Contract Crowdsourcing 2013-14: Matt Garza

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2013-14 free-agent market.

Note that, this year, in addition to asking readers to estimate the years/dollars each free agent is likely to receive, FanGraphs is also requesting that readers make note of how much they’d pay each free agent were they, themselves, actual GMs.

In this edition: Matt Garza.

Some relevant information regarding Garza:

  • Has averaged 152.1 IP and 2.7 WAR over last three seasons.
  • Has averaged 3.2 WAR per 180 IP over last three seasons.
  • Recorded a 2.2 WAR in 155.1 IP in 2013.
  • Is entering his age-30 season.
  • Made $10.25M in 2013, to avoid arbitration with Cubs.

Using the form below, estimate the years and average annual dollar values both likely and ought to be received by Garza this offseason.

Other Players: Bronson Arroyo / Carlos Beltran / A.J. Burnett / Marlon Byrd / Robinson Cano / Shin-Soo Choo / Bartolo Colon / Nelson Cruz / David DeJesus / Stephen Drew / Mark Ellis / Jacoby Ellsbury / Scott Feldman / Gavin Floyd / Curtis Granderson / Omar Infante / Adam Lind / James Loney / Brian McCann / Nate McLouth / Kendrys Morales / David Murphy / Mike Napoli / A.J. Pierzynski / Carlos Ruiz / Jarrod Saltalamacchia / Juan Uribe / Chris Young.

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19 Responses to “Contract Crowdsourcing 2013-14: Matt Garza”

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  1. JayT says:

    He’s the biggest name pitcher on the market, so he’ll get paid. I’m guessing he essentially ends up with Anibal Sanchez’s contract, maybe slightly less since Sanchez had three straight years of good health.
    If I were a GM, I’d be willing to do that, though I would prefer four years instead of five.

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  2. John says:

    I wouldn’t give him for than 3 years but he will probably get 4. 4/60 is my prediction.

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  3. GilaMonster says:

    I said 4 years/$75m. He is essentially between C.J. Wilson and Anibal Sanchez. But I think he’ll get a shorter deal due to his injury history.

    I’d probably give him 3 year/ $55m. He is really good, but hasn’t pitched over 200IP in 2 years.

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  4. LONNIE says:

    I predict 4 for 56 million. Can’t see him getting 18mil a year. I would go 4 for 52 million or so.

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  5. Green Mountain Boy says:

    I wouldn’t take this guy on anything but a year to year basis. Maybe $6M base with incentives that could get him to $12M.

    Honestly, I dislike Garza more than just about any starting pitcher in baseball. Well, maybe not as much as I dislike Beckett. The Rays were (typically) smart in moving him. Why do I dislike him so much and why do I compare him to Beckett? They’re both quitters. When things are going well they both look like Bob Gibson. But when things go bad… you can see the quit in their posture and facial expressions. Garza will not battle and he will not tough out a start, especially in big games against good teams. I’ve seen it dozens of times, and now so has Ron Washington. Garza’s soft, and that attitude is cancerous, especially around younger guys (see Beckett – 2011 Red Sox). In a nutshell, he’s as unprofessional as they come. Theo probably threw a party when he unloaded him on Texas.

    Contrast with Carpenter and Wainwright, under whose tutelage Miller, Wacha, Rosenthal, et al have prospered. Now those guys are professionals. Yeah, Garza’s stuff is tempting, but his final numbers fool us every year and will inevitably tempt some GM to give him a mega-contract. So go proceed to the Garden of Eden GMs, and partake of the forbidden fruit.

    Buyer beware.

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    • anonynous says:

      TLDR: Matt Garza lacks TWTW.

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    • Will says:

      Why do you read this website?

      This year, in high leverage situations, batters hit .242/.297/.341 off Garza.
      In medium leverage situations, batters hit .246/.307/.438.
      In low leverage situations, batters hit .264/.308/.394.

      Or, if you prefer, against bad teams (i.e. .500), batters hit .256/.318/.402 against him.

      Hmm… remarkably similar stats!

      But you’re right, I wish he had more heart, and grit, and winner mentality… Then he’d be a true winner, and not a quitter.

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      • Will says:

        My greater than and less than signs destroyed my text. But it said:

        “Against teams under .500, batters hit .250/.297/.409 against Garza.

        Against teams over .500, batters hit .256/.318/.402.”

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        • Green Mountain Boy says:

          I know, I know, but this is the enigma that is Matt Garza. Unfortunately, stats don’t measure heart. My eyes tell me all I need to know about that.

          However, to keep this on level ground, here’s the stat that proves my point. Only once in the last 6 years has Garza had more than 56% dominant starts. That year was 2011 (68%), his first with the Cubs, which now appears to be the outlier year for him. Interestingly, in that 56% dominant start year, 22% of his starts were disaster starts. That’s more than 1 in 5 starts ending very badly.

          Kershaw? Verlander? Hernandez? Every year 75%-85% dominant, 3%-8% disaster. In other words, over the course of the year, Garza is going to stink in 7-8 starts and be mediocre in about 12 more. The other guys? Only 1-2 bad starts per year, and mediocre in about 5 more.

          But back to Garza. How many times have I seen him cruise through 4 innings, when all of a sudden a) he gets a bad ball-strike call, b) somebody hits a quail over the infield on a good pitch, c) a fielder makes an error on a routine play, or d) all of the above. And I laugh to myself, because I KNOW, I just KNOW, that the next guy is going to hit a rocket, followed by the next guy, then the next, followed by his manager coming to the mound waving to the bullpen and tapping his left fingers on his right forearm.

          I get a perverse joy out of it actually.

          Garza’s a #3-4 starter and should be paid like one, not like an ace.

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      • wally says:


        Here’s what I see for this year (BA/OBP/SLG/wOBA):

        High leverage: .290/.375/.517/.390
        Medium leverage: .242/.306/.403/.309
        Low leverage: .250/.298/.396/.306

        He’s been pretty clearly terrible in high leverage this year. But its only 7.2 IP.

        Now for his career:

        Shocker, add in a decent sample size (now 77.1 IP for high leverage) and its about the same any which way.

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    • Old School is the New School says:

      LOL that’s the funniest thing I’ve read on this site in months. Bravo! Oh, and Ron Washington is a moron and is the AL equivalent of Dusty Baker.

      Old school checklist:
      quitter? check
      bad face and/or posture? check
      not tough? check
      cancerous in clubhouse? check
      not Caucasian? check (felt the need to hold up two shining examples of the master race)

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      • Green Mountain Boy says:

        Well, I wasn’t going to mention it because I didn’t think it was relevant, but since you brought it up:

        Worst facial hair in MLB? Check

        BTW, totally agree with you on Dusty Baker. How he keeps getting managerial jobs is beyond me. I’m thinking of throwing my hat in the Reds’ ring. No way I could do worse than DB, and if they were willing to hire him….. I’m just sayin’.

        And since I’m in the mood to rant, what was THAT with Dusty proactively calling the Nats to tell them he’s interested in managing there?!? Really??? I’m pretty sure they know he’s available and can figure out how to get in touch. NOT!

        I disagree with you on Wash though. Look at the Rangers roster this year. Reminds me of that scene from Major League (LOVE that movie): “I thought this guy was dead.” “Well cross him OFF then!” I think Wash did a pretty good job keeping the Rangers in it till the end. If nothing else, I get a good laugh every time I see him interviewed on MLBN, and I mean that in a good way. He deserves another shot.

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      • Dayton Moore says:

        Glad I’m reading this. Bet that the Devil Rays had buyers remorse when they traded a proven postseason RBI guy like Delvin Young for this Garza character.

        I’ll pass on making any offer on him. I like my starting rotation just fine.

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        • Antonio Bananas says:

          And you extended Ned Yost. I supposed an 84-78 year next year followed by a losing season in 2015 justifies it and trading for big game james. Royals fans will forever look back on 2013 as the year they were decent and had an extremely outside playoff shot from July 31 on but a realistic shot in mainstream media’s eyes. What memories!

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  6. CatheyBarrett52 says:

    I must give my thanks to SARAH MOORE, who posted here last week comment about system she uses to earn online… I’ve got my FIRST check total of $550, pretty cool.. I am so exicted, this is the first time I actually earned something. I am going to work even harder new and I can’t wait for next week payment. You can try it for yourself. Bow6com

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  7. Rob says:

    I said he’ll get 4/56, given the pitching market I think he’s going to get overpaid IMO. He hasn’t pitched 200 innings since 2010 and looking at his 3-yr avg WAR is very misleading given how strong he was in 2011. I’d say you can only expect around ~2 WAR per year from Garza going forward over a 3-4 year deal. So honestly if I were a GM I’d go with 3 years max, $12M per year or so. But as I said given the market I expect Garza to get a lot more than that. But the call for $18.75M/yr is just insane – Garza is a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher on all but the weakest teams. He’s not an ace and he’s not even a guy you can rely on to pitch 200+ innings.

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