Fantasy Impact of the Matt Garza Deal

The Cubs finally moved Matt Garza yesterday to the Texas Rangers for a pretty sizable package and the impact across baseball is pretty wide. We won’t know for a few years how the Cubs ultimately made out, but for now the return seems pretty good. As far as 2013 goes, there are still a few fantasy implications.

Matt Garza has always had good stuff; he’s simply had trouble staying on the field. This season has been no different. Garza has posted a 3.17 ERA this season in 71 innings. Garza’s peripherals are right in line with his career. He’s hovering around 8 strikeouts per nine and he’s cut his walk rate a little in order to get it down to 2.5 per nine innings. Texas isn’t the best park for pitchers, but neither is Wrigley Field. Wrigley’s park factor sits at 105 for pitchers (over 100 favors hitters/under 100 favors pitchers). The Ballpark at Arlington’s multiyear park factor is 106. It isn’t like Garza is leaving a phenomenal pitcher’s park such as Petco Park in San Diego. I’m not worried about Garza going forward. He’s shown he can pitch in the AL before when he compiled a 3.86 ERA in 592 innings with the Rays through 3 seasons. Matt Garza should be his normal above average self if he can stay on the field.

Garza has cut down on his change up this season, now using it less than 2% of the time.

Garza has cut down on his change up this season, now using it less than 2% of the time.

The Cubs return won’t have much of an impact in shallow leagues for 2013. We haven’t received word yet on if Mike Olt is headed to AAA or will make his 2013 debut yet. Olt had an atrocious start to the season and may have been a little overrated last season. He still has plenty of upside for the future though. If Olt were to make his way to Chicago he could be worth a flier in deeper or AL only leagues for the rest of the season. Justin Grimm could also have a little bit of value in extremely deep leagues, but none of the pieces the Cubs received should make much of an impact on the 2013 season. Beyond 2013, Olt could now have a full time job. There are some question marks, such as how long does it take Kris Bryant to make it to the majors? Is there too much swing and miss in his game? He still possesses good power upside at third base, so he could be a nice role player next season.

For 2013 it looks like the Rangers got the best end of the deal without a doubt. The Cubs got nice pieces in return, but not much impact for the 2013 season. That’s fine, because Theo and the Cubs aren’t playing for 2013. All of the reports I’ve read on C.J. Edwards make him seem like a nice piece, but he’s a long ways off. It’s yet to be determined who the PTBNL will be in the deal, but I’m sure Epstein is happy with his return at this point.

Landon Jones is a contributor to RotoAnalysis. Follow him on Twitter @JonesLandon and look for his work all season long on! 


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