Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Rangers biggest goal heading into this offseason was to improve their starting rotation. While CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis performed admirably last season, neither has much of a track record in the Major Leagues, and the team still won fewer than 90-games despite receiving career years from both starters.
Re-signing Cliff Lee would have been a big step in the right direction, but he chose Philly. The Rangers failed to get a deal done for Zack Greinke and will now head into 2011 with a very questionable starting rotation. One name many have mentioned in connection with Texas is Matt Garza.
Garza was a very highly regarded prospect coming through the Twins organization and has had moderate success as a member of the Rays the past few years. He’s no longer young, turning 27 this past November, but he’s heading into what should be the prime of his career coming off a 3.91 ERA in 2010, a 3.95 ERA in 2009, and a 3.70 ERA in 2008.
Garza is a solid starting pitcher, he’s stayed relatively healthy the past few seasons, and he’s heading into his best seasons. But whatever team acquires him could live to regret it.
Garza has good stuff, but has yet to translate his pure talent into elite on the field skill. His 7.1 career strikeout rate is nothing to write home about, especially as a fly ball pitcher. He also has average control. Of course, Garza is a solid No. 3 starter. But given his recent track record, and especially the way he started last season, he’ll likely be far overvalued in any trade. Pitching in front of a defense other than the Rays’, Garza could struggle.