The Milwaukee Brewers have signed Matt Garza to a four-year contract.
The league confirmed the move via the roster moves Twitter account:
The @Brewers sign RHP Matt Garza to 4-year contract with vesting option for 2018.— MLBRosterMoves (@MLBRosterMoves) January 26, 2014
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio originally confirmed that the team had agreed to a contract with the 30-year-old starting pitcher, per Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Mark Attanasio opens by announcing the team has come to agreement with Matt Garza.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 26, 2014
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reported what may be the dollar amount of the contract:
Hearing Garza's 4-yr deal with #Brewers guarantees $50mm, with $4mm more available in incentives and a vesting option for 5th year at $13mm— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 26, 2014
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin stated the obvious when he said that the Brewers improved with the signing of Garza:
Melvin: "I know we're a stronger team today" with the Matt Garza signing.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 26, 2014
It originally looked as if this deal was done earlier in the week, but the Brewers denied that a deal was done and talks continued into the weekend:
Despite media reports, negotiations between the #Brewers and Matt Garza are ongoing, but there is no deal yet.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 24, 2014
Garza spent the 2013 season with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers, compiling a 10-6 record and a 3.82 ERA.
There's some risk involved, as he missed part of last season dealing with an elbow injury. Back in November, though, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that Garza's elbow wouldn't be an issue heading into the 2014 season.
The Brewers were in dire need of pitching help this offseason. After Kyle Lohse and Yovani Gallardo, the drop-off in quality was significant.
This move bolsters the rotation, but Melvin was not yet ready to commit to a set order, opting to let spring training sort that out for the club (via Rosiak):
Melvin says team now has depth in the rotation, but will wait until the spring to see how things shake out.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 26, 2014
While not an ace, Garza is a proven arm who will demonstrably improve Milwaukee's starting rotation.
The Brewers finished 16th in the league with a team ERA of 3.84 last season and 18th in opponents batting average. Garza should help the team improve upon those numbers next season.