Thursday, January 23, 2014

Milwaukee Brewers Officially Sign Matt Garza

UPDATE (1/28/14) 1:15pm) - The New York Post's Joel Sherman tweeted out this afternoon the details on the vesting option that took a few days to work out.

In his tweets, he mentions that the Brewers hold a $5MM option on Garza for the fifth year that will drop to just $1MM if Garza spends more than 130 days on the disabled list in any 183-day period throughout the life of the deal (FYI, 183 days is the length of one regular season). However, the option will vest for Garza at $13MM if he pitches 110 games over the first four years of the deal, is not on the disabled list at the end of the 2017 season and throws at least 115 innings in 2017. Garza will also receive an additional $500K for reaching 190 innings and 30 games in each year of the deal. Each year of the contract contains $2MM in deferred money without interest.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the complex nature of the fifth-year option illustrates the Brewers' concerns over Garza's long-term health, and he adds that other teams shared those concerns. (via

UPDATE (1/26/14 1:10pm) - Mark Attanasio opened the Q&A at the Brewers On Deck fanfest by announcing the Matt Garza deal was official and it just has to pass through MLB and the MLB Players Association. The deal is still a 4 year contract and I assume the dollars will be the same/very similar to the original 52 million dollars. Mark stated that this was not orchestrated to announce it at Brewers On Deck, that it was "just a coincidence". Doug Melvin backed the owner, saying "Deals take longer now then they did 25 years ago. It used to be a handshake and a beer." Doug Melvin also said it was contract details and reviewing of the physical that held up the deal with Matt Garza.

UPDATE (1/25/14 10:55am) - News has surfaced that the reason for the hold up is because both sides are trying to agree on how the 52 million dollars will be dispersed over the 4 years. Instead of it being 13-13-13-13, I'm sure the Brewers are trying to pay less this year and having it increase year after year. something like the Kyle Lohse deal is what I assume is being discussed. It is believed this will be worked out and the deal is in no fear of being dropped. This makes sense because as I said on Twitter, this deal is very affordable with Aramis and Rickie coming off the books next year, giving the Brewers more money to work with after the 2014 season.

UPDATE (1/23/14 7:15pm) - The Brewers released a statement regarding Matt Garza stating a deal has not been reached yet. Right away it was assumed something happened with his physical. Both Adam McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt reported that they both heard it has nothing to do with his physical, and that it is simply negotiations are still on going. Gord Ash declined to comment on the situation. Hold tight, all.

Matt Garza makes the Brewers rotation very interesting. And, hopefully good.

(Thursday 12:58pm) - First reported this morning by Adam Rygg of the Brewer Nation blog on, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent right handed pitcher Matt Garza. The former Twins, Rays, Cubs, and Rangers pitcher has signed a 4 year, $52MM deal (physical pending), according to Ken Rosenthal.

This signing makes the most sense over arms like Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez because the Brewers do not have to surrender a draft pick like they did last year when the team inked Kyle Lohse. And honestly, they can't afford to do that two years in a row.

So, with this move that likely completes the construction of the rotation and possibly the bullpen. With Garza, you now have a rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Marco Estrada, and Wily Peralta, with Tyler Thornburg sliding to the bullpen to join Jim Henderson, Tom Gorzelanny, Brandon Kintzler, Donovan Hand, Rob Wooten, and Will Smith.

The Brewers get get Garza for four years, which will be his age 30, 31, 32, and 33 years. Last year for the Rangers and Cubs, Garza put up a 10-6 record with a 3.82 ERA. Historically speaking, his numbers are much better in the National League versus the American League.


I really like this signing. Doug Melvin is always good for one of these every offseason. We got Garza for very cheap, considering guys like Ricky Nolasco signed for much similar deals yet Garza is way younger. Also, with Aramis Ramirez and Rickie Weeks (assuming) coming off the books this year, this deal is very affordable for an early-30s pitcher. Not going to say this move puts us in the front of the NL Central by any means, but this signing gives us a very respectable starting rotation and will make the Brewers a contender, at least.

With that, I leave you with this.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota

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