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Rumor: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels are seen as favorites for Matt Garza.
Why It Makes Sense For Garza
Considering the problems Garza had in Texas (89 hits, 12 homers in 84.1 innings) after being traded from Chicago, a move to Arizona would seem to be the worst thing for him. Chase Field and the Ballpark in Arlington are great parks for hitters because the warm temperatures help the ball jump off the bat.
Angel Stadium, on the other hand, has a lot of room in the outfield for those balls to die in the outfield. Garza would also have the luxury of pitching division games in Oakland and Seattle, two parks that are built more for pitchers than hitters.
Even though Garza isn't likely to strike out a batter per inning, as he did in 2011 with the Cubs, the Angels are a strong defensive club and will help convert more of those batted balls into outs.
Also, Garza would be able to sit in the same dugout as Mike Trout, which is the greatest gift in the world.
Why It Makes Sense For Los Angeles
The Angels have been able to rebuild the back of their rotation by acquiring left-handed pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago in a three-team deal during the winter meetings.
In adding those two arms to Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, suddenly the Halos have the makings of at least a passable rotation. Even better for the team is Skaggs and Santiago are under team control, so they didn't have to spend a lot of money to get them.
Unfortunately, as much as I like Skaggs and think Santiago can be a decent back-end starter, both are still volatile because of youth and, in the case of Santiago, issues finding the strike zone (72 walks in 149 innings last season).
Garza wouldn't completely change the landscape of the AL West but can give the Angels a dependable No. 3 starter with a little more upside. Health will be always be a concern, especially since he hasn't hit the 190-inning barrier since 2011.
But risks sometimes have to be taken. The Angels are clearly trying to win now, so they have to allocate whatever resources they can find to pitching. Garza is as good as any starter out there, with the added bonus of not having draft compensation attached to him.