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Matt Garza's Anniversary Trip with Wife Cost Him Contract with Angels

USA Today
Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2014

Timing is everything.

Pitcher Matt Garza was a free agent this winter, but he was having a hard time getting many offers. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to be available when teams wanted to talk.

He had an offer early in the offseason from the Los Angeles Angels. The club offered him a four-year, $52 million deal. Instead of having a chance to mull the contract over, an anniversary trip cost him a chance to consider an offer.

MLB.com's Adam McCalvy was able to talk to Garza about the situation:

They offered, but it was more of a weird situation. I was on vacation with my wife and I didn’t want to be disturbed, and it was like, ‘Here it is, we’ll pull it in a certain amount of hours.’ I didn’t have a chance to respond, so I just said, ‘Whatever. It is what it is.'

It wasn’t anything big. It was an offer and I said, ‘I’m on vacation. I’m not thinking about baseball, Dude. Me and my wife are enjoying ourselves.’

Garza and his wife Serina were on vacation in Turks and Caicos when the Angels made the offer. It wasn't a long-standing offer apparently.

Once that offer was on the table, the 30-year-old had to play the waiting game. Even though he has posted a 3.84 ERA in eight seasons, there wasn't much movement in the pitching market.

It took about six weeks for the Milwaukee Brewers to step in. Garza, via McCalvy, signed a four-year deal worth $50 million guaranteed, plus a vesting option for a fifth year.

The right-hander stayed positive throughout the winter: 

I had no worries. God’s going to make things work out either way. It is what it is. I guess you didn’t want me that bad, I take it. I found a team that wants me and makes me feel at home. I was looking for a great fit and I believe I found it.

The couple's vacation apparently cost Garza $2 million in guaranteed money. Although Los Angeles certainly has the more talented roster, the veteran is happy with where he landed. 

From February through October, MLB players don't have much time to spend with their families. When they have free time in the offseason, family comes first. That's a rule that Garza takes seriously, even if his future is on the line. 

[H/t Greg Smith of Black Sports Online]

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