects Christ Archer, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos, Hak-Ju Lee and Sam Fuld to the Rays for Garza, minor league outfielder Fernando Perez and a minor league pitcher. For those of you scoring at home, those are the Cubs #2 (Archer), #4 (Lee) and #8 (Guyer) prospects on my Cubs Composite Top 10 Prospect list, including the Cubs Minor League Player (Guyer) and Pitcher (Archer) of the Year. Add in Chirinos, who was among the prospects also receiving votes in the composite list, and Fuld, a valuable 4th or 5th outfielder, and that is a VERY steep price to pay for a pitcher not named Roy Halladay.
He doesn’t sound very happy about it. Let’s go on for his reaction.
My reaction to the trade: I HATE IT!!!!
Who does he blame?
After all this talk about doing things the right way, spending more money on scouting and player development and building from within, this move proves that Jim Hendry and the Cubs are still in “win now” mode. After a losing season that saw attendance drop, this move stinks of desperation– an effort to try to make the on-field product look better and put fannies in the seats.
Does he tell us what it would take to win? Yep!
Don’t get me wrong, Garza is a good pitcher, but his addition is not going to win the Cubs any division titles (let alone World Series titles). Three of the Cubs division rivals (the Brewers, Reds and Cardinals) have all made moves to improve their team, while the Cubs have been basically treading water and waiting for their overblown contracts to come off the books.
It is this short-term focus, that generally prevails with Cubs management, that is keeping them from achieving the ultimate goal–the World Series–and until their mindset changes or a certain GM is fired, the Cubs will continue to fail to reach that goal.
Now for more of my take on this. IT was a desperation move that the Cubs felt like they needed to keep up with the Brewers, Cards and Reds. They gave up a bunch of their future.
I believe the Cubs got 5 games better in the 2011 season.
I still feel good about having them in the NL Central.