Speculation has been flying around the Red Sox pitching staff for the past month. According to ESPN Boston reporter Gordon Edes, the Red Sox intend to keep Jon Lester and are pursuing available arms.
Like I said before, Boston needs pitching. It has the No. 22 team ERA in the league and the No. 18 batting average against. Lester has had his struggles, as have the rest of the members in Boston's starting rotation.
It will be extremely tempting for Ben Cherington and the Boston brass to "sell the farm" for a pitcher like Garza, but they shouldn't. According to fangraphs.com, Garza's 4.13 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) suggests that his 3.91 ERA should be a bit higher.
He's a talented player, but he's not worth Chicago's likely asking price. You would have to imagine that any deal would include either Matt Barnes or Xander Bogaerts, but Boston needs to hold both of those players for the future. Garza is only 28 years old, but his arbitration eligibility in 2013 leaves his future uncertain.
Maybe Garza won't like Boston. Maybe he won't pitch well. Either way, the Red Sox run the risk of mortgaging the future of their aging team to grab an overrated pitcher at an inflated value.
Who would you rather have?
The Cubs are right to command so much for Garza. They don't need to trade him, and Theo Epstein knows current contenders will pony up prospects for his prized arm. Boston should know better. Garza's arm isn't going to make a difference worthy of the price Boston will be forced to pay.
Cherington is looking at the right position, but Garza is too expensive. He's a solid power pitcher, but his tendency to surrender home runs will hurt him much more in Fenway Park than it did in his first AL East stint.
Boston almost always has money to spend, but this year's team is in a precarious position. They aren't in immediate position to contend, but they have to be wary of selling their major-league talent.
The Red Sox should take a conservative approach to the July 31 trade deadline. Garza's steep price tag goes against that mindset, and he should be avoided by the boys in Beantown.