Nats show interest in Garza
Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is one of the prized pieces available at this years deadline so there’s no doubt contenders will come calling. Today we’ve learned that the Washington Nationals have begun to show interest, although it’s not at the point where an official offer has been made.
Earlier today, Manager Davey Johnson called any discussion of the Nationals trading for a starter in the wake of Ross Detwiler’s setback “premature.” But the Nationals, it seems, have already started casting a net for possible trades in the lead-up to the July 31 deadline.
The Nationals have kicked the tires on Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, one person familiar with the situation said. Talks between the teams have not progressed to the point of the Nationals offering the Cubs a formal proposal.
The Nationals have have shown interest in Garza in the past. Before the Rays traded him to the Cubs before the 2011 season, the Nationals expressed interest in dealing for the right-hander, a person familiar with the situation said. The interest, the person said, was not aggressive, but not insignificant. (The Washington Post)
The back end of the Nats rotation has struggled this season so it’s no surprise they’re eying Garza as they try to chase down the NL East leading Atlanta Braves. The lead is only five games at the moment, four games if the Nats hold on today.
What Washington has to weight is how much they’re willing to give for a rental player. Garza has been solid this season, 3.45 ERA with 52 strikeouts and only 18 walks over 57 and 2/3 innings pitched. His current run though is what’s going to raise his price. He’s allowed only three runs over the past 30 innings, including 28 strikeouts.
So basically, he’s healthy and mowing down hitters. Even with his team at 36-48, Theo Epstein is not going to let a piece like that walk away for nothing.
You’re looking at an asking price of at least one Top 100 prospect, possibly two, with a couple above average prospects. Even worse is thanks to the new CBA the acquiring team will NOT get draft pick compensation should they lose Garza in free agency.
Are the Nationals a team on the rise and a strong pipeline willing to pay that price yet? The organization has a bright future head do they want to mortgage some of it now when the ball just got started rolling?