1/8 Garza deal for present & future
GM Jim Hendry wanted to make it clear that giving up top prospects like Chris Archer, Hak-Ju Lee and Brandon Guyer to acquire Matt Garza was done not only to help the Cubs in 2011 but also for the next few years.
“Matt’s 27 and he’s going to be a Cub for awhile,” Hendry said Saturday. “We look at this as a great trade for the present and the future. For the Rays’ sake, they weren’t able to hold onto some of their talent through free agency that left because of their situation and look what they’ve done and the way they’ve re-tooled before and they have great young pitching in the Minor Leagues. I have no doubt they’ll re-tool again and be a factor in the American League East, and probably sooner than people think. This was a trade for not just now for us. We’re not giving away the farm to try to win in one year. That couldn’t be farther from the truth with a guy like Matt Garza.”
Why did Garza come at such a steep price? Because he’s heading into what will likely be prime time for the right-hander and he also will be under team control through the 2013 season.
Garza got his first look at Wrigley Field on Friday. He has never pitched there.
“I had the pleasure of seeing it yesterday in its snow-covered glory,” he said. “It was outstanding and I love it. As long as the dimensions are the same, I’ll be all right.”
He is coming from a team that won 96 games and the tough AL East. The Cubs finished fifth in the NL Central.
“Before the Rays won 96 games, they were in the cellar of the AL East,” Garza said. “We just went in there with all positives. We went in there [and said] ‘We’re in for a dogfight so let’s go get them.’ That’s the same attitude I take year in and year out. It’s going to be a dogfight no matter who you face. Our opponents are Major League ballplayers so nothing is going to be handed to us. Right now, it’s going to be a tough race and let’s see how we get ready and get it done. Why not?”
— Carrie Muskat