Stealth Melvin works out deal for pticher, Garza
Kyle Lohse 2.0? Maybe.
In regards to free agency, it has been a quiet off-season for the Milwaukee Brewers. With all due respect to first base options Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds, the Brewers lacked an eye-opening addition to a team that finished 74-88 in 2013. Eyebrows were raised Sunday when the team officially announced the signing of free agent right-handed power-pitcher, Matt Garza. Terms of the deal were not announced by the Brewers, but several reports indicate the deal is for 4-years, and $50 million dollars, with a vesting option for year five.
After Masahiro Tanaka signed a 7 year, $155 million dollar deal with the Yankees on Wednesday of last week, the 30-year old Garza (10-6, 3.82 ERA in 2013) was regarded as perhaps the top pitcher on the free agent market.
Unlike the Kyle Lohse signing of a year ago, the Brewers were not be required to forfeit a first-round draft choice (or any draft choice) to sign Garza. What do you need to know about Garza that you might not already know?
- He has a career record of 67-67 and a career ERA of 3.84.
- He made 24 starts and pitched 155.1 innings in 2013 for the Cubs and Rangers.
- He's a hard-thrower with a fastball consistently in the low to mid-90's.
- He has suffered several nagging injuries over his 8 year career, and has appeared on the disabled list four times since 2009.
- He recorded 136 strikeouts and 42 walks in 2013. Opponents hit .253 off of Garza.
One thing is for certain, the signing of Garza makes the Brewers rotation better than it was yesterday. One could envision a rotation of Lohse, Garza, Yovani Gallardo, Willy Peralta and Marco Estrada. Another pitcher, Tyler Thornburg, will also compete for a spot in the rotation.
The NL Central division boasted three playoff teams in 2013, and pitching carried the load for the Cardinals, Reds and Pirates. For the Brewers to compete for a wild card spot, they needed to find a way to improve their rotation.
Pitchers and catchers report for spring training on February 15.