Friday, January 18, 2013
Garza's modest raise
By Jason A. Churchill
Is anyone else at least a little bit surprised at the modest raise garnered by Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs? After earning $9.5 million in 2012, Garza and the Cubs agreed to a $10.25 million deal for this coming season, after which the right-hander will hit the free agent market.
Even considering he was injured for the final 10 weeks or so, he did make 18 starts last season and despite some problems with the long ball was solid until hitting the disabled list, posting a 3.91 ERA -- and an even-better 3.59 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), suggesting the Cubs defense hurt Garza.
Garza's injury, often referred to as a stress reaction in his throwing elbow, did not require surgery and the 29-year-old was cleared for normal offseason work. Barring any setbacks, Garza is likely to start spring training on time and without specific limitations. Considering all that, getting a raise of $750,000 -- about eight percent -- suggests Garza just wanted to get something done so he could focus on pitching. His activity on Twitter backs such an idea.
Garza is likely to be shopped this coming summer if and when the Cubs fall out of contention in the National League Central. The club could be much improved -- they have added right-handers Edwin Jackson, Kyuji Fujikawa and Scott Feldman and Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are primed to take another step or two toward stardom -- but the division is highly competitive, which likely means Garza ends up in a pennant race wearing a different uniform by July 31.