MLB Trade Rumors: Tigers Reportedly Interested in Cubs Star Matt Garza
The Detroit Tigers have vastly underperformed in the first half after being a heavy favorite to win the AL Central. With that in mind, it's no surprise the team is reportedly looking to make some moves before the trade deadline, including acquiring Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports the Tigers are targeting hard-throwing hurler, who will likely be one of the biggest names on the market over the next month. A trade is not imminent, according to the report, but the Cubs have been scouting some of Detroit's young talent.
The Cubs are tied for the worst record in baseball and face a long building process under new President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. That means the Cubs will likely be sellers at the deadline as they looks to add some pieces for the future.
Detroit can't wait for the future. The Tigers gave Prince Fielder a massive contract in the offseason hoping that he would be the piece that would put them over the top after winning 95 games last season before falling short in the playoffs.
While Fielder has done his part, the biggest issue has been the team's starting rotation. Aside from ace Justin Verlander, who has been his usual dominant self, the Tigers have struggled to string together any consistency from their other four starters.
Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Drew Smyly and Doug Fister all have an ERA of 4.47 or worse. That simply isn't good enough, no matter the weakness of the division. If the Tigers don't get some support for Verlander, it's going to be an uphill battle down the stretch.
Garza hasn't exactly been filling up the scoreboard with zeroes, either. Through 16 starts, he is 4-7 with a 4.32 ERA. He does have a great track record, though, including a 3.32 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 198 innings last season.
That's more the type of production the Tigers would expect if they traded for him, and there's reason to believe they would get it. Garza's peripheral numbers, most notably a 3.70 xFIP, suggest that he is due to bounce back in the season's second half.
What do you think of the Tigers pursuing Garza?
The Tigers have plenty of talent, there's no doubt about that. But if the first half has proven anything, they are still a couple pieces away from seriously competing with the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers in the AL.
Bringing in Garza would give them a good second option behind Verlander. If the right-hander can turn things around, Detroit would have two reliable options taking the mound and could overtake both the Indians and White Sox in the Central division standings.
As always, it will come down to Garza's price tag. The Tigers do have a pretty deep farm system to deal from, which makes this a situation worth watching in the coming weeks.
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