MLB Rumors: Matt Garza Trade Doesn't Make Sense for Reds

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 15:  Starting pitcher Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field on July 15, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Reds currently hold a three-game lead in the NL Central. They have reached that point by sticking with the same starting rotation throughout the season. Giving up young pieces to acquire Matt Garza wouldn't be a wise move at this point.

Garza has been a popular trade target for many teams leading up to the trade deadline on Tuesday with the Reds emerging as a potential suitor, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. He reports the Toronto Blue Jays are also in the mix.

The biggest concern most teams have with Garza is a triceps injury that has kept him out of the Chicago Cubs rotation for over a week. Even though he threw a successful bullpen session, it's impossible to tell how he'll react to a game situation.

While that's obviously something the Reds should be worried about if they are pursuing Garza, the more important issue is a lack of need at the position. Cincinnati's rotation has been solid all season and really doesn't need an upgrade.

When healthy, Garza has been able to establish himself as a reliable starter thanks to his strikeout ability. However, the difference between him and Mike Leake, who he would likely replace in the rotation, isn't enough to warrant dealing a package of young players.

Garza is only 28 and remains under team control for another season, so the Cubs aren't in a situation where they must trade him or lose him for nothing. They still have until next year's deadline if they really want to move him as the franchise looks toward the future.

For the Reds, that means he won't come cheap. With the number of starting pitchers available on the trade market dwindling, the Cubs can demand a king's ransom for Garza and have a realistic chance of getting it. If not, they can just keep him.

If Cincinnati was in a position where a starting pitcher would be the difference between making the playoffs or missing out, it would probably be worth the risk to add Garza. That's not the case, however. The Reds should make the postseason either way.

Should the Reds make any moves on deadline day, it should be for a hitter with speed. Drew Stubbs is the only player with more than eight steals this season and his on-base percentage is barely above .300. A player like Juan Pierre, who has been linked to the Reds, would be a nice, cheap addition.

Otherwise, Cincinnati would be best off sticking with the players who got the team this far. Once Joey Votto returns from injury, the Reds will be in great shape.

Even without Garza.